This is one restaurant you MUST check out. If you had visited the pervious establishment before Morell took over; you will seriously gasp when you walk in. Shops have been knocked down to accommodate this new larger and Impossibly sexy décor, think The Great Gatsby with Emerald velvet booth seats, white marble bar and benches with accents of gold upon a monochromatic colour scheme. Yummy! We sat outside, with views of the roundabouts hustle and bustle in this popular little pocket of Remuera.
This sophisticated looking establishment not only stops at the décor, staff have a smart uniform and the food presentation is flawless - its almost a shame to eat it, almost.
As a vegetarian I was overwhelmed with the fabulous options available. I highly recommend the mozzarella and tomato starter, bread and dips, eggplant and the gnocchi dish - it became abundantly clear the talented chef Daniel is more than your average chef - each plate seriously sang in my palette, the years of experience as a top chef in NZ and Australia has paid off. It is clear that a lot of thought has gone into each dish; the sauces combined with the perfectly executed food on each dish was divine and I am looking forward to going back and trying out the risotto.
Our waitperson was delightful, who didn't put a foot wrong and whose service was matched by the food. You could tell he genuienly enjoyed working there which attributed to the great ambiance. I noticed all of the attentive wait staff danced that fine dance of being there when you needed them and disaperaing into the background.
So, without hesitation I give this gem of a find a 10/10
There are so many delicious options on Dan's menu, I don't even know where to start. All the mains are a gustatory exploration, with an artistic beauty in each's presentation. In terms of flavor, I'd like to focus on the "non-mains" that really impressed my tongue.
(1) The "burnt butter" that came with the bread. It was more caramelized, and so tasty you'll want to clean the butter ramekin with your fingers!
(2) The amazing crayfish ravioli. Mudbugs are tricky to work with, and huge kudos to Dan - one of the best balancing acts with their flavor I've ever tasted.
(3) The sago dessert. Where do I even start? The heartnote of coconut? Those freeze-dried raspberries that flirt in and out of the flavor profile? Them crunchy scrumptious bites of thick homemade brandysnap? I just can't decide. What I do know is that I've been hallucinating its flavor on my tongue the past week. It haunts me and I crave it daily.
Morell has become one of our favorite eating spots in Auckland. It's the ONLY location for which I'll drive down from the North Shore. Keep up the good work, and I can't wait to see what other Morell morsels you have in store for us...