This heat wave is seriously messing with my eating habits.
No longer am I craving meat and 2 veg, chocolate, chicken tikka masala or spring rolls.
Instead it’s all about Soleros, Cornettos, Magnums, takeaway sushi and unnaturally large portions of charcoal coated meat.
On one of last week’s swelteringly hot evenings, we ditched the salad and headed to one of Crwys Road’s newest openings -The Gutsy Goose.
The Gutsy Goose has the kind of crowd pleasing, all day menu which is perfect for a neighbourhood restaurant. Anywhere that serves eggs Benedict and American style pancakes for brunch, fish finger sandwiches, burgers and pie and chips for lunch, and pork belly and steak for dinner is ok in my book.
Service was friendly, if a little nervy, and this manifested itself in an incorrect starter being served (thankfully deducted off the bill) and the waiter subsequently checking all our main course orders were correct. Furthermore, empty drinks glasses weren’t cleared throughout the meal. Both these oversights were annoying, but perhaps understandable, as we were part of a large group of 12.
A pre-dinner Mojito (£6) was pretty lame – a lack of sugar and a meagre amount of mint meant it tasted almost exclusively of rum and soda. My freshly squeezed orange juice (£2.50) in contrast was lush.
A complimentary amuse bouche was a nice gesture. However, the fresh Mediterranean flavours of the mini bruschetta were masked by the presence of a fiery chilli jam and an intense balsamic reduction.
Things picked up with starters.
Goose liver pate (£5) was soft and smooth: sour cherry compote balanced the richness of the meat.
Warm scallops and smoked bacon (£7) were unexpectedly complimented by a scattering of tangy pomegranate pearls.
A tasty “smoked fishcake” (£5) had a crisp exterior and an un-stodgy texture. However, the predominant flavour was smoky chorizo and not the unnamed fish, which I’m guessing was salmon. An accompanying runny yolked poached egg and rich hollandaise were both well executed.
For main, Mrs G ordered the rib eye steak (£13). Whilst it was cooked a perfect medium rare and the accompanying béarnaise and fries were on the nail, the steak itself was disappointingly lacking in flavour – perhaps unsurprising for its price and generous size.
I ordered beer battered fish (£8). Light, grease free batter, flaky white fish and crisp fries were all praiseworthy. A pot of tartare sauce, however, had the pungent vinegariness of shop bought stuff.
Tender pork belly with smooth creamed potato and richness piercing, slightly sharp cider jus (£11.50) was described as very good.
It goes without saying we ordered desserts.
Sticky toffee pudding (£4.50) actually turned out to be a syrup sponge. However, it was no worse off for its identity crisis. Light, moist and syrupy, the excellent sponge was balanced by an enjoyably tart smear of raspberry coulis and a scoop of run-of-the-mill vanilla ice cream.
Mrs G’s white chocolate and raspberry Eton mess (£4.50) did everything well too – light whipped cream, slightly sharp raspberries, creamy white chocolate and crisp meringue pieces all combined effectively.
However, the cheesecake of the day, a caramelised orange variety, (£4.50) was crying out for the presence of its headline flavour. The crisp biscuit base and sweetened cream cheese topping were all that could be discerned.
Stuffed and suffering from the meat / summer sweats, there was only one logical conclusion to the meal... a complimentary round of limoncello.
On the whole, our meal at Gutsy Goose was good, and there’s a load on the menu to make me want to go back. It’s just a shame that some overwrought presentation of the food (wooden boards really aren't as good as plates and smears are just a little bit Masterchef final) and slightly patchy service let things down a bit.
Address - 145 Crwys Road, Cardiff, CF24 4NH
Telephone - 029 2022 8523