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Situated in the busy and bustling student area of Cardiff that is Cathays, The Gutsy Goose offers students a fine dining experience without breaking the bank/student loan. I visited on a typically wet Sunday afternoon, and while the conditions outside were frightful The Gutsy Goose was a warm tavern of tasty treats.

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Promptly on arrival, our drinks order was taken and to quench our thirst we ordered two reasonably priced cranberry juices (at £1.95 each). Then we had a glance at the menu, which offered an sprawling selection of classic British dishes with a modern twist. Much of the grub caught our eye such as the Monmouthshire lamb shank with a port and red wine jus, the homemade smoked salmon fish cake with hollandaise sauce and the roasted sweet potato and spinach risotto. But when it finally came down to ordering we decided to start by sharing the homemade goose and chicken liver pate with caramelised onion and apple chutney served with bread (priced at £4.50 and pictured below).

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The starter really hit the spot! We were served a generous portion of pate and chutney (pictured above), but at the same time it left enough space in the tummy for a large main and the possibility of a dessert. The pate was smooth and flavoursome while not overpowering, and was complimented with a healthy dollop of what can only be described as the best chutney I have ever tasted! Sweet and sticky yet savoury; it slide down the throat. Although the dish wasn’t designed for sharing we could have done with a few more pieces of the perfectly toasted brown bread.

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Within twenty minutes of the starters being cleared away the mains arrived, My co-diner being the traditionalist that she is fancied a roast dinner on a Sunday, she was offered the choice of lamb, chicken or beef. As we are in Wales it really would have been quite rude not to order the lamb; she was far from disappointed (priced at £8.50 and pictured above). Crispy goose fat potatoes were hidden under a reasonable portion of tender Welsh lamb, it went down well especially with the aid of a zingy homemade mint sauce. The gravy could have been a little thicker but the vegetables were wholesome and fresh. A homemade Yorkshire pudding left a little to be desired as it was more cakey instead of airy and crispy, however it did not deter her from polishing off the delightful dish!

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I on the other hand ordered the intriguing gin and tonic battered fish and chips (priced at £8.50 and pictured above). The piece of hake I was served was flakey and fell apart on contact with my fork, the batter was light and crispy. While it was described on the menu as ‘gin and tonic’ fish and chips this flavour was not particularly detectable, so I would NOT recommend it as a pre-drinking alternative. The quirky presentation of the dish in a fryer basket was a particular highlight of the whole meal, the chips were thin and crispy and better than McDonalds, which is saying a lot! Now I’m not usually a massive fan of mushy peas but these slightly minted ones were fresh and colourful.

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Somehow I made room for dessert, there was a scrumptious selection but I decided on the caramelised apple and cider pie served with caramel ice cream or custard (priced at £4.50 and pictured above). This was both a treat for the eyes and the taste buds! It came with fresh berries, plump strawberries and a nectarous strawberry jus. The pie itself featured homemade pastry which was hearty and deeply satisfying, with a healthy serving of hot custard the pie soon became even more mouthwatering-ly moist. My co-diner opted for a latte with a butterscotch syrup, which she assures me was very good.

In summary The Gutsy Goose is not the cheapest restaurant in Cathays but the attentive staff, cozy atmosphere and deliciously good food means that this is the place to go if you fancy pushing the boat out a little, whether it’s for a Valentines meal or you need somewhere nice to go with visiting loved ones. It was worth every penny and we will definitely be making a return visit!

Price for 3 courses and a drink for 2 people = £32.50

(Co-diner & proof reader: Miss Verity Ball)

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The Gutsy Goose

145 Crwys Road

Cardiff CF24 4NH

02920 228 523

Website: http://www.thegutsygoose.co.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheGutsyGoose

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TheGutsyGoose

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