Thursday, September 26, 2013

Morks, Kingston

Slowly but surely Kingston Foreshore is coming to life! Morks Restaurant opened it's doors this week in it's brand new Kingston foreshore address and I was quick to make a reservation to check out the new venue and new menu. 

Morks was a little Canberra institution in it's previous home in Florey, where it had been serving contemporary Thai cuisine for five long years to the northside residents of Canberra. The move to the south side and the swish location of Kingston foreshore means us locals now don't have to wander too far for what has been written as some of the best and fanciest Thai food in town.

It turned out I had picked a pretty good day for some Foreshore dining. A very warm spring day had ended in a warmer than average evening making it perfect weather for some semi-alfresco dining. Although Kingston Foreshore still has a very long way to go before it becomes the bustling waterfront precinct that we all want it to be, an evening like this was a good indicator of the full potential of the area. 

The decor at Morks is modern and sleek. The entrance is dominated by an impressive floor to ceiling wine rack which doubles as a room divider to separate the take away counter from the diners. 

On the far end of the restaurant, a black feature wall acts as a dramatic backdrop for the shadows created by the row of designer light fixtures. 

The bright red wall adjacent to that with the large dragon artwork is also striking in it's contrast and the semi open kitchen adds to the overall bustling ambiance.

The service at Morks was exceptionally friendly and polite from the start to finish and it was easy to see why this family run restaurant has such a loyal following of regulars.

Morks has changed their menu slightly from their Florey days; there is now a 4 course tasting menu for $55 (or $75 with matching wines) or an 8 course tasting menu for $90 (or $125 with matching wines). And of course there is an a la carte and a takeaway menu as well.  

In a very non-typical manner I decided to skip the 4 course tasting menu on this occasion as some of the dishes on the a la carte menu appealed to me more.  

My entree of pan seared king prawns, pork and prawn wontons in ginger and soy emulsion and pork master stock ($16) was a delicious start to the meal. The prawns were plump and juicy and the wontons were perfectly tender. The ginger and soy gave this dish a delicate balance of flavours; a hint more chilli would've suited my palate but this was a fantastic starter nonetheless.

Boyfriend went for the balls of blue swimmer crab and chicken mince on egg noodles seasoned with kacap manis, soy sauce and chilli and garnished with pickled ginger ($16). The flavours here were too subtle for my liking but he enjoyed it, specially due to the pickled ginger. However, he did notice some inconsistencies in the crab to chicken mince ratio between each of the balls but overall the dish got a thumbs up.

My main of duck maryland slow cooked in spices then fried served with red curry sauce, lychee, tomatoes, crispy rice cakes and crisped basil leaves ($26) was seriously good. The duck was ever so slightly dry due to being slow cooked and fried but when combined with the creamy curry sauce it was a forgivable oversight. The lychees and tomatoes balanced out the heat from the curry and the crispy rice cake was all kinds of amazing.

Boyfriend's main of char grilled chicken in traditional style marinade with ginger and fermented bean relish, master stock poached daikon served with jasmine rice scented with ginger and garlic ($26) was another winner. Presented beautifully, the chicken was full of flavour and deliciously tender. 

So the verdict: Morks aims to break away from the traditional norms of Thai cuisine and treat us Canberrans to contemporary Thai food with familiar flavours with modern twists. The entrees were delicate and subtle in flavours while the mains were memorable for all the right reasons. The success of their Florey restaurant is guaranteed to translate across to the Kingston premises and I for one am thrilled to have Morks moved into my neighbourhood. But if the comfort of traditional Thai dishes is what takes your fancy, fear not, as the takeaway menu is entirely different to the dine in menu and well worth a look!

Morks on Urbanspoon


  1. Morks is one of my favourite restaurants in Canberra - it use to three blocks from my house so I am devestated that it has moved to Kingston! The pork belly is amazing and so is there take on mussaman curry.

    1. Well, if you want to make the trip down to Kingston for a Morks fix I'll be happy to join you :)
      I was having a really hard time deciding between the duck and the pork belly. Will definitely have to give the pork belly a go next time!

  2. Hey it's Benn and Ikmal - worlds are colliding!

    1. Haha that's Canberra for you! Friends of yours?