I’VE discovered a culinary gem hidden among the bushes.
The Wild Goose Lakeside Bar and Restaurant is set in 100 acres of beautiful parkland and lakes near Dodleston on the fringe of Chester.
It’s off the beaten track but well worth the effort to get there, as my wife and I discovered at the weekend (prior to its 10-day closure for a holiday break).
The restaurant has only been open for 10 months and has relied on word of mouth and TripAdvisor to get itself noticed.
We came across it by accident, a genuine case of serendipity!
Having negotiated the speed bumps up the lengthy drive to the eaterie, the outside of the building did not inspire any great expectations.
How wrong we were. Step inside, and there is a beautifully cosy and welcoming feel and smell to the place.
We hadn’t booked - although it’s advisable - but they had a spot for two and we were guided to our very comfy seats by a member of the friendly staff.
The Sunday menu consisted of a choice of three starters, four mains and three desserts.
I opted for the pulled pork croquette with sweetcorn puree and spring onion. The croquette was small but deliciously tasty.
Mrs B had agonised over having the broccoli and blue cheese soup with toasted almonds but finally plumped for the crab, prawn and crayfish cocktail served with toasted sour dough. Again yummy, with a lovely smattering of fragrant dill running through it all.
On to the mains - and in my case the usual ‘beef’ over the beef! I like mine very pink, juicy and tender but the number of colour blind waiting staff is staggering. You ask for pink - and stress you only want it if it’s pink - and then they serve up some browny grey slices of meat. “That’s not pink,” say I, indignantly. “It was a few minutes ago but it’s been under the heat lamps,” they counter, as if this make it alright.
Pet hate explained - you get none of that at the Wild Goose.
The beef is in my top three - ever! The roasties are crunchy, the Yorkshire puds great, the broccoli is done to absolute perfection and the red cabbage and swede make a lovely flavour and texture contrast. Ten out of ten!
My wife is equally effusive about her pan friend curried cod fillet served on a vegetable bhaji bed with spiced potatoes and cucumber yoghurt. It’s another ten out of ten!
Truly satiated and strictly for review purposes only, we opted for the milk chocolate fruit and nut cheesecake with cherries and cream. It was deliciously rich - so never try and eat whole one on your own!
The ambience of the Wild Goose is warm and homely with a real fire adding to the glow and there’s real ale to be had too.
It’s in my top three in the region - Cheshire and North Wales!
o If you are thinking of going in the next week or so, remember to book!