Our criteria is good tasty food served reasonably quickly in a comfortable environment. Would be nice to sit outside but not be crammed in a confined space and a view would help the whole relaxing thing.
Steve and I meet near the Southgate Centre and we decide that the restaurants above ground level have a better chance of being emptier so we head that way. Tutto Bene looks full, Scusami looks too upmarket for our post work clobber, La Camera also looks too busy. The Deck looks empty but they turn us away so we try Walter's Wine Bar. We've eaten here before and it's always been decent food but ambience has been a bit flat.
Anyway we're greeted warmly and we have a choice of outdoor seating on the balcony or indoors so we choose outdoors where we enjoy the warmth of the evening. A large table arrives and there are other diners so ambience is buzzy but not overly so. A waiter is friendly, smiley and genuinely charming and we begin to relax.
Steve orders some goat's cheese and crackers for us to nibble on whilst we mulled over the menu.
We enjoy our starters. My spaghetti is al dente which is how I like that so it remains light and not mushy. The seafood consists of flathead fish and plump mussels. It's fresh and tasty and I enjoy the flavours. Steve also enjoys his scallops.
We're feeling relaxed and happy. The bottle of pinot noir and the pretty view helps. Our main courses arrive and Steve enjoys rack of lamb with Meredith goats cheese and roasted veggies and I have the honey and cardamom roast duck with cherries. Both are attractive plates of food. The rack of lamb is cooked pink and the vibrant colours of the vegetables look good. Pink lamb and Meredith goat's cheese - what's there not to like? And yes it's delicious. Lip smackingly good.
The duck is glistening and a lovely caramelly amber colour. I can smell the cardomom and it's like a veil of scent over the duck. It's a generous portion; half a duck with two large fondant potatoes and huge mound of spinach as well as many many cherries. Duck and cherries - what's there not to like? I loved the sweet honey flavour of the duck. The only thing that put me off a little was the cardamom which was a little overpowering. I liked the scent of it but not so much the flavour.
We were fully satiated after that meal and both of us felt that Walter's had well and truly hit the mark and exceeded our expectations of our Friday night dinner. Considering the criteria we had, we were really pleased with Walter's.