Morris Jones, Windsor

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MELBOURNE | Morris Jones opened its doors in 2012 and while its proven popular over that time, owner Hayden Burbank decided it was time for a change. The 1887 building which once housed a furniture and carpet store owned by one Henry Morris Jones has been completely transformed into a sort of urban oasis full of high ceilings, multiple zones, and hanging greenery.

A large white marble bar features in the centre of the venue and is not only where the drinks are made, but also the sushi. The 120 seat restaurant has outdoor seating at the front and back, a dining area out the front and to the sides, with further seating in the area to the left of the bar. Upstairs on the mezzanine is a private dining area as well as a lounge with plenty of plush couches, another smaller bar, and a DJ booth. This upstairs area, we are told, is aimed at the more sophisticated drinker, who wants to enjoy a drink and conversation while still having fun.

We were invited to check out the revamped Morris Jones and when we heard what the focus of the new menu was, we didn’t hesitate to say yet. The food at Morris Jones is influenced by the flavours and techniques of Japan and California. We’ve been lucky enough to visit both Japan and California multiple times over the past few years and love both places, especially when it comes to food. It’s all about freshness and letting the quality produce shine.

We we went for the tasting menu which gives diners the opportunity to try an assortment of chef’s picks from the menu. Unsurprisingly there’s a big seafood focus at Morris Jones. Spicy tuna poke with crispy rice, avocado, soy, and yuzu is a flavoursome, textural delight, as is the tangy and fresh kingfish sashimi with rose petal dressing and finger lime. Another highlight is the crab and uni (sea urchin) ‘nachos’, which sees puffed nori chips topped with dashi, crab, whipped uni, and chipotle queso – California and Japan in one bite.

Even the humble fish and chips gets a Japanese twist here – flathead is battered in Kirin beer and served with wasabi mayo, potato puff and nori crumble. Dumpings also impress with dense fillings and light skins. We loved the prawn and XO dumplings filled with coriander and onion salad and a ginger sauce. They had more of a Chinese flavour but bubbles of sake ‘clouds’ atop gave it a Japanese twist.

For non-seafood lovers there’s still a lot to like. Wagyu beef tataki is topped with pickled enoki mushrooms and togorashi, and is delicious, as is the tender slow braised beef short rib served with kelp caramel mustard, seed salsa, and watercress.

For dessert we tried the ‘Violet Crumble’ – a rich, dense chocolate cremeux (think brownie) with violet ice-cream and nitro honey comb. The plate comes out displayed like a garden, with a mist sprayed over it, which dissipates to reveal the dessert underneath. It’s an impressive scene, and thankfully the well balanced flavours and textures do it justice. Another dessert we didn’t try also sounded delicious – peanut butter mochi with strawberry and uni sauce and yuzu peel.

The drinks menu follows the trend of the food – sake, as you’d expect, features heavily on the menu, as does Tequila and Mezcal. Kirin and Suntory beers are on tap and there’s a decent wine list but for us the cocktails are the real highlight here. The yuzu pina colada and sake plum spritz both impress – well balanced and fresh. The Nakatomi Old Fashioned meanwhile, is mixed and smoked in the glass, with a lid left on until it’s brought to the table.

Whether it’s an extensive dinner, a few bar snacks, or just a drink or two with friends, Morris Jones has a lot to offer. It’s one of the few restaurants that we’ve been to recently that’s left us impressed by everything we’ve eaten. We’re already planning our return – it’s a lot more convenient that another trip to Japan or California.

Morris Jones

163 Chapel Street
Windsor
Victoria 3181
Australia

Telephone: (03) 9533 2055
E-mail: n/a
Website

Open
Mon – Fri: 4:00pm to 1:00am
Sat – Sun: 12:00pm to 1:00am

Morris Jones Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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