Dining / Long nights bring forth Morning Glory

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The popular dairy and gluten-free “Xiu Mai”… chicken and veal meatballs sat in a super-rich and tasty tomato sugo, with chunks of tofu. Photo by Wendy Johnson

THERE’S new action in New Acton. XO in Narrabundah now has a baby sister in the area, Morning Glory.

It’s a special place and the food is inspiring. Your heart pitter patters at the thought that Morning Glory is the result of a “distant dream and countless long nights”. Finally, it’s here.

The two establishments are related through their love of honest food and an intense desire to experiment and offer anything but “same old”. XO focuses on longer lunches and dinners. Morning Glory, perky breakfasts and lunches.

Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson.

Where A Baker once lived, Morning Glory has an all-day menu that the team says includes dishes reminiscent of their childhood, such as eggs and soldiers. It also has Vietnamese-inspired dishes and daring dishes such as black sesame waffles (we saw them at the table beside us… OMG!).

The place was pumping and we were lucky to grab a seat and get noticed. Even though the place was packed, the staff didn’t seem phased. Everything under control.

Melt-in-the-mouth… Morning Glory’s miso ocean trout. Photo by Wendy Johnson

We shared the miso ocean trout, which just melted in our mouths.

My tastebuds danced with the dairy and gluten-free “Xiu Mai”, one of the most popular dishes ($18). The chicken and veal meatballs sat in a super-rich and tasty tomato sugo, with chunks of tofu. It was topped off with an egg – all served piping hot in a small, cast-iron frying pan. I soaked up every bit of sauce with fresh bread. I’d pop by anytime for a second round.

The bhò kho casarecce… an adventurous beef stew with basil pangrattato. Photo by Wendy Johnson

My friend was thrilled to discover her choice was equally popular, the bhò kho casarecce (also dairy free and gluten free, $26). It is an adventurous beef stew with basil pangrattato. The fragrant star anise adds mystery to this wonderfully balanced dish.

Lighter dishes include the childhood-inspired eggs and soldiers but ramped up several notches with 62? egg, kaya and wyngaard cheese ($18). Toast comes with Chinese five-spice jam, kaya or yuzu marmalade ($9). Yum.

Heartier dishes include a lamb rump, which sounds so delish. It’s created with fermented red tofu, smoked potato and a spicy combo of herbs that is officially called “morning glory” ($29).

Our only concern was the noise. We get it was crazy busy, but there’s not a lot to absorb the sound it seems and the music almost painfully loud (likely to drown out the noise, but that just makes everyone really raise their voices). Still, we will be back. And we’ll likely dive into that black sesame waffle which comes, by the way, with raspberry and white chocolate ($18).

Morning Glory, NewActon Pavilion, 2/15 Edinburgh Avenue, Acton. Open seven days, 6am-4pm. Call 6257 6464. Nice that there was no surcharge for a Sunday.

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Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson: Food reviewer for Canberra CityNews magazine since 2004, covering stories for true foodies to digest.

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