A Meal Out…The Nor’Wester Cafe
Yesterday we decided we just needed to get out of town for a bit more for the kids and the dogs who had been somewhat neglected over the last few days. We headed north of Christchurch to Amberley, where we intended to do some grocery shopping as well, and as we had heard rave reviews of The Nor’Wester, we decided to pop in for lunch.
The place is a very nice setup, almost lost from the road as an eatery with a beautiful outdoor eating area and a nice comfortable rustic interior.The staff were very nice and helpful which is always appreciated when you have children and toddlers.
The menus are quite extensive, and the pricing indication, for so far out of town, hinted that the food was of quality. We had seen a couple of meals come out for other diners, and I had based my decision on seeing these;
For me – Beef Burger and fries, and a Monteiths Pilsner (x2) on tap
Katie – same as above with a Terrace Edge 09 Pinot Gris (the only wine available by the glass)
Deanna – Waffles and a pineapple juice
Renee – egg on toast with a sausage and a pineapple juice – note, we actually asked for cranberry juices, a fact the girl picked up and offered refund for
It was quite busy in the cafe but we didn’t have to wait too long for the food, and I have to admit, at least three of the meals were impressive looking. Deanna’s was the exception – the waffles were small, and the bacon, if you could call it that, was barely a mouthful for her, and cooked to a crisp. It actually looked like a dog treat!
Renee’s egg was nice but as a meal for a toddler sitting in a high chair, the plate was too big to fit on the tray and was permanently askew through the meal.
Our burgers were impressive looking, a massive burger bun with a meat pattie the likes I have never seen since the days of Jimmy Rockets in Customs St, Auckland. The fires, served in a smallish bowl to the side of the plate were good sized steak fries, and after eating one, it set a high standard for the rest of the meal. The plate was a long oblong type, completely wrong for the meal, as you couldn’t spin the plate to cut at angles, and your arm was forever dipping into your food.
We had turned down the chance to eat at one of our favourites, Pukeko Junction on the way for something different, and while the ambiance and place and staff were fantastic, it was very much a loss opportunity. However, in being fair, it is the only time I have been there and may have gotten a bad day (not that it should matter in this industry) and figuring the recent events. I would normally consider going to a place again based on it’s recommendations, but I would be hard pressed to bearing in mind the number of other fine establishments in North Canterbury and CHCH.
Staff: 4 out of 5
Value: 2 out of 5
Overall Score: 3 out of 5
95 Main North Road
Amberley +643 314 9411