I had first heard of The Morrison Bar & Oyster Room from a co-worker and after a quick scroll through the menu online, I was deeply intrigued. Crab and lettuce tacos, crab toast, chilli crab linguine...need I say more? A creative crab bonanza was more than enough to seduce me into scheduling a visit immediately!
The ambience of the place was fabulous - very New York and chic with its industrial interiors yet not too overly serious. There's an open oyster bar in one corner and a variation of seating options throughout the space. I loved the copy of Le Journal de Wine that sat casually on each table illustrated in newspaper form. The lighting was also very dim and romantic yet I believe Morrison proves to be a better place for intimate gatherings with close friends. This certainly seemed to be the case for the majority of diners that night!
The Crab & Lettuce Tacos ($16.50) although very crisp and summery, did not meet my high expectations. It was great that there was a generous serving of snow crab topped with pearls of salmon caviar, however my tastebuds were just too overpowered by the chardonnay vinaigrette dressing to really take in all the good stuff.
The Duck Fat Chips ($10) seemed to be a popular option of choice and so we refused to take a miss. It was nicely fried to a golden brown with a sharp crunch to each bite and a delicious creamy aioli sauce to match. Not bad but sort of overrated in my opinion.
For me, one of the biggest letdowns was the Crab Toast ($18). To begin, I kind of thought the word 'toast' would entail a nice piece of hot crunchy bread piled with gorgeous snow crab in creme fraiche. However, the dark rye turned out to be cold and bland in taste - and the bursts of lemon zest & chive infused within the crab was a bit too heavy for me. Sigh, at this point, both M & I just came to the conclusion that we were bad interpreters of the menu...
Just when we thought we couldn't be THAT hopeless with deciphering the menu, the biggest shockwave hit us as our My Diane ($25) was served. See, we had pictured an ordinary looking steak...but I guess the description 60 second seared tenderloin, Yorkshire relished spiced gravy meant a totally different thing on our minds that night.
As luck would have it, we didn't quite enjoy it - maybe it was the spiced gravy or the texture of the meat...just didn't click with us :( Honestly, this was our fault. We should've read the menu properly and realised that My Diane did not equate to Steak in Diane Sauce...god the embarassment! (Alot of courage needed to admit this openly on the blog...)
Overall, although we were very disappointed with our experience at The Morrison, I think I'm going to give the place the benefit of the doubt for the following reasons:
- We went to an Oyster Bar and did not order any oysters...mostly because I'm not a fan of oysters. Nevertheless, as I have read good reviews about the oysters here, I think they may be a highlight to check out.
- Our silly misinterpretation of the menu choices...seriously, MY DIANE?
- The place was buzzing with energy and people, and everyone around seemed to enjoy their dishes so maybe it's just one of those awkward situations where we may have ordered the wrong things...who knows?
I think if I was ever to return, I'd go with friends who love oysters so that they can tell me truly how good they are. Also maybe I'd order some of the other popular items on the menu and pair it with a good wine. Sometimes a change in order can make a huge difference so I'm going to bank on that hope!
Bar & Oyster Room
225 George St
Sydney NSW 2000