Eat Here: Great Guns Social, BoroughBy Iona Goulder
Hidden behind an assuming former public house on Southwark Bridge Road, the team behind global content and music video company Great Guns, have opened their first full-time venue. The venue may not be moving, but the chefs are. The team have committed to chef residencies that promise an ever-changing menu from the country’s upcoming and established talents. It could be seen as a risky move by people who crave the consistency of their favourite restaurants, but in a City that loves trying and tasting food from all over the world, there’s no better place to launch a pop-up chef concept.
Great Guns Social: The Lowdown
The chef in residence during our visit was Khalid Dahbi. Having trained and worked in top international restaurants and Michelin-starred establishments, Khalid has brought his own playful twist on local Moroccan dishes to our fair city. Starters include chicken with almond pastilla as well as Cornish squid and harissa, whilst the mains have plenty of vegetarian offerings like fig, couscous and chickpea salad alongside meaty classics such as salt marsh lamb.
Great Guns Social: The Food
Over to the food: to start we shared Merguez sausage with tossed fine beans alongside a dish of burnt aubergine and peppers with broad beans and crumbled goat’s curd. This is proper, hearty food that packs a lot of flavours. The fine beans were fresh, crunchy and mixed with an amazing dressing, whilst the Merguez sausage provided just the right amount of spice and gave the dish that Moroccan twist that Chef Dahbi is known for. Meanwhile, the burnt aubergine had a real autumnal depth. I could’ve done with a handful more goat’s curd but this didn’t detract, and if anything let the vegetables be the main focus of the dish.
The main course was a vegan’s nightmare; I ordered a glazed beef rib whilst my colleague had a baguette steak with sweet potato mash and pepper sauce. The beef rib was as tender as you would expect and topped with sweet caramelised prunes and sesame seeds. Sitting on top of smooth, creamy mash the mix of textures and flavours was spot on. Meanwhile, the perfectly cooked steak paired with the sweet potato mash and pepper sauce elevated the meat to the next level.
Great Guns Social: The Drinks
Just as intriguing was the cocktail menu. Their cocktails use home-made, slow-aged syrups and jams made with ingredients from nearby Borough Market. You may not know what they are from the names but, judging by the ones I tried they’re all as unique as they are delicious. My ‘Rusty With Nail and I’ was perfectly smoky without being too bitter and an ideal antidote to a cold winter Monday, whilst the ‘Once Upon a Time in Mexcio’ provided just the right fruity kick that the name may suggest.
Great Guns Social: The Verdict
Overall this was a great meal in a really relaxed, intimate venue. The prices are reasonable at about £6 for a starter and £16 for a main. Don’t forget, the menu may well have changed in a month’s time but for one, I’m excited to see what’s next.
96 Southwark Bridge Rd, London SE1 0EF