We have our favorites but one particular night the Wife insisted we try something new and the first thing I usually do is to go on Urbanspoon; to see if anything new had popped up or something good that we have missed. We had never come across Hercules Morse and a little search confirmed that it had just opened late last year. Reading the website and looking at the place, the concept is more of a bar that serves more refined cuisine in the form of tapas. The menu is compressed and at first glance, looks a little bare but more than plenty to choose from for the two of us, especially since it was our first visit.
The place had a little crowd seated at the front and outside, enjoying the sun (this is a while back) and having a little drink. Walk in and get a seat at the end of the restaurant and it is a little quieter.
I can't say no to crackling but maybe on this occasion I should have said no because this portion was an overkill when the Wife decided she would only took 2 or 3 pieces. That said, it was beautiful and it was toned down nicely with the apple sauce. Perfect paired with beer and shared between a few people.
The cauliflower and cheese balls were beautiful, crisp on the outside, gooey on the inside and perfect with that mayo.
The Morse Chip Butty is perfect for those who need carbs to soak up the alcohol; duck roasted potatoes in a buttered roll. It was carbs on carbs and on second thought we wondered why we ordered something so rich like that when all I had was a beer. The potatoes were delicious although a piece or two probably spent a little too long in the oven.
The beef cheeks cigar was pretty good and paired with a pretty mean salsa verde to cut through the rich meat that you can see has undergone a deep fried moment (similar to the rest of the dishes we had).
We decided to go for a non fried dish and landed the calamari with lentils. The calamari was succulent from the minimal cooking and while the lentils looks unappetising from the colour, it was tasty and paired pretty well with the seafood.
All in all a pretty good meal but with all good meals, it has to end with dessert.
Reading "salted peanut brittle parfait" and I was sold and was rewarded with a smooth "ice cream" with punches of peanut throughout. Hmm and yum yum.
Address and contact details:
Verdict: 4 stars out of 5 stars. A great addition to South Melbourne, casual tapas dining, with or without alcohol.