Margaret River in Western Australia is rightly known for its wine production (low volume, high quality, which is why we don’t see enough of it in Ireland and the UK) and I can attest to how tasty it is thanks to two meals out that I took in the downtown area.
If you are travelling solo, it’s more than difficult to tour around a range of wineries if they are out of town and they don’t have a habit of having in-town ‘cellar doors’. One option that my hotel receptionist suggested was to get a taxi from place to place, or take a tour. To be honest, I didn’t want to be locked into a whole day of moving from place to place as I had only one full day left in Margaret River and I had a lot of exploring to do.
My plan was to try out two different places for lunch and dinner and to ask to do a wine flight or have a taster size of typical Margaret River wines. This worked out fantastically!
To be honest, things didn’t look all that promising at first. It was a Tuesday and town was seriously quiet. I was the first person to appear at the restaurant and the owner, Dave Astbury, was on a phonecall. It didn’t take long for a menu to show up.
And I had a hot moment to take some photos of the interior.
The bar looks particularly inviting. You can imagine the buzz here when it’s busy. Shame it wasn’t on this weekday lunchtime.
Now that’s a wine wall!
The decor makes a lot of use of patterns but because of the dark backgrounds, this isn’t so much jarring as atmospheric.
Okay, so the reason I’m here – a bite and the wine menu!
I started with a glass of the Pinot Gris. This was refreshing and peachy.
The day was so warm, but a light breeze helped lighten the load and – because this part of Australia isn’t humid – it’s not too uncomfortable.
Morries has a tapas menu celebrating local Australian cuisine. I choose (from the left), crispy pork belly with a sesame and soy dressing, a half-portion of the feta, chickpea and iceberg salad and some chicken kara’age, my very favourite Japanese-style fried chicken, with a sriracha aioli.
I had gotten speaking to the owner by now and explained my desire to try Margaret River wines without having to go around all of the vineyards and he was complicit in getting me set up with tasters! These are all small tastes of the house reds.
Each one had a distinct colour and flavour and I found it difficult to choose between the Pinot Noir and the Shiraz – both punchy but with some subtlety.
As the banter was good, the owner kindly invited me to try their croqueta of the day, which would be served that evening, a sauerkraut flavour. This was absolutely stunning – light as a feather.
Thoroughly enjoyed this one! Always nice to have a light lunch and a little wine – this wasn’t so much that it would knock you out for the afternoon – just a little taster to keep the tastebuds vibrant and your full wits about you!
Dave Astbury looking very pleased with himself, surrounded by every imaginable kind of wine and liquor!