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

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 <<

Why so crabby?

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The Morrison Bar & Oyster Room
 is celebrating the humble crab in its annual Crab Carnival!

This should come as no surprise, our ongoing love affair of seafood evident in our restaurant menu: freshly shucked oysters, white Ortiz anchovies and whole roasted snapper (to name a few!) – the crustacean has fast become a crowd favourite, featuring in two of our hero dishes the Crab Tacos and the Chill Crab Linguine. (Hence why we created a whole carnival around it!)

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But why crab you ask?
We’ve put together a list of 4 reasons you should eat crab…

ONE: For our Culinary Director chef Sean Connolly, it’s where nostalgia meets the senses – “Ever since I was a young boy I have really enjoyed eating crab. The sweet salty flesh & the tactile act of cracking crab claws there nothing else quite like it.”

TWO: Crab meat has many nutritional benefits that will put your doctor at ease! Not only is it high in beneficial long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties, but research suggests that eating crab will help lower blood pressure, protect against heart disease and improve cognitive function!

THREE: Frank Theodore of De Costi Seafood loves crab for its natural sweetness and delicate meat, especially when cooked in the shell which will intensify its flavour.

FOUR: Keep the ocean happy and your conscience clear! Our crabs are sourced from sustainable fisheries – our blue swimmer and mud crabs are caught in traps from around the Australian coastline (as opposed to being trawled). With the current Aussie prawn shortage, we think sustainable crabs are the future!

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So what are you waiting for? Head on down to The Morrison for a cracking good time!

The Morrison’s Crab Carnival runs from Monday 20th March to Sunday 16th April.

Contact us for more info!
>>CONTACT<<

Oysters, Flowers and Poetry – Valentine’s Day Essentials

Hello, I love you, Will you tell me your name?
– Jim Morrison, The Doors

It’s that time of year where even the most cynical of us give into the Hallmark-guilt. Where no matter what your relationship status is you find yourself asking everyone “what are you doing for Valentine’s Day?” without really knowing if you believe in it or not.

Here at The Morrison Bar & Oyster Room, we LOVE the 14th of February! And call us Cupid but we’ve got your Valentine’s Day 2017 covered…

Only just met? We’ve been listed as one of the top Summer Date Bars in Sydney for 2017 by Where to Tonight – with our New York inspired decor, series of nooks and corners, delicious food and beverage offerings, it’s easy to understand why! Drop in for a cocktail (we recommend the Lunar Love), or why not join us for dinner? Our 2-course Set Menu is only $50pp and comes with a flute of Taltarni Sparkling on arrival!

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>BOOK NOW<

Many oysters make much love… One of the most notorious aphrodisiacs, oysters are high in zinc and have a reputation for being great for love and fertility. Naturally, we consider our oysters to be of the best quality and encourage all our guests to share a dozen or two at any occasion. On the night of the 14th February, you can add a dozen freshly shucked oysters to our Valentine’s Set Menu for only $40!

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Romeo, romeo, where for art thou Romeo? Stuck for words, or just wanting to make you significant other laugh? Instead of stealing from the literary greats, check out the Festisite poem and love letter generator – simply select from a choice of romantic sentences, insert name and you’re set!

For the old school romantic… flowers are always a safe bet! Our good friends at Pearsons Florist produce bouquets of beautiful blooms, using a variety of colourful, classic and alternative varieties (we love the Romance Bottles for $121). Check out their Valentine’s Collection and pre-order online!

The way to a mans heart… An old fashioned mindset, the modern couple is no longer a stranger to sharing the domestic duties. And after all, they say that food is the language of love so why not turn it into a romantic night out? The Sydney Seafood School has cooking classes running throughout the year, starting at $90pp and perfect for couples or gift idea.

 

Australia Day at The Morrison Bar

Let’s get some tucker!

One of the joys of an Aussie summer is to celebrate all things Australian:
backyard cricket, 50+ sunblock, any excuse to take the cover off the barbeque and when the plug thing pops out of your thongs…

Here at The Morrison Bar & Oyster Room, on Australia Day we put the “class” in classic: ice cold draught beer from local brewers, freshly shucked Sydney rock oysters and most importantly The Morrison Aussie Burger!

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We take a hand pressed Angus beef patty, season it with star anise salt and grill it to your preference.
A lightly toasted demi-brioche bun starts the burger stack, then we add the beef patty, fresh cos lettuce, a slice of tomato, house pickles, sliced beetroot and slather on some chipotle mayonnaise.

Served with thrice cooked “skins on” duck fat chips (calorie and guilt-free, we swear!) and an ice cold James Squire “The Swindler” Summer Ale.

For only $25, this is one bonza combo you don’t want to miss!

>Book your place at our table on Australia Day<

2016: The year of deliciousness

Celebrating the “Year That Was” @ The Morrison

mor_food2016Food glorious food! The year that was 2016 at The Morrison Bar & Oyster Room saw no shortage of delicious offerings, from the cracking good Steam Pots during Crab Carnival, the Kilpatrick Modern oysters of Oyster Festival, to the Wings & Tails basket from Pigfish: it’s safe to say Culinary Director chef Sean Connolly brought to life his love of local and seasonal produce.
See our Summer 2017 Menu.

Foodies were spoilt for choice in October when Sean Connolly and Gary Mehigan went head-to-head at the North vs South dinner, a celebration of the best of British cuisine with Australian produce! With wine matches by McWilliams, it was a wonderful evening enjoyed by all.

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Many oysters make much love! We say that a lot (and take it seriously!) with 2016 being no exception – The Morrison selling 10’s of thousands of the humble mollusc last year and taking the term “bilvalve bounty” to the next level. Our infamous $1 Oyster Hour Wednesdays were as popular as ever, and throughout our annual Oyster Festival in August we shucked up a storm delivering the freshest, juiciest oysters in the country!
See our Oyster Library.

Get into the spirit! As well as the incredible food offerings, one of the other highlights of the year were the lip smacking cocktails created by our Bars Manager Genevieve Holloway and her talented team. The Crabby Mary being the ultimate crowd pleaser, with it’s spicy tomato & Ketel One blend and King Crab leg, as well as the cinnamon smooth Golden Duke.
See our current Cocktail List.

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We’re looking forward to bring to you another year of culinary delights – make sure to regularly check out our >>WHAT’S ON<< page for current events or Book a Table today!

Unless otherwise stated, all images in this post were snapped by the talented @amykatesnaps

Sean Connolly’s Christmas Piccalilli

The Morrison Recipe Diaries

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As much as we love inviting you into our beautiful restaurant to wine and dine you like the king or queen you are, The Morrison Bar & Oyster Room’s philosophy to showcase quality local produce extends beyond our tables and into your homes.

Our Culinary Director chef Sean Connolly shares with us his delicious Piccalilli Relish recipe. Quick and easy, packed full of fresh vegetables with flavours of the east – just in time for Christmas!

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Perfect for summer BBQ’s and picnics to compliment cold cuts of meat – why not make your own labels and give away as gifts?

Check out another Sean Connolly recipe – Oysters Rockerfeller  the ultimate dinner party entree!

Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle!

The Most Wonderful Time Of Year

Every year, somewhere in between a mini-break to Bali and planning our Halloween costumes – we start the inevitable countdown to Christmas. Whether you’re ready for it or not, your local supermarket is playing Christmas carols on a loop and you find yourself stock piling boxes of Roses chocolates just in case Aunty Jan and Uncle Lance drop in for a cuppa.

Here at The Morrison, we begin our Christmas planning in much the same way (albeit minus the impulse purchases and panic attacks at the sight of giant candy canes). We like to keep our Christmas simple using an old fashioned recipe of good food, good wine and great company!

It starts with a POP! Kick off your celebration, big or small, with a glass of bubbly! Preferably something French such as Piper-Heidsieck Brut, the perfect aperitif said to taste like the stars…

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Many Oysters make much love… We say it a lot, and we seriously mean it! These mollusc morsels are delicious all year round, harvested from around the beautiful coastlines of Australia and freshly shucked before arriving at the table. The festive season is no exception, our oysters are served au natural in the shell and pair perfectly with a glass of Piper…

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A Feast for a King! It’s no secret by the end of the year we deserve a treat and that means a break from the kitchen! Gather your favourite colleagues or friends and book a Feast Menu at The Morrison. For only $75 pp you will be treated to a generous 4-course meal, complete with Steak Tartare, Crab Tacos & Oysters, slow-cooked Lamb Shoulder with our infamous Duck Fat Chips. Add a bottle (or two) of wine, share your best Dad-joke with the table and your Christmas is complete!

Sign off with a Snowball… It wouldn’t be Christmas without a tipple of brandy, we mix Hennessy VS with maple syrup, vanilla & cinnamon sugar, lemon juice and egg white – the result is a creamy sweet punch with hints of your Nana’s Christmas pudding. Warm and gently spiced, the ultimate way to end your night!

Book your Christmas Feast with us today!