Walrus is what it is.
It’s the venue you’re going to hit on a Friday or Saturday night for drinks and dancing, and a big flirt with the cutie sitting near the bar. Where the drinks are sweet and boozy, the happy hours plentiful, and the food is perfect for that pre/mid/post dance refuel. It’s about meeting the guys or girls before you stay out til 5am and wander home as the sun comes up.
So it might not be the first place you’d expect me to review. I am, for the most part, a little old and fussy for the Friday night lash, and too married for smooching with someone I fancy on the dance floor (unless it’s the husband and getting him on the dance floor takes a fair amount of persuasion of the liquid kind in itself).
That said, I do love a night where I can dance my hair wet, and dry again, and walking through the streets barefoot because my feet are killing me and just the thought of putting my heels back on makes my feet ache and my ankles swell. Just nowhere near as often as I used to. I swear I seem to have less spending money now than I did in my teens and twenties.
So it’s been a little while since my last visit to Walrus. I can remember the last visit rather well – rum cocktails and giggles with the girls until late – and a pretty impressive head the next morning. What’s changed?
Drinks wise, things are still cocktail heavy – and filled with nostalgia. From the alcoholic flavours of Um Bongo, to those of Hubba Bubba, the drinks in general are short and sweet or tall and fruity. We sampled the Raspberry and Elderflower Collins with Gordon’s Gin, elderflower, raspberries, lemon and sugar, and the Manchester Bramble, with Gordon’s Gin, lemon, sugar and Vimto.
Food wise, we loved the nibbles.
Mac and cheese balls with a tomato dip – yes please, I’ll have a bowlful. Soft pasta, creamy cheese, crisp fried. Meatballs in a tomato sauce, topped with cheese, again yes please, lots of those. Pork and chorizo, chunky, meaty with a sweet tomato sauce and oozy cheese.
The mains, however, did have us sort of wishing we’d opted for the pizza and loaded fries we saw wandering past our booth. My date’s, the BBQ Chicken super sub, was good, but inspired distinct food envy.
Whereas mine, the chicken Kiev burger, sounded awesome and to be fair, had the makings of a great burger. crisp breadcrumbed outer, soft bread bun, lettuce and tomato. I mean picture it, you bit into soft bread, crunchy breadcrumbs and then a hit of garlicky butter that oozes into the bread and down your chin and you don’t really care.
And it was so close. But it was a little overdone and the chicken was chewy. Guys, please, take this to the next level and don’t cook it quite so long. I have a need for this to work. I consoled myself with our final cocktail before we dashed off into the night – a Watermelon Fizz – Ketel One Vodka, Aperol, lemon and watermelon topped off with a little fizz.
Overall, sure, it’s not high class dining – but it’s not meant to be. And if they can fix that chicken Kiev burger, I’ll be back even faster. Save me some mac n cheese balls.
This meal and accompanying drinks were supplied for free by Walrus. As ever, this doesn’t guarantee a positive review (if anything, I tend to be a harsher critic).