The Guinea Grill is one of those pubs I’ve often enjoyed standing outside with a pint of Young’s Bitter listening to the suits of Mayfair talk shop. I had no idea however there was a restaurant, more importantly a steak restaurant, hidden out the back.
It’s as old fashioned as it gets and it feels very London; patterned carpets, wood panel walls, framed pictures galore and a giant leather bound menu. Customer wise there are few women, it’s all men with bellies as big as their expense accounts.
To start, London cure Scottish smoked salmon (£13.50) was a simple affair which is exactly how it should be. A sprinkling of roughly chopped red onion was reminiscent of Otto’s which is no bad thing. Crayfish crab cocktail (£12.50) was another where the quality of the ingredients was enough to do all the singing necessary.
The main event really was an event. 16 ounces of Prime Scotch Beef (that’s all they serve as they are a founding member of the Scotch Beef Club) cooked spot on and generously salted which is just how I like my meat. The sirloin on the bone (£33.50) was so perfect that it converted me from my usual favourite of bone in rib; the flavour was immense.
You won’t really need (or manage to finish) many sides but the Guinea gratin potatoes (£4.50) are a must. The baked Gruyere creamed spinach (£4.50) was just a little too rich for me.
Steak, kidney and mushroom pie (£16.50) was brought out as an indulgent extra but would be best enjoyed in the bar area with a pint which a lot of people seemed to be doing. The sauce will give you an out of body experience and the suet pastry crust is so rich you won’t even need a side.
Somehow I managed a pud, a baked Alaska in fact (£6), which was light as anything and just the right size if you’re the type who has to end things on a sweet note.
As you walk into the dining room, past the butcher’s counter containing all the meat, and the open grill where it’s all cooked, you can’t help but fall in love with the charm of the place. Yes, it’s expensive, but I’m yet to find a steakhouse that isn’t. And this one is like stepping back in time – in a good way.
Would we go back? Yes.
We dined as guests of the restaurant.