Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Reviews

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Fed up with celebrity chefs drizzling sauces over undercooked pieces of meat? I am!

I regularly dine out and am happy to share my restaurant experiences, and views on food, with you.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Restaurant

The Guinea Grill
30 Bruton Place
London

Phone:- 0207 409 1728

Website www.theguinea.co.uk

Overview

Eva and I took a trip to Mayfair the other evening, to try out The Guinea Grill; a restaurant, just off Berkley Square, famous for its steaks and award winning pies.

It is attached to a 19th century pub, The Guinea, and is open Monday to Saturday. The Guinea has a loyal customer base going back some years since it was established in 1952, and is very popular, I advise you book at least 24 hours in advance.

Ambience

The Guinea Grill is nestled in a small alleyway just off Berkley Square, near the Rolls Royce and Bentley showrooms.

The tiny entrance, attended by a uniformed doorman, leads into the reception and grill area. This is where we got our first inkling of the style and quality of the restaurant. Just in front of the open grill was a chilled glass counter; which displayed a selection of 28 day aged steaks and fresh seafood.

The dining area was cosy, and decorated in the traditional manner of a pub/dining room from the 19th century.

The walls were half wood panelled and half painted sunset yellow, they were decorated with oil paintings. The carpet was tartan check, and the tables were laid with linen cloths and napkins.

The restaurant was busy, and tables were placed close to each other (but not uncomfortably close). Eva sat with her back to the wall on a bench, which provided seating for the tables on either side of us.

I would note that the one part of the d├ęcor that was definitely not 19th century, was the air conditioning unit in the ceiling. This, unfortunately, was situated directly above us; and we felt the full “benefit” of its output. We had to ask for it to be turned off, as we felt we were sitting in a refrigerator.

The atmosphere of the restaurant was very jolly, and not at all “stuffy”.

Menu

The Guinea is noted for its steaks, and its pies which have won national awards. Needless to say, the menu was dominated by steaks, lamb and pies. However, there was also a good selection of fish, chicken and seafood on offer; and an impressive wine list.

Service

The staff were very professional and courteous. We were even asked what types of gin we would like in our pre dinner cocktail. Old school service!

Food

I started with half a cold lobster (there were hot ones on the menu as well), served with a salad and mayonnaise.

The flesh of the lobster had been fully “de-shelled”, so I had no need to employ the shell cracker that had been laid on the table; I confess that I was rather disappointed at not having to “work for my lobster”!

The lobster was fresh and fleshy, it was a good choice for a starter.

I chose the 12oz sirloin for my main course, with chips and gratin tomatoes.

The meat was cooked medium (as requested), and was tender and flavoursome; as it should have been, given that it was hung for 28 days. The layer of fat around one side, which is essential for flavour and moisture, had a most excellent smoky flavour from the grill.

The chips were homemade, not frozen fries from a packet, and had a good flavour and texture. The tomatoes were topped with grated cheese, and provided an ideal accompaniment to my meat.

Eva started with the crayfish and prawn avocado salad. This was a generous helping of prawns in their shells and crayfish, served with chunks of ripe avocado in a good quality salad.

The dish was fresh and flavoursome. During this course Eva indulged herself in the bread basket; which contained an excellent selection of home baked breads, including a particularly flavoursome bread made with sultanas.

Eva chose one of the award winning steak and kidney pies for her main course. She was not disappointed. The pie came in its own dish, and was a good size. The pastry was flaky and light, the gravy rich, piquant and flavoursome; the meat and kidneys very tender, and generous in quantity.

As a side dish Eva chose the baked potato. This was a very good sized potato which had been baked, not micro waved; it was fluffy, and was served with a good dollop of sour cream.

Eva was delighted with her choice.

The meal, which included cocktails, a very good bottle of Chablis and liqueurs came to £158 including service.

Overall Opinion

A very enjoyable evening, and good quality restaurant. I can well understand why it has a loyal customer base, we would like to add ourselves to that list.

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