While sitting at W.B.C Restaurant with Tim to eat lunch, I sigh about how I feel sad that I can't go back in time and start again, because everything we're eating is so delicious, so much so that I'm sitting there getting petulant for a fairly silly reason.
But let me back up. W.B.C stands for Wholesale Boot Company, a name I confess I have trouble keeping in my head ("Hey, Tim, we should go to that Wellington . . . Boot . . . Shop?") but which does, to be fair, come from the building that the restaurant occupies.
A flight of unpromising stairs off Victoria St gives way to a haven of warmth and loveliness - walls of soft grey and cream, with a central bar and hanging lights wrapped in wire.
The menu is short, but there are also daily specials. Seafood is clearly a specialty, with squid, sardines and a fish of the day appearing on the menu, as well as four different kinds of oysters.
There aren't many vegetarian options, but these are early days for the restaurant. Everything has a slightly fascinating sound - familiar yet new - and I order the duck sausage with lemon watercress and mixed-grain salad, while Tim orders the blackened chicken tenderloins and roasted carrots with tzatziki and pumpkin seeds.
We start, however, with a beer, an excellent Three Boys IPA, and a complimentary bowl of pork scratchings appears, crispy and salty and most welcome.
The duck sausages have an intense meatiness and are wonderful with the grain salad with its incredible salty-sweet, rich dressing. The quinoa and rice in it are a great combination, with the former lightening the latter and the latter giving more heft to the former. The tenderloins are also fantastic: smoky, juicy and crunchy with their spicy crust. The tzatziki offers a cooling contrast. The roasted carrots are sweet and nutty.
Luckily, we have room for a pudding, in this case banana doughnuts with chocolate and caramel sauces.
Two fat, puffy doughnuts appear, tinted with banana flavour but not overpoweringly so, swathed in bittersweet, dark- chocolate sauce and amazing caramel sauce, equally dark with a smoky hint of burnt sugar.
The words, "I just want to eat this forever and ever" might also have been bandied about from our direction.
Where: 1st floor, 107 Victoria St, Wellington, ph 04 499 9379.
When: Monday to Friday, 11am - 10pm, Saturday 4.30pm - 10pm.
How much: $88 for lunch, drinks, a side and dessert for two.
What's to eat: Beautiful, wonderful food, including bruschetta option, an oyster bar, and an excellent dessert range.
What do we think: A fast favourite.
- Sunday Star Times