When a lazy Sunday morning rolls around and your stomach is still fizzing away from the numerous gin and tonics you may or may not have consumed the Saturday night before, there is only one distinct thing to do – treat yourself to a slap up breakfast. When recently visiting Cardiff for a close friend’s hen party, needless to say a big breakfast was definitely on the agenda. We opted to head to nearby café and restaurant The Gutsy Goose for our morning pick me up.
As soon as we walked in, the soothing duck egg blue and grey décor washed over me in a peaceful wave of quintessential calm. Faded white wooden furniture and pastel painted wood panel walls paid homage to a cozy, homemade feel of years gone by although the up to date menu, hanging wine glasses and links to the venue’s name in the artwork indicated a minimalist and modern vibe also. This restaurant may be small and a little cramped, but the fact that it filled up quickly with locals is always a good sign that the food is going to be tasty.
Ordered a frothy cappuccino, I took a look at the breakfast menu. As well as the various classic fry up options you could opt for an egg based meal such as Eggs Benedict or even choose pancakes, whether they be smothered in fruit or bacon. Despite eyeing up the intriguing Spanish Breakfast (which consisted of baked eggs, chorizo and toast), my penchant for pancakes won through. I seem to have developed a real love of fluffy pancakes paired with bacon, so when I spotted this on the menu – with a hash brown and maple syrup to boot – it was pretty much a done deal.
When my meal arrived however, I had to swallow my disappointment. Green with envy at the well stacked plates of full English fry ups arriving at the table, I spied my three pancakes suspiciously. Don’t get me wrong, the pancakes themselves were delicious. Uniformly round, they were a lovely thickness and size, beautifully golden with just the right amount of squidge and sweetness. As pancakes though, they get a thumbs up for sure. What created the upset however were the disproportionate quantities. How exactly are you meant to spread one mere rasher of bacon between three generous pancakes? The answer is you can’t. Yes I had the hash brown too, but once you’ve had the hash brown with one pancake, the single rasher of bacon with another, what do you eat with the third? The maple syrup was the faintest drizzle that seemed to be absorbed by only one of the pancakes, so that wasn’t as lathered on as I would have preferred. If I had known I would only have been presented with one slice of bacon, I would certainly have ordered something else.
It’s confusing really because the quality of the food was fantastic. The bacon I did have was nice and thick, well cooked and crispy with a satisfying amount of chew. The hash brown was wonderfully soft potato inside and the coating was crunchy and bubbly. The pancakes were fluffy pillows of batter that were completely lovely. Each component was tasty, however the way it was put together really ruined it for me. All the dish needed was another two rashers of bacon so you had one per pancake and also to have the maple syrup presented in a side jug, so you could splash it on your plate at will.
The cappuccino was a much needed caffeine boost, served in a perfect, wide cup and saucer with plenty of froth and a happy sprinkling of cocoa powder. The price also wasn’t too shabby – I think I paid just under a tenner for my meal altogether. The service was fine; our waitress incredibly studious in her notetaking for such a large group of diners. We waited a little while for food but for a large group, this is expected. We all had to go up to the till to pay separately as they don’t bring the bill over, so that was rather time consuming but not the end of the world. On the whole, I have mixed feelings about The Gutsy Goose. If only all of their meals were as epic as the classic breakfast I never had.