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At the time of writing, there was no snake oil available over the bar at Melbourne’s premier convalescent centre for the hungry and thirsty. In all honesty, however, this normally unconscionable misstep was easily assuaged by a virtue of the very good oil being brewed to perfection by Dr Morse’s team of skilled baristas, the huge range of microscopically brewed beers ready for injection, and the enviable menus of more solid nutrition that cover all sides of the regulation three square meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and breakfast. Triangulate Dr Morse’s culinary approach to healthcare along the Abbotsford stretch of Johnston Street, just a short hobble from the Victoria Park tram stop, but be sure to book an appointment in advance.
If you could pick a day for an attack of fainting spells and the inevitable prescription of some rest and sea air, make it a Thursday, and make your sanitorium of choice Melbourne’s Dr Morse. The hallowed day-before-Friday sees this Abbotsford institution’s cosy quarters down Johnston Street hosting an evening of Mo Mussels Mo Broth, at which patients are invited to stop getting all hypochondriac about mercury poisoning and detox with fresh Spring Bay molluscs soused to death in a variety of delicious broths that one could never believe, upon smelling and tasting, were anathema to underwater life. Accompanied by a range of guest beers, gently rotating centrifuge-style between some of Australia’s best microbreweries, these are two weekly, hoppy, seafoody sittings (6 and 8pm) that you don’t want to miss out on. No matter the day of the week, if you simply need some of what Dr Morse likes to call blood purification, drop by to sample a drip feed of edifying wines, cocktails in sway to the seasons, or a catalysing, two-phase infusion consisting of a fine whisky matched to a pot of beer (just ask your friendly bar nurse).
Dr Morse’s daily business runs the gamut of anti-starvation therapies, from a breakfast of mixed bean and lentil chilli non carne jaffle, to a lunchtime spent with Dr Morse’s dog (Polish sausage, sauerkraut, pickles and Gruyere), and a dinner that opens out into territory ideal for sharing with your fellow in-patients. We’re talking bites of spicy duck wings with sriracha honey and black vinegar (a traditional Indochinese remedy), charred corn cakes with chimichurri; heftier platters of fried sheep cheese with pickles, beets, and capers, roasted parsnip and Jerusalem artichokes with spiced dates and shanklish, seared scallops, rainbow trout, lamb’s necks, beef’s cheeks, and pork’s hocks; attentive side dishes ready to hand, and a triumvirate of palliative desserts such as gingerbread with caramelised pears, butterscotch and ice cream, chocolate chestnut cake with Nutella parfait and sour cherries, and a coconut rice pudding with roasted apple and spiced crumble. Really, if this treatment plan doesn’t sort you out (it’s clearly one of Melbourne’s most refined but relaxed, cutting-edge but delivered casually), then you’re likely a lost cause. That said, if symptoms persist, we can suggest a repeat booking.