Chapel Street's Morris Jones Has Reopened Its Doors After a Huge Renovation
The restaurant now has three sleek bars and a menu that combines elements of Japan and California.
Morris Jones, one of Windsor's popular restaurant-bar hybrids before closing for renovations earlier this year, has thrown open its doors again — as something a little different to what it was before.
The restaurant has had a facelift, a full body reconstruction and learnt another language, too — the new version focuses on both Japanese and Californian dining.
Founder Hayden Burbank wants Windsor – and the rest of Melbourne – to get to know Morris Jones all over again. "It wouldn't be Morris Jones if we didn't continue to innovate, elevate and keep it fresh," Burbank says.
And fresh it is, both in terms of food and fit-out. Morris Jones 2.0 now plays host to three different bar areas – there's the central bar with a sushi station, an open-air courtyard bar and a secretive concealed "attic" bar, to be launched later on in the year. Responsible for the new look is designer Alex Zabotto-Bentley, director of AZBCreative, who has combined marble, black and bone décor with plenty of vines and foliage. Art featured throughout the restaurant is by local and international artists and curated by Zabatto-Bentley together with David Bromley.
Now, to food: head chef Matthew Butcher has combined elements of Japanese cuisine with Southern Californian dining. Try crab nachos made with uni (sea urchin) queso and dashi, or a sweet braised short rib with kelp caramel mustard and watercress.
Alongside these creative dishes are a range of dumplings and sashimi. Adventurous eaters will do well here, as will sushi lovers – but so will vegetarians (hello, leek, tofu and white soy dumplings).
And to wash it all down? Specialty Japanese beers on tap, a whole bunch of tequila, mezcal, sake and cocktails — including he Yuzu Pina Colada, which combines yuzu sake, coconut cream and vodka.
All this innovation, Burbank thinks, points to the fact that Melbourne and California share "many parallels".
"[Melbourne] isn't afraid of having fun and making a splash," he says about the city. Fun and splashes seem high on the agenda, here – and judging from the sea urchin nachos alone, we think the re-opening will manage both.
Morris Jones is now open at 163 Chapel Street, Windsor. It's open Tue–Thu 4pm–11pm and Fri–Sun 12pm–1am. To make a reservation, call (03) 9533 2055.
Images: Kristoffer Paulsen
Published on April 03, 2018 by Kat Hayes