26 Jun Hercules Morse, South Melbourne
Open 7 days for lunch and dinner, and brunch on the weekend, Hercules Morse offers a seasonal menu that’s mainly designed around share plates and bar snacks. Being a bar, it’s unsurprising that it has an extensive list of drinks and cocktails, and these also come with rather amusing descriptions on the menu. The long and narrow space consists of high seats, and tables towards the back. There’s a casual yet intimate feel, accentuated by the low hanging lights, candles on the table and potted plants dotted around the walls.
We decide to share a few snack and graze plates and started with what has been nicknamed ‘bacorn’, where strips of sweet corn are fried then dusted with smokey bacon salt. Sweet and salty, crunchy and juicy, these were rather addictive.
The cauliflower and cheese balls were quite…cheesey. Rosemary was accentuated by its inclusion within the ball as well as sprinkled on top. The dijon mayo made for a lovely, creamy accompaniment.
Juicy and packed with flavour, the crispy chicken ribs were a delight to eat, and the tomatillo and jalapeno salsa provided a refreshing, punchy kick.
Compared to the other dishes the slow braised beef cheek cigars faded a little. The beef was cooked nicely, but it lacked the punch and excitement that the other dishes had.
Our final dish was the crispy-skinned snapper with prawn brandade, buttered asparagus and prawn essence. The snapper was cooked well, and although it was a little difficult to divide such long, tangled strips amongst ourselves, the asparagus was tender and seasoned nicely. The snapper was a tad salty and perhaps not completely crispy skinned, but there was such a beautifully rich aroma and flavour from the prawn essence that it was forgiven.
There was much angst when we were trying to deliberate between the deconstructed apple pie and the sticky date gingerbread pudding. Having both was an option we seriously considered, but in the end we settled on having just one. We found the concept of cheddar in the crumble to be quite an interesting one and to our surprise it worked well. This dessert went down a treat.
Knowledgeable and attentive staff made the night even more enjoyable. Whether you’re after a local drinking hole or a bite to eat, Hercules Morse has got you covered.
Hercules Morse Kitchen + Bar
283 Clarendon Street
South Melbourne, VIC, 3205
(03) 9690 9402