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The Lucky Goose. Could be a great spot but 2 things need sorting out.

Updated: Jul 2, 2023

If you try The Lucky Goose, and we think you should, don’t necessarily go for mains, but for a variety of smaller food items instead.

We love going to new restaurants, that thrill of going into uncharted territory, not knowing what to expect. Located on the Msida Waterfront, The Lucky Goose opened earlier this year. The name, whilst retaining something from the old place, which was called ‘Lucky Bar’, also seems to suggest that like some casino, this is a place where you enter the realm of chance and hope luck smiles at you.

Inside, The Lucky Goose is pleasant. I love vintage looking furniture and hanging lanterns. Simple but stylish. The décor is trendy with a touch of posh. In addition, it is dog friendly. Looking around however, I’m struggling to decide whether The Lucky Goose is more intended for a bite and drinks, or for a full dinner experience.

The Lucky Goose

It seems the intention is to have both. The bar looks amply stocked and the varied selection is confirmed as soon as we get the drinks menu, which lists an extensive range of spirits. You don’t really see the kitchen, which is located inside the far end of the restaurant.

There aren’t much people inside The Lucky Goose when we arrive, perhaps explaining why we were showered with attention (at times even too much). After being directed to our table, we are greeted by a very well-meaning waitress. “We hope you like our place and will come back again” she said as soon as we got seated, “would like to drink something?”. Smiling, we ask if we can have a menu.

The menu at The Lucky Goose has a mix serious food with grub food. There is quite a selection of dishes under the label ‘tapas’. Most are priced between €8 and €13 and range from dips to fritters, sausages to octopus. There are salads, burgers, pizza, but also meat cuts. There is also a curiously named ‘chicken cornflakes’ available, served with garlic aioli. I’m no fan of cornflakes though so I gave it a miss. The specials also vary between pork belly bites, vongole, fish, arancini, carpaccio, and focaccias.

The Lucky Goose

Such variety caters for whatever mood you are in, but admittedly, we found the menu at The Lucky Goose a bit confusing. Maybe it was just us, but both me and Charlene failed to understand what was intended as a starter and what were the main courses. A ‘tapa’ is an appetizer, or a snack. There is no strict rule for what’s in a Tapa. Frankly you can include anything.

What the people at The Lucky Goose seem to be doing is taking dishes you would find in restaurant, and basically offering them into a Tapas version. The wine list is not exhaustive, and the prices mostly range from €20 upwards. The list of liqueurs is extensive, whilst if you’re into craft beers, there is a decent selection for €5 upwards.

The Lucky Goose

Intrigued, I ask for a ‘Bread Butter Craft Beer’ solely on the basis that I liked the name. As this was not available, I opt for a ‘Red my lips’, which I choose on the exact same basis, acknowledging my total ignorance on the subject concerning craft beers.

Feeling like some Maltese food, I ask if we could have some rabbit liver as starter, whilst Charlene opts for the cuttle-fish risotto. The staff were more than willing to accommodate our requests. Dishes arrive and the smell is good.

The rabbit liver is tender and tastes like home, with herbs, seasonings, wine, garlic and onions all contributing to a perfectly combined dish. Charlene’s risotto is dark in colour, dense and very rich in flavor. The pieces of cuttle-fish perfectly complement the rice, which is cooked to perfection.

After such a fantastic starter, we can’t wait for the main courses. Having ordered Beetroot Gnocchetti, with Maltese sausage, goat’s cheese and broad beans, I am intrigued as to how would the humble yet delightfully delicate gnocchi will combine with a powerful combination of Maltese sausage and goat’s cheese.

Charlene, being a fish aficionado, opted for the Mackerel. However, as soon as the plates are placed in front of us, my jaw drops, for all the wrong reasons. My plate looks perplexing to say the least. I am confused as to whether I ordered a plate of gnocchetti with Maltese sausage, or vice versa.

The Lucky Goose

To make matters worse, the gnocchetti are overcooked, whilst the beans are undercooked. The sauce is way too runny and doesn’t do anything for the dish. Overall, the flavours don’t combine well enough together and I am disappointed.

Charlene’s plate looks more inviting, but I immediately suspect those fillets of mackerel are overcooked. My suspicions prove right as soon as I see frustration on Carla’s face after her first bite. The Mackerel is hard to cut. I need Carla’s help holding the fish in place, just to get me a bite using only my fork. The fillets are overcooked, and as a result, taste dry.

As for dessert, the choice at The Lucky Goose was restricted to few ice cream flavours, a chocolate fondant or a lemon cheesecake. We opt to share the latter two, hoping for a good end to the dinner.

We are presented with three small individual fondants topped with vanilla ice cream. The ‘fondants’ are dense, and very chocolatey. The problem is that to me, a fondant is a warm melt-in-the-middle chocolate delight that leaves me in dreamland for days.

The Lucky Goose

These felt more like little round chocolate fudge brownies. Good, but not what I was promised. As for the (non-baked) cheesecake, it lacked taste. I start doubting whether there is any fresh lemon juice at all, not to mention that there isn’t any trace of lemon zest. The only thing ‘lemony’ is a lemon curd topping covered with gelatin which, however, feels artificial. Soon enough I am bored of it all.

I am sure the intention behind the place is good, and we could feel a genuine effort here. If you try The Lucky Goose, and I think you should, I suggest you don’t go for mains, but for a variety of smaller food items instead.

The menu has enough variety to make excellent tapas, if only they’ll taste like our starters! If the issues with the menu and some disappointing plates are sorted out, The Lucky Goose has enough potential to become a player, otherwise it might just wither away.


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