Listers, if you think of mussels purely as a summery seafood dish, you clearly haven’t experienced Dr Morse’s epic mussel night. That’s right, Thursday nights at the iconic Abbotsford bar and restaurant are dedicated to mussels, glorious mussels—just the ticket to warm your belly this winter. While there are other dishes on offer at Dr Morse for non seafood lovers (seriously?!), those slippery little shellfish really are the star attraction.
If you’re a clever clam, you’ll mussel in on the Thursday night action, where you’ll find fresher-than-fresh Spring Bay mussels, served three ways. With the choice of leek and herb, tomato and chilli, and our favourite, potato and bacon, each soul-warming, mussel-filled broth comes with a stellar recommendation for a matched beer. Currently, froffies from Three Ravens and Moondog Brewery are the flavour of the month, with matched beers changing regularly.
While you might not automatically think ‘beer garden’ when you think of winter, Dr Morse’s famous outdoor area was comfy and cosy when we hit up their recent mussel night. I don’t know if it was all the giant heaters or the delicious mussel broth, but either way, we were toasty warm. We were drawn to the fire that was going in the barbecue that’s reserved for Sunday spits, but we hear on the grape vine that a new barbecue is being installed in the coming months—stay tuned.
When we’re not here to munch on mussels, we’re sampling Dr Morse’s awesome beer selection, something the good folk at Dr Morse are seriously passionate about. Not only is there a range of much loved regulars as well as craft beers on tap, the offering is rotated monthly to keep the locals guessing (and returning).
And if it’s not yet beer o’clock, Dr Morse’s coffee is where it’s at. As the only cafe in Melbourne to serve ONA Coffee, the owner of which has been crowned the glittering title of World Barista Champion, you can be confident you’ll be served a top-notch hit of caffeine. Breakfasts aren’t set in stone and you’re welcome to make tweaks to listed dishes (how refreshing), but we think we’ll take the Bloody Mary as it comes—fresh juice, deep fried jalapenos, cocktail onions, baby tomatoes and a load of other veggies.
If you’re there a bit early or if it’s not mussel night there are plenty of other delicious options. You’re welcome to sit inside, snug away from the bustle of Johnston Street to devour other tasty dishes from the menu, which changes seasonally and is designed for sharing. And if you missed mussel night at Dr Morse, don’t despair. There is an everyday mussel dish—mussels with chilli, saffron and chorizo crumble—that is well worth a look in! But for the true mussel fiends or just those after a quality weekly special, you’d be crazy to skip out on mussel night at Dr Morse.
Dr Morse, Abbotsford | Every Thursday, 6pm
and 8pm sittings
$20 pp for mussels, booking recommended
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Image credits: Michelle Jarni for The Urban List