It’s a Tuesday night, traditionally slow for Canberra restaurants, but Walter G’s is buzzing.
So pleased I arrived early to meet the team and discover what’s making Walter G’s such a success.
Vlatko’s my host and his pride and pleasure at being part of the energy of Walter G’s is engaging. He and owner Steve spent nearly a year developing the dream to create the freshest and most flavoursome pizzas in Canberra.
What sets Walter G’s apart is their clean eating, fresh approach – a commitment to hand cut, locally and ethically sourced ingredients, prepared from scratch each day.
The pineapple and is fresh and ham is carved from a boneless leg sourced from a local butcher along with the bacon and pepperoni and chorizo sausage.
Clearly, they’ve discovered something their customers love!
The months spent trialling and tasting the menu have paid off. The most popular choices include the Walter’s Supreme and Meat Obsession.
Walter’s Supreme (13 inch) $23 with a tomato base, free range smoked leg ham, chorizo sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, Spanish onion, olives and mozzarella (also usually fresh capsicum and chunky cut pineapple but this one’s customised, and has extra spinach).
Interestingly the Vegan Supreme is also in the top three sellers, $26 (13 inch) with a tomato base, vegan ham, vegan pepperoni, mushrooms, roasted red capsicum, Spanish onion, olives, pineapple and vegan mozzarella cheese.
Yes, Walter G’s believes in greater variety and personalisation of pizza. So the menu offers a wholemeal spelt base, a grain free, nut base and an extremely popular gluten and soy free base that looked invitingly thin, crispy and delicious. The gluten free bases are specially sourced from interstate and there are strict processes in place to prevent cross-contamination of gluten free or vegan ingredients. Gloves are changed and trays and cutters are specially dedicated. Customers can have confidence in their gluten free or vegan choices.
There’s also great flexibility in pizza toppings and I saw plenty of customised orders being made during my visit.
Gluten free base, pesto, roasted capsicum, olives, baby spinach and vegan cheese – customised for a gluten and lactose free pizza
My favourite was the Wild Caught Garlic Prawn $25 (13 inch) with tomato base, Roma tomatoes, Australian wild caught prawns, roasted red capsicum, shallots, feta cheese, topped with mozzarella and garnished with mixed herbs and lemon.
I asked the team for their favourites too. Henry’s top pick is the Pesto Chicken and he enjoys the simplicity of the Margherita. Vlatko loves the Meat Obsession, Peri Beef and agrees with me on the Wild Caught Garlic Prawn. Monica is another Wild Caught Garlic Prawn fan, but also favours the Chicken Porto.
Chicken Porto (13 inch) $24 with tomato base, marinated free range chicken breast, Spanish onion, roasted red capsicum, caramelised onion, fresh capsicum
Lamb Baa Baa (13 inch) $23 with a tomato and garlic base, slow cooked grass fed lamb, Spanish onion, grilled eggplant, topped with mozzarella and garnished with rocket and garlic yogurt
Capricciosa (13 inch) $18 with tomato base, free range smoked ham, olives, mushrooms and mozzarella
Ham and Pineapple (13 inch) $19 with a tomato base, free range smoked leg ham, chunky cut pineapple and mozzarella
Veggie Patch (11 inch) $18 with tomato base, baby spinach, mushrooms, roasted red capsicum, grilled eggplant, cherry tomatoes, fresh buffalo cheese, mozzarella and pesto verdi
But it’s not just about the pizza! The Apple and Walnut Salad, $10 for a full box, has got to be one of the best salad sides I’ve ever had. It didn’t even make it home for the photoshoot.
Always made fresh to order, the salads are undressed with dressing on the side. (I love that thoughtfulness). While I’m sure the balsamic dressing Vlat offered me would have been great, I just think you shouldn’t mess with perfection! My salad was just the most wonderful balance of flavour and texture with fibre, protein and good fats – sweet freshly grated apple, mixed leaves, generous walnuts and delicious gorgonzola cheese. It’s a ‘must have’ with any order!
And then there is dessert. The decadent Nutella Pizza ($14 for 11 inch) is totally worth it!
A crisp, biscuity base with the ideal partnering of chocolate, fresh strawberries and banana. I couldn’t help but think, if I served a up slice of this with a dollop of whipped cream, I’d have friends for life!
But that’s not all. The ice-creams and sorbets are seriously good, and again, some of the best I’d ever had! My favourite was the Black Forest Sorbet, followed by the Vanilla Bean Ice-cream and then closely by the Coconut and Kaffir Lime Sorbet. Next I’d have to say the Salted Caramel Ice-cream and then the Death by Chocolate Ice-cream. But they were all very lovely and well-priced at $4.50 each.
Now to pull it all together!
Walter G’s has attractive eat-in tables constructed from recycled timber from the local hockey centre – thoughtfully large enough for groups.
Early on summer evenings, the outside tables make a good private area, that gives children a sense of freedom to move around. The car park is off road and quiet.
Children are actually well catered for as there’s a free organic apple juice offered with each Kids’ Pizza ($9 for 9 inch). By the way, $1 from each Kids’ Pizza is also donated to Camp Quality as the team are very impressed by their work for Canberra families.
Of course pizza needs wine and you are welcome to BYO without any corkage charge. (How good is that!)
If you happen to be on your own, there’s good bar seating that looks through the open windows over all the kitchen action.
Take-away orders were also running hot and that gave me another idea.
I have always loved the way you can posh up take-away at home for friends. Walter G’s is extra special because there’s no need to add anything at all (except perhaps that whipped cream for the Nutella Pizza! Sublime!).
Walter G’s will deliver to the inner north. Join the G’s Club on-line for free delivery!
So my recipe for a leisurely shared group Chef’s Tasting Menu (eat-in out of the box or take-away – maybe poshed up at home) for 8 would be:
Order one of the Appetizer Pizzas (11 inch $9) (1-2 per 8 people) while you ponder your mains – either the Olive and Feta Bread
Or the Pesto & Goat Cheese Bread (or one of each if you’re getting two).
All pizzas are all very helpfully cut into 8 slices.
Order two of the 13 inch Specialty Pizzas (2 per 8 people will be two slices each) – consider the favourites mentioned so far, or check out one of Michelle’s Her Canberra picks.
Order one salad per two people $10-$11 – I can’t recommend the Apple and Walnut more highly, but I’d love to try the Caesar or Mediterranean Salads that are packed full of tasty ingredients.
Order a dessert pizza $14 (1-2 per 8 people) – the Nutella Pizza is a sure bet, but I’d also love to try the Banana Custard Pizza.
Order one ice-cream or sorbet per person $4.50
Or serve a mix!
Yes! Two desserts – this is a degustation – and they are so, so good!
Walter G’s is open 7 days from 4:30pm.
Easy to get to in Challis Street Dickson, the parking is close and free after 5:30pm.
On this, my first visit, I was a guest of Walter G’s on behalf of the AGFG team.