I think it’s time I reveal the restaurant that has been my favourite restaurant in Canberra for the past four years. I was going to say it is the hidden secret of Canberra, but then discovered it was the number 1 rated restaurant in Canberra on Trip Advisor.com.au. So I guess it’s not as unknown as I first thought!
Morks is a family-run Thai restaurant located in Florey and the hospitality is always warm and welcoming. It’s the restaurant I always think of when there’s a special occasion to celebrate or interstate visitors to entertain. I recommended Morks to my family when they visited me for a weekend. We went there on the first night and they loved it so much, they immediately booked again to come back the following night!
The menu selection is quite limited, but the trade off is you get high quality inventive dishes, which you know have been given that extra amount of care and precision.
The braised pork belly is hands down my favourite dish as it is consistently wonderful and I am always wowed by the sophisticated presentation. The pork belly with English spinach is constructed magnificently and infused with all the sweet and salty flavours of the delicious five spice pork reduction. The boiled quail egg provides a perfect textural point of difference. The fried rice is laced with basil and chilli flavours, but I would have been more than happy with plain white rice to go with that mouthwatering reduction.
The red duck curry comes a close second. The crisp duck maryland rests beautifully on the crunchy rice cakes soaking in the lovely red curry sauce, and the dish is topped off with fried basil leaves. Lychees and tomatoes provide a burst of fruity flavour. Sometimes, however, the duck meat can be a little dry.
The beef mussamun curry is the best I’ve ever had. The beef is achingly tender and the roti is perfect for mopping up the delicious sauce. It is a very rich and satisfying dish so the mesclun salad is a well-considered accompaniment.
The lamb cutlets did not shine as much as the other dishes. The marinated flavours were very subtle and the dipping sauce, unfortunately, was not memorable. Luckily, the traditional sticky rice was perfect – I really enjoyed the springy texture of each grain.
At the end of the meal, Morks provided a complimentary lychee sorbet palate cleanser, which was refreshing and delightful.
Don’t be misled by its suburban location, the Thai flavours are presented elegantly with modern styling. It’s contemporary dining at a reasonable price.
Food Avenue rating: 9.5/10