A dash of Seduction…

C’est l’amour vrai!

Australia’s Brand Ambassador for Piper-Heidsieck Samuel Le Douarin (28) shares his love of Champagne & Oysters


Samuel pictured above (centre)

Q: How did you become involved with Piper-Heidsieck?

A: I was introduced to the wine world in my early 20’s, thanks to the owner of a wine shop from my hometown in France. From there, I decided to immerse myself in it and began studying at a business school in Burgundy. My studies encouraged me to travel around the world – the UK, New Zealand, Spain, Canada, USA – to explore the wine industry from top to bottom and meet incredibly passionate people. Recently graduated, I’m now Piper-Heidsieck brand ambassador for Australia. It’s very exciting to represent the most awarded house of the century in a country that has a great love for Champagne!

Q: What is your relationship with wine and Champagne in particular?

A: I’m passionate about wine because it’s such a comprehensive drink with its many exciting aspects: stories, landscapes, gastronomy… Also, wine is incredibly diverse and made all around the world, shared between family and friends at different occasions! As for Champagne, it has always been the favoured wine in my family whether we open it for celebrating a specific event, or sharing a great moment all together. 


Q: What is so special about Oysters?

A: I’m from a region of France called Brittany (“Bretagne” in French) that is surrounded by the sea with the English Channel in the north and the Atlantic Ocean in the south. Naturally I have always enjoyed eating fresh seafood from our shores, oysters in particular! I love how oysters can take you on a journey: the layers of flavours and textures, but also the possibility of greater culinary experiences through various recipes and pairings, no matter if it’s simple or complex – it’s very exciting!

Q: Why do you think Oysters and Champagne make a great pairing?

A: I believe it’s partly because they share many common features… Firstly, there are different varieties of oysters just like you’d find three grape varieties used in Champagne. Then, just as we have chalk terroirs originating from ancient seas that provide specific flavours to Champagne – oysters taste differently according to the waters where they come from, there is even a classification of “crus” in France you can compare this to. Also, growing oysters requires time and a savoir-faire (ed. expertise) like we do with Champagne. Finally, I would say that the most important is that oysters and Champagne are better when shared!

Join Samuel at our exclusive Champagne & Oyster Masterclass, Tuesday 22nd August at 6.15pm
>>BUY TICKETS HERE<<

An Oyster Education

The World is our Oyster

Every day The Morrison shucks hundreds of oysters, from farm to table these ‘lil pearlers are the oceans gift and for avid seafood lovers there is nothing better than slurping back a fresh oyster and its liquor… With Australia’s oyster farmers producing some of the best in the world (the Tathra region in NSW winning awards year on year), it’s our duty to celebrate and educate our guests on the mysteries of the mollusc.

To start, in Australia we grown three kinds of oysters: Sydney Rock, Pacific and Angasi (the flat native). The first two will be familiar to most oyster enthusiasts, served in restaurants and markets across the country. Grown in plastic trays or baskets in oyster leases in pristine Aussie waters, typically for 2-4 years before being harvested for eating.


SYDNEY ROCK OYSTER: Although branded as “Sydney Rock” these oysters are not confined to Sydney, growing inter-tidally along NSW and lower QLD coast line, in bays, estuaries and lakes. With rich mineral flavours often with vegetal creamy notes. What is amazing about these oysters is the habitat they grow in, the plant vegetation heavily influencing the algae the oysters feed on, giving those layers of flavours and complexities that are completely unique to Australia flora and terrior.


PACIFIC OYSTER: Not originally native to Australia, Pacific oysters are grown at sub-tidally where they roll in the motion of the ocean, creating the characteristic deep round shell. The flesh is a steely grey or white, tasting classically fresh, salty and meaty. Pacific oysters grow much faster than rock oysters and we’re now seeing a trend in pacific oysters that have been grown in a Sydney rock environment, the point of difference being those flavours from the fresh water nutrients, as opposed to have that full oceanic flavour profile.


ANGASI OYSTER: The big daddy of oysters, sometimes called a “flat” or “native” oyster was one of the first known seafood farmed in Australia. Full flavoured and textured, the Angasi is rich with mineral flavours, the meat generally flatter due the shape of its shell. It’s difficult to find in stores, being fragile and slow growing.


HOW TO PREPARE OYSTERS: For those oyster fanatics wanting to prepare their own at home, rock and pacific oysters can be purchased from your local fish market or direct from some farmers. Unopened rock oysters can keep for 2-3 weeks at 14-18ºC. Pacific Oysters are best kept in the coolest part of the fridge at around 5-8ºC, in the crisper. Depending on the environment you’re serving them in, oysters are best served at ambient temperature, on rock salt as opposed to prolonged on ice. However you can put them under ice for 20 minutes which makes them easier to shuck and takes the edge off top the notes of oyster.

Quite simply, hold with ear facing out, positioned safely in tea towel, insert knife at 15 degrees, wiggle the blade into the hinge until the lid pops open, then slide knife to 2 o’clock position and twist. Cut the muscle from the lid and the shell and serve with fresh lemon and a simple mignonette!


Sean’s Mignonette:
1/2 ecshallot finely chopped
100ml quality red wine vinegar (we use Forvm Cabarent Sauvignon)

HAPPY SHUCKING FOLKS!

 

A smoky note…

Talisker: Made by the Sea

Some things go together… like whisky and oysters.

Much like the oyster farmers of Australia, proudly growing their native Sydney Rock and Angasi oysters – producing whisky is second nature to the Scots, considered the largest industry of food & beverage in the UK. Scotland has 5 disctinct whisky regions, Highland, Speyside, Lowland, Islay, and Campbelltown, which all have unique characteristics and flavours that differentiate them.

With so many of these distilleries founded in the 18th and 19th centuries, in remote coastal regions of Scotland – the relationship between scotch and sea comes naturally. The romantic and nostalgic view that coastal and maritime whiskies adopting their characteristics from sitting in casks during the maturation period, absorbing the sea air for years on end. Some say it’s the environment the grain is grown, or the natural maritime of peat from regions such as Islay.

Whatever the reason, it should come as no surprise that we’ve selected Talisker 10 as our whisky of choice during our month-long celebration of oysters. The distillery was founded in 1830 by Hugh and Kenneth MacAskill on the Isle of Skye, the largest and northernmost of the major islands in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. Skye is known for a few things: whisky, agriculture and fishing.

Talisker is considered a premium whisky, winning international awards in 2007 and 2015. It is James Bonds’ preferred scotch and the favourite whisky of writers Robert Louis Stevenson and HV Morton; Stevenson referencing it as the king ‘o whiskies in literature.

Scotch, single grain or blend? Smoky, spiced pepper? Learn the lingo at an exclusive tasting masterclass hosted by Talisker brand ambassador Simon McGoram – Tuesday 8th August, 6:15pm | $49 pp

Ticket price includes a welcome Penicillin cocktail, 3 expressions of Talisker and a half dozen fresh oysters.

>>BUY TICKETS HERE<<

Competition Time!

WIN! A 2-day Oyster Experience Trip

Feeling shucky?!

Enter the draw to win a place for you and a friend at an exclusive Oyster Experience Trip to the South Coast of NSW.

Day 1 – Meet Audrey, a local oyster farmer from Clyde River in Bateman’s Bay and be treated to a tour and tasting on location at Bay Rock Oyster Farm, which will be followed by a dinner cooked by chef Sean Connolly in association with De Costi Seafoods.

Day 2 – Includes a tour and tasting of the Wynlen House Urban Micro Farm in Braidwood. Meet gardeners Bronwyn and Helen who will share their wonderful world of “clean growing” in cool climate regions, educating and encouraging visitors to pick up the trowel and start a vegetable garden of their own!

The winner must be available for trip dates: 19th – 20th October 2017

Full T&C’s via link

Emerald Merimbula Oysters

Luck be a lady

For oyster enthusiasts like us, it’s always exciting to receive a delivery of freshly harvested oysters – even more so when those oysters are subject to a rare natural occurrence in the pristine waters they’ve been growing in…

This week at The Morrison Bar & Oyster Room, we were lucky enough to receive 150 dozen of the rare emerald oyster from Lake Merimbula in the Sapphire Coast of NSW. A popular area for rock oyster farming, this region is currently in season and producing some spectacular produce!

An emerald oyster (or huître verte in French) is known to grow randomly in the cold winter months, the shellfish having fed on a type of micro-algae in the water called blue navicula. This turns the gills a beautiful greeney-blue colour due to a blue water soluble pigment called marennine.

High in antioxidants, antibacterial and antiviral properties, the flavour profile of the emerald oyster is similar to a classic sydney rock: full rich mineral notes, lightly salted with a long iodine finish – and shucking good!

Although we’ve almost sold out of these little beauties, we sincerely hope you’ve had the chance to try this oyster delicacy – who knows when they’ll be around again…

Tax Return x 2017

Top 5 Frivolous Things to Spend with your Tax Return

It’s the end of the financial year, and while we’ve been focused on how to convince businesses to spend their money (EOFY party anyone?!) we thought it’s high time we get real and think about what really matters when it comes to spending those extra pennies…

Rent a super-yacht for a day; nothing says practicality and adult responsibility like a 40ft yacht for you and 20 – 30 of your closest mates, cruising Sydney Harbour with a bottomless glass of rosé in hand.

Treat yo’self to a Glamburger: AKA the world’s most expensive hamburger from Honky Tonk, Chelsea (London); It boasts wagyu beef, NZ venison and served with a Canadian lobster poached in Iranian saffron. Then topped with maple syrup coated streaky bacon, Beluga caviar and a hickory smoked duck egg intricately covered in edible gold leaf. Costing a mere $2,105 it would be rude not to?

RELAX: with a luxurious spa day experience el solo, or with your significant other. Exfoliate the dead skin cells and work related stress away! The Gold and Champagne package at The Langham will set you back a cool $700, but you’ll come out smelling like a beautiful rose.

Get tech-crafty and buy yourself a 3D printer: surprisingly affordable (prices start at $200) with free templates available to download off the internet, fill your house with random stuff and become the ultimate gift giver (T-Rex shower head for all)

Stay fully charged: Buy 4-6 phone chargers and plug one in every room of the house, car and hidden in your work desk and never have to turn on “power saving mode” again.

Alternatively, instead of all that nonsense – book a table to drink and dine in style at The Morrison Bar & Oyster Room – a dozen freshly shucked oysters and a bottle of Piper-Heidsieck is considered a rich mans breakfast, and our version of high tea.

Mother, Mum, Mama

Mum’s the Word!

We shouldn’t need an allocated day of the year to pay tribute to this lady, after all, she’s the main reason you know that eating carrots will make you see in the dark, sitting too close to the TV screen will make your eyes square, and that you should always separate your whites and colours…

To celebrate Mother’s Day, we at The Morrison thought it would be nice to spread the warm fuzzy feels and a couple of our staff have kindly shared their favourite childhood memories of their mums (awww, too cute!)

Charlotte Brandolini (Front of House + Chef)

“I come from a family of 5 kids, so it’s safe to say that we were fighting for mums attention all the time. To her credit, my mum would do her utmost to make sure we all got individual love and time with her. She use to take me with her grocery shopping on Thursday nights – it was this really special thing for just me and her and I absolutely cherished it. We would get hot chocolates afterwards and I felt like such a grown up. It’s really funny to think now how important these nights out where for me.”

Juan Carlos (Kitchen Manager)

“There’s no other way to say it, my Mother raised 3 little beasts. As young children and as teenagers, my little brother (idiot Oscar) and I were the worst, we were two savages always fighting and my Mother would have to suffer through the blood, tears and jealousy! But, she is the greatest lady, with a beautiful, strong character.”

Erin Carroll (Marketing)

“Time & patience – ask anyone who knows her, my mum has these two wonderful qualities for which I consider myself to be very lucky. The youngest of two, I was incredibly spoilt and nurtured as a child – my curiosity and vivaciousness encouraged. From sitting in on 15 years of Irish dancing classes, to helping me hand sew sequins onto dresses for uni projects, my mum has supported me through everything I’ve done. There’s something very calming about her personality that keeps you very grounded and safe.”

This Mother’s Day we’re treating the no.1 lady in your life to lunch or dinner! Simply book a table  at The Morrison for Sunday 14th May and Mum will receive a glass of bubbly and her meal on us!*

*T&C’s: One Mum per table. Bookings essential to receive this promotion.

For the Love of Wine

Wine Anyone?

See our Wine Journal – curated by Master of Wine Ned Goodwin

Australia’s love affair with wine is rich in history, its roots as deep as the late 1700’s with the introduction of vine cuttings by the Governor Phillip on the First Fleet in 1788. Now the fourth largest international exporter of wine, Australia has fast become a leader in producing award winning wines. Although built on a foundation of traditional “old world” wine-making, today many of our wine makers have a reputation for creating new trends in the industry – words such as “ethical”, “bio-dynamic”, “alternative varieties” trending hot in the cellar door.

Australia Wine Month across the month of May is the celebration of the above – playing host to hundreds of events throughout the country with our wine makers taking centre stage at the table.

To celebrate this, we’ve decided to name our Top 3 influencers of Australian wine:

James Busby (1802 – 1871) known as “the father of wine”. Originally from Scotland, his family immigrated to New South Wales in 1824. Although some wine makers were successfully producing in Australia at the time, it was Busby’s return from France and Spain in 1833 that helped the industry lift its game. Busby introduced a serious selection of grape varieties, including most classic French grapes and a good selection of grapes for fortified wine production.

Max Schubert (1915 -1994) the creator of the Grange Hermitage (Penfolds) and a pioneer of Australian wine. Schubert was born to Lutheran parents in a German community on the fringes of the Barossa Valley and started working at Penfolds in the 1930’s as a messenger boy, dedicating his entire life to the company and the wine industry.

Bryan Martin of Clonakilla and Ravensworth wines. Making a name for himself with his organic approach to wine-making, “boutique stuff” sized production and a passion to produce food-ready wines. An accomplished cook, forager and writer on the aesthetics of the relationship between wine and food, Martin has become well respected and admired in the industry.

The Morrison will be showcasing a selection of our favourite Australian wine, with white and red wine flights available throughout the month and a special oven baked  Normandy Camembert with melba toast & fresh dates by Culinary Director chef Sean Connolly – the perfect accompaniment to a drop of vino!

Join us to celebrate the world-class wine produced in our own backyard and book a place at our table!

>>BOOK NOW<<

History of Two-Up

Anzac Cookies, AC/DC + Two Pennies

Australia may be a young country, but it’s rich in culture and tradition – a nostalgic nod to the simple things in life and the commemoration of mateship during harder times.

This is never clearer than on ANZAC Day – known as the nation’s day of remembrance, where friends and family gather early in the morning to pay respect to the men and women who’ve served their country.

This is the day where the game two-up is legally allowed to be played – hotel pubs and bars across the country will clear some space in the room, and slowly but surely the excited sound of cheers and anticipation fills the air, someone will yell “Come in spinner!” and the clink of two pennies hitting the ground becomes a familiar sound of the day.

Thought to have originated from a game called Pitch & Toss (played with a single coin), two-up was played among the poorer English and Irish citizens in the 18th century, brought over by immigrants and convicts – spreading in popularity throughout the goldfields in the eastern colonies by the 1850’s. The game was played extensively by Australian soldiers during WWI and WWII from which came the tradition of it being played on Anzac Day.

Two-up famously was legalised in NSW and Victoria in the 1990’s, primarily being played in RSL’s and pubs on commemorative days such as Anzac Day. Queensland only legalised the game in 2012.

 The Morrison will be hosting two-up at its annual Anzac Day event on Tuesday 25th April – with doors opening from 8am, get in on the two-up action, a spin of the kip and good times all round!

Set to be a great day with a special Aussie themed menu, draught beer and classic Aussie rock – be sure to drop in and say hi! With a performance by the LLC Southern Cross pipe band, live DJ and a display of military vehicles for charity, there’ll be no shortage of fun to be had by all.

225 George Street
Cnr of George & Grosvenor

Sip, Crack, Snap!

Crab Carnival 2017 Media Night

If you haven’t already heard, a carnival dedicated to our favourite crustacean is back for its fourth year!
The annual Morrison Crab Carnival showcased its hero food and beverages at its Media Launch on Tuesday 14th March to selection of the cities coolest kids, foodies and one or two crab virgins!

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Culinary Director chef Sean Connolly and his team whipped up an array of delightful crabby canapes: Crab & Mayo filled Doughnut Holes – with sweet shredded blue swimmer meat and a sprinkle of Japanese kelp pepper. Dressed Spanner Crab Remoulade Tacos – with celeriac, chives, creme fraiche & a hint of lemon zest. Mini Open Crab Pies with short crust pastry, king crab meat, smoked cod and buttered leeks.

Guests sipped on a selection of delicious crabby friendly drinks, hero’s this year being the When Crabby Met Mary cocktail and Crab-Apple Sangria, as well as the James Squire “The Chancer” and Oakridge ‘Over the Shoulder’ Chardonnay keeping our crittery curious friends well-watered!

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As the night kicked on in a crab-ulous manner, Sean Connolly presented his Typhoon Shelter Muddy dish – crispy fried whole mud crabs, with chili, blackbean, garlic, fresh coriander and shallots. Accompanied by King Crab Mac & Cheese and steamed Chinese greens drizzled in a luxurious crabby chili oil, tables were heaving under the glorious weight of a feast fit for the ultimate seafood fanatics!

Special guest Frank Theodore from De Costi Seafood passionately talked the room through the different types of crabs on the Crab Carnival menu, explaining the importance of how and where we source our crabs from – such as using traps (as opposed to trawling) and sourcing male crabs of some species.

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A scrumptious dessert of Cherry Sorbet & Coconut Sago with crushed pistachios rounded off the evening, the subtle sweetness of the sorbet with a tropical cream base was the perfect way to end an incredible meal.

Crab Carnival runs for 28 days – Monday 20th March to Sunday 16th April 2017
Don’t miss out – Book your place at our table today!

>> BOOK NOW <<