95@ Morgenster comes highly respected, and for good reason: it’s a sister restaurant to the well-established 95 on Keerom, owned and run by Italian stalwart Giorgio Nava. Here, the tried-and-tested Mediterranean fare is served in an idyllic setting on the Morgenster olive farm and, as such, each of the estate’s famous olive oils feature heavily in nearly every dish. It’s a match made in Italian food heaven.
As people familiar with Nava’s food will know, you really can’t go wrong with any of the dishes available. Following suit from the other 95 establishments, the menu features classics like the avocado and blue cheese salad, grilled tuna steak and freshly made pasta dishes. At the Morgenster outpost, however, they have a blackboard featuring the day’s specials, which are hard to overlook. Choosing from the board, we split a burrata caponata – a simple, tomato-based caponata with pine nuts, aubergines, olives and peppers is served alongside a perfect ball of burrata. If you needed to sum up summer in a dish, this would be it, as the creamy mozzarella offsets the virtuous freshness of the caponata perfectly.
Moving on to mains, the tagliatella frutti di mare (another daily special) features homemade pasta, a delicate tomato sauce and an abundance of seafood. While the pasta and tomato are faultless, some of the mussels and prawns weren’t the freshest I’ve ever tasted and sadly the overall dish didn’t quite deliver as a result. The accompanying slow-cooked lamb ravioli again features a stellar pasta and sage brown butter sauce, yet the enclosed meat was a little dry and lacking in flavour.
Desserts save the day, with options that include tiramisu, an Italian play on Eton Mess and seasonal home-made gelatos. Those who know this group, however, will also know that the best dessert is the iconic chocolate fondant that arrives perfectly baked as a delicate sponge layer that encapsulates a molten chocolate river. Order a scoop of vanilla gelato on the side and you’ve got yourself a winning combination.
As to be expected on a wine-producing estate, the somewhat lowkey Morgenster wines are the only ones on offer here. They are easy-drinking and start at reasonable prices. If you’re looking for a splash-out treat, the estate also has some rare blends available.
The staff here are hyper-efficient and ever-present, so you don’t have to look far for someone to top up a wine glass or help you decide what to eat.
This 95 is not very different from the rest – it’s simply designed with clean, wooden lines and simple décor. It also doesn’t hurt that you have a panoramic view of the Morgenster estate, complete with a pond.
The olive oils really are quite outstanding here, so take the time to taste them properly and perhaps even take a bottle or two home with you.
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