Ever since my go-to pie place closed down, I’ve been looking for a new source of my favourite winter comfort food. So when an old high school friend was in town for the first time it seemed like a perfect opportunity to try out a new spot. The Guinea claims to have won a number of awards for their steak, kidney, and ale pie and we headed down to find out.
Food: ★★★☆☆ Service: ★★★★☆ Atmosphere: ★★☆☆☆ Value: ★★★☆☆ Overall: ★★★☆☆
The front half of the Guinea is a proper old school boozer and the benefit of being on a quiet street means you can spread out and relax when the weather cooperates. It’s great for chilling out while you gather your group.
What to eat?
We were here for the pies but I should note that the Guinea is actually most proud of their steaks (something we only realised once we were there) and have a massive display of all the cuts as you walk into the very small and intimate dining room. But we were here for pie so the steak & kidney pie it was with a side of potatoes au gratin.
The pie came out literally in frills (check out the picture) which was an entertaining touch. The suet pastry was rich and flaky and pretty much everything you could ask a pastry to be. Inside, the steak was slowly braised and delectably tender – by far the best steak filling I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating. However, the kidney was tough and chewy and detracted from the pie as a whole. Perhaps the gravy benefited from the offal (it’s full of flavour after all) but I would have been much happier with just steak and mushrooms with the kidney left out. This is an option on the menu and I’d definitely go for that next time.
The potato gratin was very traditional and by that I mean they were absolutely soaking in butter and cheese. Delicious, but more than a few bites would challenge even the clientele of the Heart Attack grill.
For dessert, however, the sticky toffee pudding is absolutely spectacular with a rich moist cake and plenty of toffee sauce. I also appreciate that it was served with ice cream over the standard cream or custard.
What about a drink?
The pub section caters to the usual pub drinks menu but the restaurant has an extensive wine list. Given it was mid-week, we didn’t test it out but it looks pretty solid.
Worth the dosh?
For £30pp for a main, side, and dessert, it’s not bad value. I think if I’d gone for the kidney-less pie I’d have been very happy with the meal and I can’t fault the warm welcome and attentive service.