Morris Jones Renaissance in Windsor
Morris Jones has been transformed from being an honest restaurant into a spectacular culinary destination. We were wowed by the sophistication and quality of the dining experience.
Hearing that there had been big changes at Morris Jones we dined as guests, eager to see what Head Chef and ex Gordon Ramsay prodigy Matthew Butcher had brought to the table. The standard is higher than "gastropub" and rivals the cream of fine dining in this city.
Morris Jones has brought in a crack team from far and wide, including significant overseas talent. In a short time they have mightliy transformed this pub. The service team is knowledgeable and keen, with sophistication as well as engagement. Tim our waiter was exceptional.
Morris Jones has several attractive dining areas including tables along the bar, the stunning courtyard, upstairs function spaces, and the formal dining room. The interplay between bar and restaurant is interesting and the preference is for a premium dining experience without being too formal. The bartenders are spot on and Morris Jones offers its own exotic and compelling cocktails.
Morris Jones wowed us with its degustation. The menu is delineated with categories of From the Land, From the Sea, From the Fire, From the Garden and Sweet World. We were treated to the four course degustation.
Says Morris Jones -
First up the Busty Beet Salad was a delight featuring goats curd in a kind of canneloni arrangement with crispy beet on either side. Not to mention buckwheat for crunch and red sorrel. This dish was refreshing and delicate.
Morris Jones impresses with its sense of theatre - enhancing the dining experience - with this Black and Blue Tuna dish. One of the highlights of the degustation, the tuna was served in a sea of mist (smoke from apple wood chips) under a glass cloche... White radish, chestnut and puffed quinoa impress, along with soy and yuzu, as accompaniments to the tuna. This dish sings and dances with the smokiness of the apple wood chips, high grade tuna, and the brilliant combination of puffed quinoa interacting with the tuna. A glass pipette with extra soy made us feel like we were in the science lab and was "Heston like".
Here we have the dish unveiled (below) after the cloche was lifted. Check out the pipette full of soy.
The Jerusalem artichoke soup also hit the high notes served with foraged mushrooms, broad bean and truffle cream. The waiter had decanted the soup and again with a sense of theatre poured it into the bowl around the other ingredients. Being a lover of artichokes I lit up with this dish and the balance was perfect. This was earthiness and heartiness personified with the earth connection of broad beans and mushrooms, with a creamy earthiness of the truffle cream. Rustic, hearty, magnificent.
So far the dishes were not too heavy, with some richness, and beautifully balanced. Technique and sophistication were evident from a Head Chef who has been moulded by Gordon Ramsay and Shannon Bennett. But who is stamping his own culinary destiny and individuality...
I was looking forward to the Otway pork. Again the sauce was poured from a decanter (not all of it). The Otway crispy pig was served with prawn popcorn, cucumber, dashi and basil seed. Brilliant was the crunch of the prawn popcorn served on top of the crunchy crackling. Super crunch. The Otway pig was of course tender and the sauce a triumph. The dashi and basil seed were refreshing and a contrast cutting through the pork (although this pork was none too fatty).
Morris Jones had come to play and the advent of this dessert was playful and flavoursome. Kiwi lollypops encased in jelly.
Morris Jones seemed to be indulging us with more than four courses. We were on a roll. This Chocolate biscuit with rasberry sorbet and salted caramel was dynamic. A killer combination. The marvel was in the chocolate biscuit so crispy on the outside and melted bliss inside. It was the hero and the sorbet and caramel were both top notch.
Morris Jones also served us this playful take on coffee...
We were taken aback by the standard of this culinary experience. The locals are on to it, and word of mouth has led to a busy restaurant on most nights.
Wine matching with the food was superb and waiter Tim shone with his wine knowledge. The Tassie Riesling was a standout. Also check out the Irish bartender who makes a legendary Espresso Martini.
Matthew Butcher and his team are kicking goals and providing a captivating dining experience. Butcher is a genius.
For foodies - check out The Morris Jones Food Society with engaging speakers and foodie themes.