When Anth Daniel (owner of The Aviary and The Vic Bar), Jon Costelloe and Pete Walsh started building Dr Morse, they didn’t really know what it was going to be.
During the demolition phase, they uncovered a colourful, early-1900s mural on the interior wall advertising "Dr Morse's Indian Root Pills". It was left in place and a larger interpretation added to the spacious beer garden out back. The dubious “cure all” gets some cheeky mentions in other places, too.
Executive chef Tyler Preston (ex-Chin Chin, Seven Seeds) was the venue’s first chef. After a brief break to set up Sir Charles, he returned as a fourth partner, bringing his cult panko-crumbed eggs Benedict and sriracha hollandaise dish with him.
It’s a pretty good representation of the menu as a whole: accessible, pan-Asian-inspired and frequently good with a beer.
Beyond breakfast’s corn-and-chilli fritters or banana spring rolls with honeycomb cream, there’s char sui pork sliders; salmon in banana leaf; and crispy duck with pickled papaya and burnt chilli. Preston and head chef, Adam Trengove (ex-Red Spice Road, Burma Lane), make good use of the kitchen’s custom cast-iron coal pit.
This all-day menu, plus the two bars’ broad selection of easy-drinking tap beers, make Dr Morse a popular spot for Sunday sessions. There’s also a tight range of wines and cocktails.
On weekdays, the Jr Morse takeaway window offers a moment of zen for commuters at Victoria Park station, with specialty coffee. There are single-origin iced lattes, cold drip and chai.