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{NOTE: Morks change their menu seasonally, so what I have eaten below may not be on your menu – but it’s Morks, so you’re guaranteed something delicious!}

Originally opened in 2008, Morks is named after Mork Ratanakosol – the head chef – and is run with the assistance of his brother Benn. They mastered the art of restaurant management and cooking from their parents, who operated the Sukothai Restaurant in Yarralumla for 19 years.

Before Morks moved to Kingston Foreshore it was a somewhat mythical institution for me. Located out in Belconnen – aka “too far from my house in Tuggeranong” – I would hear stories and read blogs about an awesome contemporary Thai restaurant that everyone loved.  But I am lazy. And Belconnen is far.

And then Morks moved to Kingston Foreshore. In the spring of 2013, I was travelling around South America and come home to discover they had moved to a more appropriate location for me (because it’s about me, damn it!). I organised my birthday dinner there for mid-December, and since that night I have been back six times – three times in the last week and a half. Yes, I love it. The rumours are true, it is that good.

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Morks is now situated down towards the mouth end of the Kingston Foreshore precinct, where the inlet (causeway? I’m not quite sure what you’d call it, but there’s a bridge with pretty lights) meets Lake Burley Griffin. It’s nestled between C Dine Bar and the forthcoming La Rustica, and has a small outdoor dining area and large open doors that lead in to the main part of the restaurant. The space is decorated simply, but effectively, with lots of red and black accents, and funky lighting. The kitchen is up the back of the restaurant, and there is a small area to the side where you can pay, or pick up take-away (yes, they do take-away).

The vibe at Morks is really relaxed, I’ve seen people come in to dine in their full on cyclist get-up (pleated shoes and all), yet others dress up – it’s a ‘whatever you feel like’ kind of place.

As I’ve dined at Morks a few times, I’ve tried quite a few of the dishes – here are some pictures and thoughts on some of them.

For entrée I usually get the ‘Salad of crispy rice seasoned with red curry paste, grilled cured pork, Thai herbs, roasted coconut, dried hot chilli’.

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This dish is not for the faint hearted, there’s a lot of flavour going on here. I love it. It’s spicy and salty, and the crispy rice is a revelation. The ‘cured pork’ remind me of a ham steak, thick and salty.

Just to change things up, one time I decided to try the ‘Chicken sate sticks, Thai herb bread, red onion and cucumber salad, spicy peanut sauce’.

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This dish is delicious. The chicken is cooked well and marinated in a tasty sate sauce, and the spicy peanut sauce is neither too spicy nor too peanuty and has a pleasant sweetness to it. The herb bread is soft and has a subtle herb taste, perfect for slopping up the remains of the plate (and the peanut sauce).

Another visit we did the tasting menu and the first course was the entree ‘Pan seared scallops and pig ear terrine with a delicately balanced relish of coriander root, garlic, chilli and lemon juice served with grilled spring onion’.

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I’m not a massive seafood fan, but I found this dish quite tasty. The scallops were cooked perfectly, with the flavourful relish sandwiched between it and the pig ear terrine. The terrine itself is an interesting texture, soft yet chewy.

The first time I went to Morks I had to have the ‘Braised pork belly with crackling, English spinach, boiled quail eggs served with five spice pork reduction, chilli and garlic relish and rice fried with basil and chilli’ for the main course.

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Put simply, this dish is awesome. The spinach is almost weaved through the slice of pork belly, which is cooked nicely (with hardly any fat!). The quail egg is usually well cooked, no googy eggs here, and the rice is plain but has a good flavour and compliments the dish nicely.

My favourite dish at Morks is probably the’ Duck maryland, slow cooked in spices then fried, red curry sauce, lychee and tomatoes, crispy rice cakes, crisped basil leaves’.

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Something about this dish speaks to me; it has a lot of things I like. The duck is beautifully cooked, the red curry sauce is flavoursome, the crispy rice is a great texture change and the tomatoes and lychees in the sauce just top off a perfect dish. It’s oh so delicious, and oh so well prepared.

Last night I had the ‘Char grilled chicken, traditional style marinade, with ginger and fermented bean relish, master stock poached daikon, jasmine rice scented with ginger and garlic’.

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Wow. This dish is bursting with flavour! The chicken is well cooked, and the rice is tasty – but the star of the meal is definitely the marinade and relish. Holy moly, so good! It’s spicy (probably not recommended if you can’t handle chilli) and the ginger flavour comes through nicely. The piece of daikon is placed on top, and gives a nice balance to the strong flavours of the chicken.

I’ve also tried the ‘Pork ribs with caramelised sweet and sour soy glaze with round beans and mustard leaves, served with jasmine rice’.

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Boys, don’t get this dish if you’re expecting a giant plate of ribs. This is not Smoque. What you do get, if you order these ribs, is a few pieces of small pork rib covered in a delicious glaze, served on yummy greens – the flavours in this dish are more subtle than the chicken but they are divine.

And then on to dessert. The dessert menu at Morks seems to revolve around a few popular dishes and then the odd special one. The most popular dish, and one that’s always on the menu, is definitely the ‘Egg in hay – coconut ice-cream surrounded by toasted coconut, condensed milk, topped with saffron floss and roti”.

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The dish looks weird as hell, but it tastes amazing. The coconut ice-cream is made from pure coconut cream and made on the premises. The toasted coconut gives a crunchy texture and the condensed milk produces sweetness. The floss is fun and the roti is flaky and delicious. It’s a truly unique dessert for Canberra (at least, it’s the only place I’ve seen it).

I’ve also tried one of the special desserts, a trifle like structure presented in a glass, containing lime curd, honeycomb in cream, raspberries, strawberries and passionfruit coulis.

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This was the greatest thing I’ve ever eaten. It’s pretty much all of my favourite dessert flavours in one glass! The curd was tangy and the cream was sweet, the strawberries down the bottom were a surprise and it all just popped together beautifully. I may have kept eating after  I should have stopped, because it was so good, but in the end I made myself sick. Ruh roh. Worth it.

The staff at Morks are lovely – always friendly and helpful. They are efficient and knowledgeable, but best of all you feel like they love their jobs and are happy to be there – it’s amazing how much better a dining experience becomes when you get service like you do at Morks. My personal favourite staff member is Luke, who has served me a few times and is always so happy and helpful – we’re Instagram friends now.

I think what I like most about Morks (apart from the awesome food) is their utter lack of pretentiousness. Some restaurants believe it’s the diner’s privilege to eat their food, but the team at Morks are always genuinely grateful that you’ve chosen to dine there. Benn, who manages the restaurant, is always on the floor speaking to diners about their meal – I’ve received a few special things from him, but I get the impression it’s not because of my internet presence, I’m pretty sure he’s a generous to all his customers in one way or another. There are quite a few reasons I keep going back to Morks, and the staff are one of those reasons.

And there you have it – a gushing review, four months in the making. I really do love this place, and everyone I’ve ever dragged along with me has loved it too. But now Morks and I need a break. I think the staff are sick of the sight of me…

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Morks on Urbanspoon

2 thoughts on “Morks

  1. Pingback: Morks Restaurant, Kingston Foreshore | Mouthless Mutters

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