In Short: Morning Glory bills itself as a new perspective on daytime dining, and I have to agree. This diner brings together elements that make for an exciting experience, not just ‘another’ cafe. South Asian flavours run through the menu. Great coffee is a given. My tip for those of you who can handle a bit of heat is to try the cauliflower upma.
If ever the saying “you eat with your eyes” rang true, it was when I came across Morning Glory on their Instagram feed. Beautifully presented photos, with exquisite lighting and clean, enticing aesthetic really drew me in. So after a morning at The National Museum Australia we headed just around the corner to Morning Glory for a well-earned lunch. Morning Glory sits in the space formerly occupied by A Baker. It’s split into two sections for diners and the dining areas are bathed by light. Dark wood, mixed in polished concrete tables, and glass panels allow the light to bounce around yet keep it moody and intimate in spots.
The menu was littered with fascinating sounding dishes with a real pan Asian influence. From an Upma, to Bó Kho Cassarecce and Terung Burger, Morning Glory really does push the envelope with not often seen items on a Canberra cafe menu.
For coffee lovers, Morning Glory delights as well. I tried a flat white with rich caramel flavours and a tangy citrus finish. It was gentle on the acidity front and I loved how smooth each sip was, and with the right temperature it disappeared all too quickly.
As the days warm up in Canberra (it does take a while here!) an Ice Long Black is definitely just the elixir to provide a dose of caffeine with a refreshing twist. The coffee was robust in flavour and absolutely refreshing in the warmer spring weather. There was a hint of fruity flavours with burnt sweet caramel flavour that was perfect for a ice coffee drink.
So you want to know all about that cauliflower upma, then? You are in luck as I ordered this intriguing sounding dish. I was initially drawn to the paratha in the menu notes; it pointed to the south Indian heritage of the dish. I loved the aromas of fried curry leaves. The cauliflower was coated in spices including mustard seeds and was sensational. Cut up fried dried chillis had that roasted flavour followed by the fireworks of heat. A perfectly fried sunny side up egg is another layer of flavour. I used the neatly cut triangles of paratha to scoop up a little bit of the egg and cauliflower. It’s original, inventive, and memorable.
Morning Glory’s bo kho casarecce is a hidden gem. The description says that its beef stew with basil pangrattato, but its definitely not traditional. Firstly, there is a delicious al dente pasta mixed with the delicious shredded beef stew. The pasta seems to have soaked up all the flavours of the stew sauce, transforming it from a plain pasta to one that is just bursting with rich, robust, meaty flavours. Pangrattato is Italian for bread crumbs, and the crunchy seasoned breadcrumb is sprinkled on top of the pasta dish. Shreds of garlic together alongside fried basil leaves are also tossed in with the dish giving it a more herbaceous flavour. I think the best part of the dish is actually the small pool of left over sauce that sits like liquid gold at the bottom of the bowl, which I quickly, and happily, mopped up with Sammi’s left over toast.
For our little Coco Viner Sammi we ordered eggs your way with char siu bacon. Chunky slices of char siu bacon was initially sweet, then the familiar smoky, cured flavour came through. Just cooked through scrambled eggs had that silky, shiny almost runny texture that’s the hallmark of perfect scrambled eggs, sitting atop sourdough toast. While it’s a more traditional breakfast item, the execution, nevertheless, is spot on.
I can only imagine that if Morning Glory were in Sydney, it would be one of the hottest seats in town. I love how they have thrown out the mould and challenged the palate with a fusion approach to the dining experience. If you are stopping into Canberra, or you’re a resident, definitely elevate Morning Glory to the top of the list.