Tucked away in Borough, London is a little place called Great Guns Social, a neighbourhood restaurant and bar that plays host to an ever-changing rotation of top chefs for a unique pop-up dining experience.
Unassuming from the outside, the decor on the inside is fun and artsy but tasteful and not at all overbearing, creating the perfect backdrop for a constantly changing menu of food.
But while the menu might constantly be changing, you can be guaranteed the quality is always top-notch. When I went to visit, the chefs in residency were Nick Ross and Max de Nahlik aka Oxalis. Their shared passion for seasonal British food and French flavours cross over to create an exquisite fine dining experience and their menu at Great Guns Social comprised of lots of small plates, perfect for group dining.
We started with a sharing board of slow fermented bread and house butter (warm bread and soft butter = always delish), hot wings (not so hot in my opinion but still very tasty) and duck ham, pickles and toast. Next out was a bowl of English tomatoes, elderflower and sumac (I don’t eat raw tomatoes but my friend gobbled them down) and a separate bowl of jersey royal potatoes in a green mojo sauce and ricotta which I greedily gobbled down while my friend was distracted by the tomatoes. This was followed by a serving of squid on a bed of black risotto rice (absolutely scrummy), and corn succotash which was equally delicious and we definitely could have done with more. Dessert was strawberry pavlova - make sure to order one each, this is not something you want to share with your fellow diners! Each dish was beautifully presented, and one of the chefs even came out with one of our dishes himself, which was a lovely touch. To wash it all down we had a Hugo cocktail each - gin, elderflower, mint, prosecco, soda and lime - simply refreshing.
The nature of Great Guns Social means that the Oxalis residency lasted for just under two weeks, and finished at the end of August. However, the current offering from chefs Sam Bryant and Alicja Specjalna looks just as good, or, dare I say it, even better. Serving up their new concept, Whole Beast, it’s a nose-to-tail feasting experience, with dishes such as pig skin noodle soup and hanger steak, served with wow wow sauce (probably worth going just to find out what this is) and roasted bone marrow - yep, they really do use every part of the animal. That residency is on until 28th September, so there’s still plenty of time to get down there and sample this unique concept menu. Then, on the 1st October, next in the kitchen is cheffing duo Klose & Soan, aka Matt Klose, formerly of Grub London, and Sam Soan, who was previously the head chef at the Camberwell Arms and Frank’s Cafe. The menu is yet unreleased, but they’re promising to bring a unique offering of refined yet unfussy, rustic and delicious food. Sounds good to me. I’ll see you there…
[Disclaimer: this was a press meal]