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“Still the best ever.”
Review of Goose Fat & Garlic

Goose Fat & Garlic
Price range: $16 - $48
Cuisines: European, British, Fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Business meetings, Families with children, Bar scene, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Situated in the centre of historic Sawbridgeworth, Goose Fat and Garlic offers something for every palate and every occasion. A range of menus caters for everyone from the casual diner looking for a quick lunchtime sandwich, to a business meeting over an a la carte dinner. A set price a la carte menu during the week offers a great dining experience at a very reasonable price, and an authentic tapas menu is a great causal eating option - ideal for groups. The bar attached to the restaurant provides the perfect meeting place for those just wanting a drink, or for pre and post- meal gatherings, and is known for its great cocktails and extensive wine and beer choices. The ambiance is smart but relaxed.
Ipswich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Still the best ever.”
Reviewed March 2, 2013

My wife & I have been eating at Goose Fat since it came to Sawbridgeworth
and it is still the best ever. The quality never fails and the choice of dishes
always match your needs. Staff are courteous and knowledgable and the
chefs' presentations are superb.
Four of us had lunch on Wed. 27th Feb and I had the pheasant which was superb
(despite some earlier comment on here to the contrary). My wife had the bacon
and scallop warm salad and there was so much of both that it more than satisifed
my appetite. We always manage three courses because we don't want to miss
anything. We make the 90 mins journey from Suffolk as often as we can because
there is nowhere else like it!!

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Peter G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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498 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    293
    95
    48
    30
    32
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Epping, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Nice food, no tapas on a Friday”
Reviewed February 28, 2013

My husband and I visited GF&G on Friday 22 Feb, and booked an early (7pm) table before going to the cinema.

Booking online was quick and easy, and I received a courtesy call the morning confirming our booking, and making it clear which entrance to use (restaurant vs bar).

It was pretty quiet when we arrived, although there were a few other tables occupied. The welcome was friendly and professional. We mentioned in passing that we were going to see a film at 9pm, and were then served quickly throughout the evening which we appreciated.

We'd looked online at their menus, and were planning to order from the tapas menu, so I was disappointed when we were told that tapas wasn't served in the restraunt on a Friday, only in the bar, but that all tables in the bar area were reserved. It would have been helpful to detail this on the website, as we'd planned a relaxed pre-cinema meal and were looking forward to tapas, rather than the more traditional three courses.

The set menu seemed good value - around £20 for two courses, with a £4 supplement for certain dishes. I ordered blue cheese souffle, which was fine (it was meant to contain broccoli but I couldn't find any), and husband ordered goats cheese tart, again fine but rather small. For my main course, I had baked vegetables and mozzarella which was layers of pepper and aubergine topped with two slices of mozzarella. The peppers were soft and flavoursome, but the aubergines were very tough and a bit dry. Husband had king scallops, which he enjoyed, and the portion sizes were decent. We greedily ordered sides of honey roast veg and green beans (this, together with the scallop supplement, started to make our bill creep up, we never learn!).

For pudding, I went for a chocolate fondant, which we were warned would take around 15 minutes but arrived much quicker. Husband had cheesecake. Both puddings were delish.

Our waiter then quickly bought the bill, having noted earlier that we couldn't hang about too long. Our bill, for two glasses of wine, two soft drinks, two starters, mains and puddings, plus two side dishes was about £75 not including service.

In retrospect, I wouldn't have chosen GF&G for a pre-cinema meal. Although we had a perfectly pleasant time, I think we'd have got more "value" out of the meal by making more of an occasion of it, having a few more drinks in the bar, booking a later table, and staying longer. We would go back to GF&G, but this time to try the tapas menu.

It's a shame I can't rate this as 'good' - 'average' seems a bit mean, but it wasn't quite 'very good' for us this time.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Eloise S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“AWFUL FOOD!!”
Reviewed February 26, 2013

We ate at this establishment last night and I am gob-smacked by the good reviews. My stuffed pheasant breast was dried out and inedible (fortunately my husband's pasta was ok and huge, so I ate some of that instead). The waitress didn't even ask why I'd left 90% of the meat. My husband ordered a "chocolate" fondant, which didn't look or taste anything like chocolate, but was, rather, a beige-looking sponge with some toffee-coloured runny middle that just tasted like sugar. Oh, and the top was all burnt. I complained and the manageress with a chip on her shoulder came over (the infamous Laura others have complained about, I presume), and rather than apologising was extremely argumentative and insisted it was one of Gordon Ramsay's recipes (lol). Well, I own a couple of Gordon's cookery books myself, but it sure doesn't make me a 3 Michelin star chef! All I can say is that I'm so glad I don't live around here so I don't have to come back!

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank HighMaintenance_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“First of many Fantastic evenings at GF&G”
Reviewed February 25, 2013

This was my first visit to GF&G with a friend of mine and we thoroughly enjoyed it. On arrival we went to the bar and enjoyed one of the number of cocktails available which was made to perfection. It was not clear on arrival where to let the restaurant know we had arrived so we just let a passing waitress know who then confirmed to the bar where we were sitting so we could run a tab which makes life easier.

Promptly at our reservation time we were told our table was ready, once we were seated we were immediately asked if we would like any drinks, advised on any changes of the menu an left to make our choice.

Menu was varied and there is something for everyone. We were surprised by an apertif (a prawn in a red curry sauce) and a sorbet between our starter and main. This made quite a nice surprise. I had the crab & crayfish salad topped with smoked salmon to start which was very good and not too heavy on the sauce. For my main I had, Scallops and Monkfish which were cooked to perfection.
The selection of deserts are amazing and well worth the indulgence.

The wine list was well selected with some very nice wines at reasonable prices.

The atmosphere in GF&G certainly picks up later in the evening as the bar is open to passing trade and with a late licence it can get busy. This was not an issue for us but worth noting as an earlier sitting would mean less activity in the bar area if that what you are looking for. There are curtains separating the bar from the restaurant, my only comment would be to put doors in although we were right next to the bar entrance and it didn't bother us but others may have an issue. The tables are well spread out in the restaurant and you could have a conversation easily and could here very little from nearby tables which makes a change from some restaurants cramming you all in!

Overall we had a fabulous night and will definitely be going back again as well as recommending it to friends and family.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank SPC2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ware, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
72 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Maybe I expected too much.”
Reviewed February 24, 2013

At the time of this review, Goose Fat & Garlic is rated as the number 7 restaurant in Hertfordshire, making it the highest rated within a reasonable commute from my home. I visited Saturday night with my girlfriend expecting great things.

Upon arrival we entered into a bar area, which is open to non-diners, I couldn't see any area to be greeted and had to flag down a passing waitress to announce my booking. As we were a little early we were referred to the crowded bar whilst our table was prepared, although we were seated quite promptly thereafter.

The Food - Our starters, the Maple smoked chicken and the pigeon breast were enjoyable. We both had the scallops and monkfish for our mains. They were perfectly cooked and as described but just seemed to lack a certain panache to make them special. Our desserts, a toffee pudding and a chocolate brownie were also good. Before our starter we were given an apertif of sorts (a prawn in a red curry sauce) and a sorbet between our starter and main. This was not known to us or expected and made quite a nice surprise.

The service - This is the reason for my average scoring. I ordered wine at the beginning of our meal, and although the bottle lasted throughout our meal we weren't asked if we would like any additional drinks at any time. We were not even asked if we would like any water at any stage. Also we were not once asked if we were satisfied with any of our dishes. We generally felt that absolutely no effort was made to make our evening feel special. All in all, I've had far superior service in chain pub/restaurants.

I would like add the flooring seemed be chosen more for affordability than durability, and was covered in black marks throughout. The corridor outside of the toilets was in a rather sorry state, with the floors and doors covered in very visible markings, although the toilet itself was immaculate and I do value cleanliness in the lavatories.

Although the food falls short of greatness, it was the service that really let my evening down. I would consider visiting again, but I'm certainly in no rush.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Bob L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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