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!

 

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<<

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.

mor_oysters2016Top Left: @themorrisonsydney // Bottom Right: @paulpayasalad

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!

Oysters Rockefeller Recipe

Cooking with The Morrison & Sean Connolly

While we’re on the Oyster Festival rollercoaster we thought it would be a fun to share one of our most popular dishes – the Oyster Rockefeller. Once considered a luxury, the humble oyster is widely enjoyed across the country in restaurants, served by the dozen on trays lined with crushed ice and rock salt. Or bought directly from the fish market so oyster lovers can enjoy these mollusc morsels at home, entertaining dinner party guests with their shucking skills while sipping on a glass of Champagne.

BalconyByronOysterFestivalMany oysters make much love… photos by @amytakessnaps

We encourage everyone to have a go at preparing oysters at home, there is nothing more satisfying than shucking your own fresh oyster, creating a zingy mignonette and serving on a bed of ice with lemon wedges. Some oyster enthusiasts prefer to eat theirs au naturale, savouring the delicate meat, taking note of the complex mineral tones and the salty liquor. But if you’re new to the oyster craze, or simply want to try something deliciously different, look no further than our Oysters Rockefeller

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Although the original recipe a closely guarded secret by the restaurant Antoine’s in New Orleans named after the richness of the sauce, here at The Morrison Bar & Oyster Room we’ve created our own version of this delightful dish and would love to share it with you to try at home.

INGREDIENTS:

2 handfuls fresh spinach leaves
1 bunch watercress, bottoms removed from stalks
1/2 bunch Chinese shallots, chopped
1 clove of garlic
180g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 splash of Pernod
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, ground
1 teaspoon hot sauce – Tabasco

24 fresh oysters, shucked, shells reserved
100g freshly grated Parmesan cheese

250g packet of rock salt

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 250°C, as high possible. 
In a food processor place the spinach, shallots, garlic and watercress.
Pulse the processor until all ingredients are finely chopped.
Throw in breadcrumbs, ground fennel, butter, Pernod and hot sauce.
Process and pulse until mixtures are blended and season the mix to taste.  

Sprinkle rock salt over a large baking sheet and arrange the shucked oysters on the salt. Carefully spoon the dressing over the oysters. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan and bake until golden brown on top.

Serve on a bed of salt with lemon wedges to taste!

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Looking to pair your Rockefeller with the perfect wine? Our in-house sommelier recommends a young chardonnay, not overly oaky but with a light balance of fruit and acidity to balance the parmesan crumb and chilli notes. Try the Shaw + Smith Chardonnay.

Get Social! Share a snap of your Rockefeller on Instagram to @themorrisonsydney using the tag #oysterfestival2016 to win a $50 bar tab!