Our driver arrived on time and we were shown to our table. Unfortunately I didn't like the location of our table as it was right by the main entrance to the restaurant so it felt a little in the way and there was a draught. I almost asked for another table but it was just about bearable so kept quiet. Plus after we were seated, service was frantic and it was hard to catch sight of a passing staff member.
It took a while for menus and drinks to be taken care of and we immediately felt that too many of the staff were new or were casual staff called to assist during the holiday weekend as there didn't appear to be anyone in charge or that knew what they were doing. Later discussions over the rest of the weekend with some Rutherglen locals confirmed this to be true. There was one lady in charge but early on during our arrival she was waylaid with other things and only became visible towards the end of our meal.
There were times wait staff brought out dishes to the wrong table or weren't able to recommend dishes or advise. When this happens its not really relaxing as I don't feel looked after so on this front we expected more and were disappointed.
We started off with some whipped goats cheese with breadsticks and this took a long time to arrive and it was offered to the table next to us who had already eaten their order of it causing confusion. Finally it made its way to our table. It's not a dish that needs cooking really and its more about sourcing the right produce. The cheese was ok but I didn't find it flavoursome enough. It lacked creaminess, saltiness and sweetness and was too bland. Shame as there are some amazing goats cheeses around and a better job at sourcing them would have been well received.
Both dishes were decent. They weren't remarkable but the true flavours of the produce came through and the favour combinations were classic and enjoyable. I think with the duck I can cook to the same standard at least so that took it down a notch. It would have shown more culinary skill or at least impressed me more if the leg had been done roasted and the breast done so that it was still pink whereas in this case the whold half duck was roasted. It still tasted good but like I say, I can do that!
We enjoyed some side dishes, roast potatoes and a salad if I recall correctly and were full enough that we declined dessert. Also the fact that we hadn't been blown away by our meal meant that we weren't curious enough to try anything.
In summary, it was a nice enough meal but this place wouldn't be good enough in Melbourne. There's much less competition in Rutherglen so it can afford to be a bit hit and miss although we struggled to find the hits and it was more along the lines of acceptable.