|Oysters at The Morrison Bar and Oyster Room, George Street, Sydney|
|The Morrison from Grosvenor Street|
Out around the back, the space is unrecognisable with plenty of seating laid out round, another bar and a roof that's bound to come off if/when proper spring/summer weather arrives.
|Pacific and Sydney rock oysters|
For a tasting like this, Connolly recommended starting with the milder tasting Pacific oysters - first, a gorgeous, rounded Coffin Bay that barely needed a drop of lemon. The larger Pacifics from the Hawkesbury River were ideal with a smidgen of horseradish.
The Sydney rocks were my picks with a heavier mineral flavour, and generally more pow, in the Clyde River and Macleay River specimens - the latter of which I could easily polish off a dozen. And of course, we had Pommery champagne with the oysters - as you must do.
|Crab and lettuce tacos, chardonnay vinaigrette, salmon caviar|
The chardonnay vinaigrette doesn't take away from the delicate but generous crab while the salty pops of salmon caviar are basically the cherries on top.
|Split scampi sashimi style, chilli, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt flakes|
Split in the shell (sans the blue head goop) and served sashimi style, some even with dark roe attached, the simplicity of the extra virgin olive oil, lime and baby coriander was all that was needed to make these silky, creamy crustaceans shine.
For those who like a decent spice kick, these bird's eye chillies did the trick in a barely manageable fashion.
|Crab toast - snow crab, crème fraiche, lemon zest and chive on dark rye|
I have to commend the kitchen's generosity with the seafood - especially the abundant crab - as there's nothing worse than being promised crab and only getting a smidgen of what has to be my favourite seafood variety.
|Saltimbocca kingfish tail, with red wine and caper sauce|
The kingfish tail - oven baked on the bone - was done saltimbocca style with the entire tail wrapped in prosciutto before cooking. The result was a perfectly seasoned, moist fish with flavours unlike any other I've had before and without any small bones to contend with.
The finishing touch is a red wine and caper sauce that's so refined that licking the plate clean was almost inappropriate.
|Free range lamb shoulder, raspberry vinegar, star anise|
Slow cooked over four hours, the meltingly tender meat partners surprisingly well with the sweet, subtly spiced sauce. I reckon it could even serve four people, with sides, or I suppose two or three really, really hungry people.
Divine alongside the lamb were the carrots with parsley, halved lengthways. Cooked to an almost-pulp -"Grandma-style" - I'd forgotten how sweet carrots can be and might have had two entire carrots to myself.
|Duck fat chips|
|Wedge salad, blue cheese and hen's egg dressing|
|Lemon and raspberry cheesecake, deconstructed|
|Chocolate brownie, malt ice cream and caramel popcorn|
Served with dessert was a delightful Brachetto from Bologna, Italy - an unusual sparkling red that was entirely appropriate as a dessert wine and one I know I'll be coming back for.
But so too will I return for the scampi, other seafood mains and starters, the friendly and welcoming ambience - and especially the oysters and champagne. Even if I have to clamber through the doors past queues, I think The Morrison easily has a firm place in the Sydney dining scene.
Food, booze and shoes dined as a guest of The Morrison, with thanks to Agency G.