After a three year hiatus, one of New Zealand’s most renowned chefs has made a triumphant return to the industry. Turning his considerable culinary talents to the opening of new eatery Mr Morris, Michael Meredith’s latest move is a welcome one indeed after the closure of his fine dining restaurant Meredith’s in late 2017.
Centred on intuitive flavours and “cultural inspirations that showcase our region”, Mr Morris is located in Britomart in what was previously Cafe Hanoi, with the interiors having undergone a beautiful, light-paletted refresh by Cheshire Architects. With oak making up the majority of the room, offset by characterful brick and plaster, the 70-seat space features a variety of seating options for almost any group capacity— from family-sized round booths to more intimate tables and shoulder-to-shoulder bar stools.
There is also a private dining room, known as Mrs Morris, that offers an intimate dining experience for up to 20 guests with a dedicated chef for the duration.
As far as the menu is concerned, Meredith and head chef Fabio Bernardini (also formerly of Meredith’s) are devoted to using local, ethical, sustainable and seasonal produce to create “a modern Pacific and New Zealand experience”. From dishes like an entree of tangy “salt and vinegar” oyster mushrooms to a flavourful, chilled clam aguachile with avocado and slivers of green strawberry, the offering is unique, yet not fussy. With culinary inspiration imparted from all over the globe, and both Meredith and Bernardini infusing their own heritage and cultural backgrounds into the menu, the kitchen’s open fire grill imparts a deep flavour and intensity to the dishes.
The beverage selection is suitably considered to complement such a thoughtful offering, with a concise, seasonal cocktail list, local craft beers, artisanal vermouths and a range of homemade non-alcoholic alternatives joining the comprehensive wine list. Showcasing 160 New Zealand wines, alongside those from small batch vineyards around the world, the focus is on organic and low-intervention wine making. Those after a high-end pour will also be pleased to find Champange Taittinger Les Folies de la Marquetterie by the glass.
Despite such a challenging year, it’s fortifying to see the calibre of eateries joining Auckland’s culinary offering, and we have no doubt Mr Morris should be at the top of your to-visit list.
Tuesday – Saturday – Lunch: 11:30 am – 2:30 pm & Dinner: 5:30 pm – Late
Sunday – Long lunch: 12 – 3:30pm
Monday – closed
Excelsior Building, Cnr Galway & Commerce Street,