If you've never been to an oyster room before, then here's your chance. A welcome addition to the lower end of George Street and a proper alternative to the vicinity's 'pubish' priorities, the Morrison Bar & Oyster Room is a class act.
Enter, and you're greeted by an industrial chic interior complete with exposed brick and concrete pillars. Bursts of colour are compliments of the many pot plants and mosaic tables, whilst the mood lighting, dark wood, and fresh produce on display recall a sultry British Indian oasis. The space is suited to the after work business crowd and also caters to smaller groups or couples. The Oyster Room, the Parlour and the Conservatory (open air terrace) are separated so there's plenty of space to explore.
The food is impressive at the Morrison. Head chef Sean Connolly (ex Astral and Sean's Kitchen) and chefs Oliver Carruthers (ex Bambini Trust) and Michael Robinson (ex Quarter Twenty One) have teamed up to celebrate quality ingredients, cooked simply. The 250g grain fed sirloin ($30) is cooked over an open fire and packed full of juicy flavour, whilst the duck fat chips ($10), thrice cooked, are addictive. For some seafood delight, try the crab and lettuce tacos ($15 for three), with salmon caviar; the roe provides a nice contrast to the chardonnay vinaigrette.
All things aside, it's the oysters that you're here for. Perch yourself at the bar where you can watch the magic unfold as the Morrison's oyster maestros shuck your Pacific, Angassi and Rock oysters to order. The St Helens oysters are crisp on the palate and firm in texture. The Domaine Baily-Reverdy La Merci-Dieu Sancerre 2010 ($19.50 glass) compliments these well, but if you want to get experimental with your wine/oyster pairing just ask one of the helpful waiters.
The Morrison Bar & Oyster Room has injected lower George Street with that little bit of glamour we've all been waiting for. We'd recommend you'd get down there quick, because word's out.
Images: Trent van der Jagt.