Disclosure: I dined as a guest of the restaurant
Being a huge fan of ‘The Real Housewives of _____” series in general (Beverly Hills, Atlanta and Melbourne are my favourites though), it occurs to me every time I watch the show I clearly don’t wear my high heels enough, wear tight enough dresses, rock my cleavage or drink enough champagne.
Seriously, I’m always inspired to go run around my closet and have some fun after indulging in a couple of episodes.
But maybe here’s the reason why; Melbourne’s culture is so relaxed. Brunch is in lycra and sneakers, fast casual is on the rise and more and more restaurants are pretty chilled out with dress code. I’m only in heels these days for really fancy meals (also cause taking public transport in heels is not so much fun anymore (showing my age?))
So Morris and Jones it is to the rescue, who figured why compete with all the other cafes in the High Street strip in Windsor and instead of brunch, offer a champagne lunch from Friday’s to Sunday’s instead.
For just $45 per head, diners get a three course meal (or $35 for two courses), with a couple of options for entree, main and dessert to choose from…and believe me, it’s hard to decide as all the dishes sound good. You can also get your glass of bubbly upgraded to Moet and Chandon for a little extra too.
When we went for the launch of the champagne lunch, prior to our three courses we also got to enjoy these, maybe slightly bizarre looking, but insanely delicious, salt and vinegar saltbush ‘chips’. Oh my goodness. Don’t think too much just drink your champagne and hoof these down, the leaves are perfectly crunchy and the salt and vinegar just makes me nostalgic for when salt and vinegar chips used to be my favourite things in the world. Delicious, do not miss out!
Save some room too for the beautiful chunks of beer and caraway bread with thyme and honey butter.
Entrees around the table were delicate, and beautiful. Orders of the champagne marinated (of course darling) poached salmon with asparagus and fennel came with a dose of theatre; glass cloches filled with smoke revealed their delicate dishes. I died over my beetroot salad with holy goats curd, almonds and pistachio, a medley of stunning autumn colours, and so sweet, the beetroot could’ve been natural candy.
I was also particularly impressed with the southern fried quail, with just a slight crunchy crust and juicy, juicy meat.
I loved the portion sizes of the mains, not too big, but definitely still hearty. The generous thick cut of steak came with the most crazy good potatoes ever, a potato skin that had been filled with potato puree. Like what?
My short rib had me licking my lips for more, just the right amount of fat, juicy, meaty, sweet, I just couldn’t have enough of it.
Another stand out main was the local mushroom risotto with mock truffle, wood sorrel, and grapes. There was a lovely crunchy element for texture, and the sweetness of the grapes worked unexpectedly well with the earthiness of the dish. Not to be missed.
When dessert is an option between a sweet and a cheese course…well most of the table went for the sweet. Nitro violent crumble with honeycomb and violet ice-cream. With more theatre. Who doesn’t love some liquid nitrogen honeycomb action? This was my perfect lunch dessert, luscious rich chocolate, but not too much of it with the crunchy honeycomb and freshness of the ice-cream; hitting that need for richness, but not being heavy.
Really though, it is the perfect excuse to get the gang dressed up on a weekend and indulge in a mini but long lunch, I’m definitely thinking of bringing mum here…!
163 Chapel Street