December 16, 2013

Day 16 - The Guild, Victoria

The Guild started doing a Brunch recently, so my weekly Breakfast crew met up there for their take on Breakfast. The Guild is going for British Style pub food with an extensive beer list, social atmosphere and classy service. In the evenings, you can get such delights as a glass of Bacon, curry and chips, or an anchovy mixed green salad.  I'm not sure the latter is very British, but it is damn good.  The beer list is extensive, and excellent, with all sorts of good solid regulars and odder, harder to find beer by the glass.  After the Garrick's Head, I'd say they have the best beer list in Victoria. A little pricey, but extensive and not just by having 27 different versions of fizzy lager and local pale ales.

But sod the beer, what about brunch?  Well it was quiet.  I think they had four other covers while we were in there.  The main bar area is all high tables and stools, good for a social evening, less suitable for a slouching morning meal.  So we tucked ourselves in the back, just the three of us.  It gets like that around Christmas, folks head off for various Christmas trips, exchanging presents, seeing family, shopping trips...

A nice wooden table, plenty of space on a bench seat and a view of the bar and the kitchen pass.  Perfect.  Coffee came, hot, tasty and effective.  Could do with a large cup to really caffineate effectively, but on the other hand, I probably would have been bouncing of the ceiling with large mugs of the brown stuff.

The menu is about a dozen items long, and ranges from the full English Fry Up to a New Yorker Benny. Most of the ingredients are locally sourced, so the meat products are 'artisan' (read: not mass produced) and the veggies are fresh and low on food miles.  There's also a Cod with eggs and shrimp butter... poached fish being the selection of the tender headed Edwardian gentleman if you believe PG Wodehouse.  I was tempted, but went for the full fry up.  It sounds like a huge amount, but the Guild goes for a sensible portion size to make it just large... a spoonful of beans, one sausage, two smaller rashers of bacon, two eggs a small pile of potatoes... and huge slice of Black Pudding. And grilled tomato that looks like it came from fruit the size of a softball.

It was excellent.  Eggs were scrambled just past still runny so they gleamed. The bacon was crispy without being ruined, the sausage tasty - juicy and rough ground filling with good seasoning. The black pudding was delicious and mingled with the eggs and beans just right.

I know some people think of dried blood food as akin to eating scabs, the idea of eating congealing blood turning their stomachs.  Mixing what people see as a 'waste product' now, with carbs and fat to makes something greater than the parts. Savoury, earthy and filling.  It's a food stuff born out of the waste nothing culture of my grandparents youth.  Where offal and off cuts had to been eaten to get by.

One of my friends went with the Bubble and Squeak, made with fresh kale and island potatoes. Creamy, smooth and just 'a hint of that kale taste'.  Topped with eggs, it made a great comfort food style dish.  Certainly might consider it on my next visit.

Which will probably happen.  The service was good, with our server happy to chat away with us, and asked about the Interactivity Board Game Cafe as he heard us talking about it.  Told us about the upstairs function rooms too (there was a lot of girlish laughing and stomping... turns out there was a young girls birthday party on upstairs).  The bill was reasonable for what you got, and I always like not queueing.


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