Morries is changing things up and raising the bar. Think cocktails on tap - a Western Australian first, an updated fit out, dining at the bar, tasty tapas, pop-up oyster bar, as well as Executive Chef Tony Howell’s creative dishes using the best seasonal produce in the South West.
Margaret River Hospitality Group (MRHG) Managing Director Anthony Janssen said that Morries would continue to provide locals and visitors with a contemporary hospitality experience.
"With minor changes to the fit out and major changes to our food and drink, we’re stepping things up. We want to create an even better product as well as provide something different on the main street,” Janssen said.
“We’re steering away from the breakfast/café trade and putting even more focus into our bar and evening offering.
“Hospitality is an ever changing landscape. It’s important to innovate and change to keep things evolving and interesting, and I think our customers, especially the locals, really appreciate the extra effort we go to,” he said.
The updated fit out will create two distinct areas, a cocktail bar and a restaurant.
In charge of cocktails and drinks is ‘WA Barman of the Year’ Billy Phillips and at the helm of the kitchen is one of Australia’s best chefs, Tony Howell.
Janssen said that the drinks list would focus on cocktails including two new ‘on tap’ offerings, local breweries, small batch wines as well as wines from some of the bigger Margaret River wineries.
“Each month we’ll be changing our ‘on tap’ cocktails to ensure there’s plenty of variety for our locals - Billy’s new ‘tappletiser’ should be a hit,” the 34-year-old said.
“Our aim is to create a unique and fun venue in town, so we’ve put the focus back on our bar as a late night alternative where people can pop in for a drink or stay and graze on bar snacks until late.
“We have also included a small stage to bring some jazz and funk to the late night scene a few times a year.
“Our culture across the group is stronger than ever and our team is really excited to improve upon the friendly efficient service that our customers are already used to,” Janssen said.
MRHG Executive Chef Tony Howell said that the style of food in the restaurant would be simple, refined and approachable.
“It gets thrown around a lot, however the produce is the star and we have several small batch producers literally knocking on our back door with amazing, in-season produce,” the award-winning chef said.
“We’ll change the menu to reflect the produce we can get – our focus is always on flavour and presentation, even for the late night snacks, while still providing approachable food.
“We’ll be cooking dishes that are distinctly different from anything that’s currently available – it’s exciting and I think it’s important to move with the times.
“But don’t worry, the twice cooked Japanese chicken with kewpie mayo is one dish that’ll remain – everyone loves it, including us.”
Howell said that the Morries change is good for the town, the region and also for the team.
“There’s an opportunity for our chefs to learn new techniques and refine their skills in the kitchen, and for us, we’re able to offer them a real career path,” Howell said.
“As a group, we have the White Elephant that is a great casual beachside café, The Common, which offers fantastic bistro style food, and now Morries, which will be a step above.
“I’m really excited to be up-skilling the young talent in the kitchen while showcasing our region on the plate, as well as adding an element of sophistication to the main street dining scene.”
Howell garnered a loyal following during his 15-year tenure at five-star Cape Lodge, during which it made the Gold List in ‘Conde Nast Traveller’s Boutique Hotel Restaurant of the Year’ several times. He is the state ambassador for Tourism Australia’s ‘Restaurant Australia’ campaign, has appeared on popular television programs and has worked in some of the best restaurants in WA.
New dishes on the Morries menu include house made blue manna crab tortellini, creamed corn, truffle burnt butter; fish of the day, Asian wok broth, oyster mushrooms, wilted Asian herbs (hot oiled at the table), chilli jam; confit local heirloom tomatoes, almond garlic puree, beetroot gnocchi, Swiss chard, house made ricotta; Harvey beef rib, veal jus and seasonal vegetables; and a very chic seafood plate for two.
On select nights, an Oyster Bar will pop up at Morries featuring freshly shucked oysters – check Morries Facebook page for updates.
Morries will be open on Thursday 17th March, and be open from Monday to Sunday 12pm to late. Bookings essential on (08) 9758 8280 or online at www.morries.com.au/contact.