Discover five star dining in Greenwich with Guy Awford at The Guildford Arms (From Bucks Free Press)
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Discover five star dining in Greenwich with Guy Awford at The Guildford Arms
After three years of development and careful planning, the most beautiful pub/restaurant in Greenwich is finally complete and serving lovingly prepared culinary masterpieces.
Passionate chef Guy Awford and his property developer business partner took on a huge challenge when they bought The Guildford Arms with a view to transform the place completely.
But the hard graft has certainly paid off.
With a magnificent, leafy oasis for a beer garden and a five star quality restaurant upstairs, Greenwich now has a stunning new venue just a short stroll away from the train station.
We went along to meet Guy on Saturday evening, and even got to try delicious dishes from his weekly changing menu.
This talented foodie, who also set up nearby restaurant Inside in 2000, learned his tasty trade cooking all over the world, working in Australia and New Zealand.
He only uses the freshest ingredients in his food – and that is clear to see.
Walking upstairs to the bright, sophisticated restaurant it’s easy to forget you’re in a pub.
The intimate setting is perfect for a romantic date and I have to say the waiting staff were second to none.
Having arrived just after 6pm, we were the only guests in the house and I found myself thinking ‘this must be the best kept secret in town.’
The stunning menu was far more exciting to read than 50 Shades of Grey (especially the sweet section), featuring wonderful combinations of flavours.
I went for the Roquefort Soufflé with Poached Peach, Toasted Hazelnuts, Frisée and Balsamic Glaze to start with and my companion chose the Pan-fried Lamb Sweetbread with Black Pudding Croquette, Pea Puree and Girolles Jus.
What an incredible way to begin.
My soufflé had risen to perfection - the combination of powerful blue cheese, hazelnuts and peaches was a threesome made in heaven.
My seriously carnivorous friend always opts for dishes which make me feel a little queasy, but this is great because I get to try things I never would have chosen myself.
After he told me sweetbreads are glands from the lamb’s throat or pancreas, I have to say I wasn’t champing at the bit to try it.
But the dish was recommended by our waiter and once it arrived, I changed my unadventurous tune.
Don’t be put off by technicalities - along with the vibrant green pea puree this tasty dish was a triumph.
What to eat for the main course was a tricky decision to make, everything sounded so well thought out and mouth-watering.
In the end I chose Butter Roast Turbot with Chorizo and Saffron Rice Stuffed Squid and Smoky Bacon and Clam Gumbo – quite the mouthful.
Guy accommodated my pesky shellfish allergy and swapped the Clam Gumbo for Sauce Piquante.
The fish was without a doubt the nicest turbot I’ve ever tasted – and I was absolutely delighted with the little battered squid surprise sitting on top of it.
It looked like a seaside work of art and tasted amazing.
I love the exciting blends of flavours Guy uses in his dishes, with sweetness coming from shredded carrot beneath the turbot and a slight saltiness from chorizo and squid, every mouthful was a new experience.
My companion went for the Roast Veal with Sun-dried Tomato and Buffalo Mozzarella, Summer Vegetables and Osso Bucco Sauce.
The sight of that beautiful mozzarella resting on the veal sent a rush of food envy coursing through my veins – but one look back at my turbot banished the jealousy.
My favourite part of any meal was just moments away.
Usually a chocolate fiend, I absconded from my norm and went for the Passion Fruit Parfait with Raspberry Coulis and Mixed Berries – oh my goodness.
Not only does this dish look to die for, it is an utter taste explosion with every bite.
Just the thought of it is sending me a little gaga.
The cold, creamy, luxurious parfait is incredible with its sharp passion fruit sauce – imagine the poshest version of a Solero ice cream, times it by 10 and you’re halfway there.
The Caramel Chocolate Tart with Amaretto Ice Cream caught my companion’s eye and I couldn’t help but steal a bite, or three.
It was totally out of this world, with impossibly thin pastry and velvety smooth filling.
I am trying my best not to drool thinking about it – a return visit is most definitely inevitable.
The value is fantastic too – with two courses available for £25 or three for £31.
Visit theguildfordarms.co.uk, follow Guy on Twitter @guyawford and read his delectable blog here guyawford.wordpress.com
Address: The Guildford Arms
55 Guildford Grove
Phone: 0208 691 6293
TRY GUY'S FISHY DISHY AT HOME
Pan-fried Sea Trout with Spinach Puree ,New Season Vegetables & Sauce Vierge
2 x 180g sea trout fillets - skin on, scaled
200g spinach – stalks removed
10 new potatoes
6 baby carrots
4 baby fennel
4 baby leeks
100ml olive oil
1 plum tomato – skinned, seeded & diced
1 teaspoon coriander seeds – lightly toasted
4 medium basil leaves – rolled & sliced finely
Juice ½ lemon – strained of any pips
• Pour the olive oil into a pot and add the lemon juice, coriander seeds, diced tomato, basil & salt. Warm gently for one minute over a low heat & set aside.
• Rinse the spinach and shake off the water. Place in a pot with the butter and cook until thoroughly wilted. Puree in a food processor until smooth (push through a sieve if you like it very silky). Season and set aside.
• Cook the vegetables, drain and pour over a little of the sauce vierge whilst they are still hot.
• Dry the trout fillets thoroughly with kitchen paper, heat a little oil in a non-stick pan, season the pan with salt and then carefully lay in the fillets, pressing down with a fish slice to encourage them to lie flat (scoring the skin helps so ask your fishmonger to do this for you). Reduce the hob to a medium heat and cook until the skin turns golden and crispy. Turn over the fish and cook on the flesh side for a minute. Pull the pan off the heat and leave for a few minutes to allow the residual heat to complete the cooking process.
• Re-heat the spinach and spread over the plate. Place on the fish, and scatter on the vegetables. Dress with a little more sauce vierge.