The absolute dog’s bollocks?  Ansh, Victoria Park, Cardiff.

I reviewed the takeaway offering of Ansh, a while back, during lockdown and had a very fine mutton burger.

Said review has oddly disappeared from the blog into the ether (bar from the heading), undoubtedly due to IT incompetence on my part by probably pressing the wrong 995 button combination 8 times in a row required to delete all bar the title (I can understand accidently deleting the whole thing, but how I accidently deleted the text leaving the heading is beyond me).

My negative effect on IT is legendary in my office – want to win World War III, just place me a few miles from the enemy’s command and control centre and I can guarantee (based on me being a walking EMP) that nothing in it electronic wise will work and the war will be won. Send a Terminator after me – nae bother, as the thing will be too busy constantly having to  reboot  and dealing with error messages to do any damage to me.

Anyhow enought of my unique ability to fry anything with a chip in it and back to the matter in hand.

With lockdown a fast receding memory (please God not to be repeated, ever), Ansh has expanded their operations to include inhouse dining, as well as takeaways.

When I say inhouse, it is not indoor dining but rather out the back dining where they have a well covered courtyard. I assume true indoor dining will come to pass in due course.

Nice space I thought,

with a fortuitous break from the miserably Augtober weather making it much more pleasant than I had feared when I made the booking

One big bonus of this place, for me at least, is they are really (and I mean really) dog friendly.

My pooches had loads of fuss (which they love),

a bowl of water and much to their delight a doggie burger each (on the house, more on that later). The only down side to this is I will, probably, now be unable to go within a half mile of the place without them trying to drag me back in there.

The food

Fine looking menu, with both your classic burgers (in my world these are the unadorned patty and bun, the cheese burger and the bacon and cheese burger)

and more exotic numbers, with the likes of Carolina reaper (🔥) and pineapple jam, charcoal (black) buns and seaweed rum in the mix.

I was drawn to the mangalista patty (£15), with mangalista up there with pata negra as “God tier” pork in my book, but regrettably (but perhaps not for my wallet) these are seasonal and it seems it twas no the season for pork patties.

I, therefore, defaulted to my gut “keep it simple, let the patty do the talking” instinct, burger wise, and ordered the “Celt” (£9 for a double patty), a basic cheese burger. On the topic of the merits of a cheese burger, I am in entire agreement with the following quote:

The man who invented the hamburger was smart; the man who invented the cheeseburger was a genius

from Matthew McConaughey , a man who knows a (Inter)stellar burger when he sees one.

Some things just go together and a ground meat patty and gooey, melted, cheese in a bun is one of those things.

The Celt is a fine looking beast, with a nicely squishable potato roll and a lacey filligree of cheese overlapping the bun.

The main event, in the form of the beef patty x 2, was just fabulous. When the meat is sourced from Oriel Jones you know it is going to be good, but this stuff just made me purr with pleasure (cue the dogs going ballistic as they hate anything feline with a murderous passion – a feeling I share for the little fxcker that leaves parcels in my front garden and I am not talking about the Amazon delivery man) at the pure unadulterated beefiness on display.

Layer upon layer of rich flavour here, with a good fat to meat ratio and a lovely yielding texture. Add to that  a nicely caramelised crust and knobbly bits that come with a smashed patty and you have a smashing patty.

The Ansh sauce had a pleasing tanginess to it, that worked very well as against the richness of the beef and cheese and added nicely to the flavour profile.

Cooked with a hint of pink, this was right up there with the best burgers I have had.

There are no plates, so your burger comes in the same (recyclable) container as if ordering a takeaway.

In terms of the sides, there is a nice mix of standard and loaded fries. In addition, there are two types of chicken wings and garlic mushroom (bet all three are great, but the buffalo wings would be my first choice out of the three)

As it was a Sunday, it would have been rude not to have partaken of the intriguing sounding Sunday lunch fries 

This delivered exactly what it said on the tin,

with Yorkie batter scraps, pureed greens and cauli. cheese and the main event beef and gravy all sat atop chunky chips.

Pure filth this, with the rich shredded brisket (I believe) imbued gravy rightly the star of the show. Beef to the max this and a rather clever rift on your traditional Sunday lunch.

If truth be told this would have been enough to sate a non glutton and should probably be viewed as a “to share” item if eating a burger too (of course I didn’t share).

As I mentioned earlier this place is seriously doggie friendly and much to my dog’s delight (Oscar’s buggy eyes almost popping out of his head)

they each got a doggie burger (this being on the house, as is standard it seems, much to my delight).

This place seems to operate very much on the premise that dogs are welcome, as long as their owners are well behaved.

Decent sized patty for the dogs, which I chopped up to make it slightly easier for my terrors/terriers to scoff (Oscar hasn’t got many teeth left so sometimes needs a little help with larger food items).

I had to try a bit to check the temperature (leave it a bit is my advice as it came out piping hot) and it was very nice (sans seasoning). No skimping on quality for your dogs here.

Both my dogs loved their burger, with it getting the Pip and Oscar top rating of  5 🍒(aka dog’s bollocks – a long distant memory for Oscar and never a factor for Pip).

Because I am an absolute gannet, I couldn’t resist a dessert, with the offering here from Ansh’s near neighbour in the form of Let Them See Cake (presumable “eat” was trademarked many moons ago elsewhere).

After much deliberation I went for the rather interesting sounding macaron with smoked chocolate ice cream and Barti Ddu spiced rum salted caramel ice cream.

Good flavours to this, with the rum infused salted caramel the star of the show (could have happily eaten a bucket load of it), but it was quite hard to eat (too soon out of the blast chiller perhaps) with the macaron particularly dense  Anyone with dentures or dodgy teeth should approach this with a touch of caution I would say.

It was also a bit rich and big bearing in mind the amount I had already scoffed.

Clearly my gluttoney is all down to me, but by the end I was just a bit too full and it eventually defeated me. I am sure a more frugal diner, in terms of what came before, would have no issue in finishing it off.

The drink

In keeping with the Welsh produce mantra of this place, the booze has a distinct Welsh focus including wines from Llaethlliw and Gwinllan Glyndwr, beers from Crafty Devil and ciders from Gwynt y Ddraig (plus various Welsh spirits).

Some very refreshing pricing here on the wine front with the Llaethiliw red, white and rosé all £21 a bottle (they retail just down the road at Vin Van Caerdydd at £18 a bottle). The sparkling is even better value at £32, with the retail price (at Mumbles Fine Wines)  being £29.95.

Compared to the 3 times plus retail marks ups often seen in the UK, the minimal mark ups applied here are pretty amazing. If there had been a group (or even two) of us, I think these prices would have encouraged us to fill our boots booze wise.

I couldn’t justify a bottle to myself (tempting as it was) so decided to kick off with a beer to quench my thirst (whilst I perused the menu) in the form of a Helles Belles Helles lager from Crafty Devil (£4 25).

Decent enough beer this, with nice crisp clean flavours, which admirable fulfilled the thirst quenching function I required of it.

With the main event burger, I had a glass of the house red (£3.50 for 125ml pour, £4.90 for a 175ml pour and £16 a bottle).

Quite like the meal in a glass effect here (purely accidental).

The house red wine was a malbec and  perfectly gluggable, with enough oomph to stand up well against the rich bold flavours on display here. Decent value at £16 a bottle (but probably not as good mark up wise as the Welsh wines, but fair none the less).

A nice touch was the tap water coming with ice and a slice. It is the little things.

Have to say service was excellent, with very genial waiting staff who seem to genuinely love my dogs and their jobs. That always gets a big thumbs up from me.

The verdict

I really enjoyed my alternative Sunday lunch at Ansh. Top quality food, using the best local ingredients, and good value booze is a heady mix and one we are lucky to have here in Cardiff. Seriously good burgers et al on offer at this place and serious brownie points for very low mark ups on the wine (particularly the Welsh ones).

Not often I am positive in terms of mark ups on wine in the UK, but I am very happy to be able to able to post positively on the subject at last.

Would I go back? Absolutely, particularly as will struggle to keep the doggies from dragging me back. Not that I would resist!

Best burger in Cardiff by some margin in my humble opinion.

The details

Address: 589 Cowbridge Road East, Victoria Park, CF5 1BE

Website: https://www.ansh.cymru/

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