Morks on Kingston Foreshore gets lots of traffic and lots of good raps with its upmarket take on Thai, but I’m not convinced it fully deserves all the praise. We’ve been there a few times now and there’s certainly some good food to be had, but a couple of issues need sorting.
I love the concept of shared foods to sample little bits of this and that and we’ve had some excellent dishes and flavours in the past. However, the last visit was a disappointment. and will have us spreading our Kingston Foreshore tasting wings further. The octopus salad was a low point – incredibly acidic. Maybe the chef got the vinaigrette or marinade mix wrong that night with an accidental slip, but despite looking great and being tender, it was barely palatable. The wontons in a broth were quite nice but unremarkable.
The big downfall for me was the lack of vegetable choices, and that’s coming from a fairly carnivorous diner. The lamb cutlets were good, really good – well marinated with extra chilli dipping sauce on the side if required, generous serving, beautifully cooked. But the accompanying three unadorned cos lettuce leaves was a sad accompaniment. Four cutlets divided by three lettuce leaves – do the maths. Devouring lamb cutlets is one of my greatest pleasures, but this is not Argentina where a cow on a plate is considered a dish, and the ‘meal’ was unbalanced.
So order a side of beans or other greens, I hear you say (and I thought). And I’d have been happy to do that, maybe even a salad, to cut through all that glorious lamb, but the only vegetative choice was another green-based main (at $28). Who wants another main with their main? This very limited choice of accompaniments will actually prevent us from going back. I enquired about the green part of a number of meal choices (street chicken or duck curry), and the response was the same – you basically just get the meat. We added a side of jasmine rice (lovely) but not much chlorophyll in that.
Vegetarians would have a struggle – at least with the current menu – with just one choice in the mains – snow peas, basil and an egg – albeit a special 64 degree egg. If you love curry, you’ll be well catered for with four out of eights mains being a curry; not so good if you don’t.
Service is generally swift and attentive, though if you want a glass of wine, order quickly while you have the list in hand or you won’t see that drink for quite a while. Morks is not about cheap Asian dining (or wine for that matter) – prices reflect its forays into the upper end of town, with mains around $28 and wine around $12 – $16 a glass. The decor is modern and appealing, it’s a nice setting on the water with a breeze, and a well-oiled machine has been developed to cope with the crowds. But it needs some tweaks and some adjustments to the menu to include some vegie sides and choices, and don’t think you’ll be able to score a table at 7 or 7.30pm when it’s busy – that doesn’t work with their two-session dining model.