A look into Michael Meredith’s latest cuisine venture, Mr Morris
Mr Morris is the latest venture of our long-standing partner Michael Meredith. Located in one of Auckland’s oldest building’s in Britomart, it is adorned in creativity both inside and out.
Inspired by his Polynesian roots and the relaxed manner we now choose to dine in, the space inside is exceptionally welcoming. From the soft hues of the cushions and the light oak wood, to the bevelled table edges and curved concrete pillars, the dining room is a true oasis from the hustle and bustle of activity outside of its front door. The room is light, airy, green and has an immediate tranquil feel when you enter.
In complete contrast, down a staircase underground, there is Mrs Morris, a dark and moody private dining room featuring velvet curtains and exposed steel beams where guests can enjoy an intimate experience with a private chef service.
Michael, an award-winning chef has worked with Miele for many years. His passion for cooking stems back to his childhood, from preparing for family gatherings to when he started to learn the culinary basics in home economics at school. His passion for creating diverse dishes while keeping it simple really resonates with Miele. He loves how the appliances work seamlessly in his own home, allowing him to perfect his recipes and entertain his guests, while presenting a kitchen with no ‘unobstructed views’.
Now it’s our turn at Miele to take you on a tour of Michael’s incredible new space and tell you the story behind its inspiration.
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind Mr Morris?
I really was trying to create a space that provided all the elements of what this industry should be about; hospitality. We seem to dine out more often and more casually and I wanted the space to be both welcoming and comfortable but also represent what hospitality stands for. Going out for dinner has to be worth it in my opinion, and I want to create an experience that can’t be created at home, and you leave feeling surprised and excited by the food you enjoyed here.
This is a very old building, and we had to work with the structure in place which I really liked. I personally like the cracks in the concrete and how the old and new fuses, the rough meets the refined. Polynesian and Scandi influences definitely inspired the overall décor. The textures and colours reflect the vibe and energy I want it to represent. For me I love green, it has a tranquil and relaxing energy and we’ve used that throughout with natural plants in and around tables and green paint on the roof. I want this space to feel like it brings people together.
How does Mr Morris differ to your previous restaurant Meredith’s?
Meredith’s was very different to what we’ve now done here at Mr Morris. The aesthetics were darker moodier which created a completely different energy and vibe. Even the location was quite different, the entry was like a secret door, whereas Mr Morris is in the centre of Auckland’s CBD in a very busy area with a very inviting opening to the restaurant.
In terms of cuisine, Meredith’s menu featured small tasting plates which were more ‘technically’ driven in the sense of the techniques used to create the dishes. The menu at Mr Morris however is more led by the ingredients we use, the freshness of these ingredients and the methods we use to cook. For example, we’re cooking over flames for a number of dishes, and what you create is actually dictated by the act of cooking with fire.
Where did the name Mr Morris come from?
The name is in honour of my partner’s uncle who sadly passed away at the start of this new journey.
And why Mrs Morris for the private dining space?
This is named after my partner.
What is your favourite dish on the menu?
My favourite dish to make is the Pani PoPo. I love baking and I really enjoy the process of making (and eating) this.
Why did you decide to use Miele appliances in Mrs Morris?
Mrs Morris is a private dining space which can host from 10 to 25 guests. We offer lots of different types of events here from drinks and canapés to a private dining experience with a dedicated chef and front of house staff. For guests to enjoy their experience here we needed product which worked well in a relatively small space.
Miele’s products work extremely well in terms of the aesthetics of this space. I didn’t want heavy-duty industrial equipment on display. I wanted to create a seamless look which Miele appliances achieve. The wine conditioners are very sleek and match the moody, dark décor of the room. And the induction cooktop, in terms of function is incredible, its speed to heat something up is amazing, which is perfect for finishing dishes in front of the guests.
Are there any specific appliances you love to use in your own home?
The Miele Induction Cooktop with the integrated extractor. In our kitchen we have lovely view’s towards the water, and this cooktop means the view is unobstructed. I didn’t want a rangehood invading the cooking space or the view, and this works seamlessly with the overall design and flow of our kitchen.
We know that local and sustainable seasonal produce is very important to your cooking, which suppliers have you chosen to partner with?
Secret Garden in South Auckland supply a lot of the fresh herbs we use.
Leigh Fisheries supply all our fish. Sustainability and quality forms the basis of this fishery.
Our eggs come from Oliff Farms. These are pasture eggs, which means not only are they free to roam, but the land they roam on is rotated regularly. It’s about farming eggs that are both of high quality but have come from a chicken where animal welfare is at the forefront.
I really admire how New Zealand seems to have moved to doing fewer things well and not sacrificing quality to cover all bases. These suppliers are testament to that.
Anything else you would like to share with our audience about Mr Morris?
Outside of our lunch and dinner menu’s we are now running a Sunday lunch option. This is a set menu which consists of snacks, entrees, a main and a dessert, plus a glass of Tattinger champagne. We change the menu weekly and purposely choose dishes not on the menu. It’s a great way for us to focus on different ingredients and incorporate new ideas from the team.
This is all about experiencing a relaxing, long, Sunday lunch with your friends and family, tasting fresh flavours and ingredients. Mr Morris is all about bringing people together and this is what a Sunday Lunch should be all about.
For Valentine’s Day we’re running a special menu. As Valentine’s Day falls on Sunday this year we will have this menu available for both the lunch and dinner services, but we’ll also offer it on Saturday night as well for those wanting to dine a day earlier. The set menu will come with a glass Tattinger Rose and Cray Fish will be part of the menu. We’re also allowing diners to choose to sit in Mr Morris or Mrs Morris at no additional charge. The location can be selected online or over the phone when booking your reservation.
Sunday lunch is available every Sunday (unless another event is being hosted, such as Valentine’s Day), for just $75pp.
On 14th February the Valentine’s Day set menu will be the only option available. Saturday 13th February will feature the normal menu plus the Valentine’s Day set menu as an option for the dinner service.
Mr Morris hosts monthly Charity Dinners which raise money for a chosen charity over that period. The event has a set menu with a recommended price point, however you choose what to pay. 100% of the proceeds go to that charity, and where a gift voucher is purchased for the event Mr Morris top this up with a further 10%. The next event is 22nd February 2021, the selected charity is Starship.