We tuck into guest chef Grant Hawthorne’s mouthwatering ‘African Volcano’ cuisine at the gastropub putting fresh talent in the spotlight.
As it turns out, Borough Market isn’t one of the only foodie attractions in that area of London.
Introducing Great Guns Social.
Set in Southwalk, near London Bridge, Great Guns Social is a new style of restaurant that celebrates exciting local chef talent. On first glance, it’s a gastropub with a trendy, moody vibe but underneath its sultry façade, it is a revolutionary pop-up that plays host to some of the UK’s top chefs.
It works like this. Every few weeks a new cook takes to the helm, putting on a specially-curated menu. Great Guns calls it ‘kitchen residencies’. It’s a setup that’s perfectly suited to London’s foodies, who’re always hunting down that next big culinary trend.
Design-wise, the restaurant has gone for industrial looks, with exposed pipework and quirky touches in the form of filament lightbulbs and funky paintings.
An elegant colour palette, sophisticated furnishings and warm lighting add some cosiness, so it feels like a proper local pub too.
Manning the kitchen during our visit was chef Grant Hawthorne. Born and raised in Cape Town, Grant and his wife run a successful stall in Maltby Street Market where the locals love to lap up their Mozambique-style street food and famous homemade Peri Peri sauce.
Luckily for us, he’d set up shop at Great Guns over the summer (his loyal locals in tow) serving up incredible dishes from his ‘African Volcano’ menu. Think slow-cooked comfort food best eaten with hands, inspired by Mozambique-style flavours and cooking techniques.
We started with juicy prawns (a Mozambique staple) with a vibrant vegetable rice and Grant’s famous fiery Peri Peri sauce. It’s a traditionally-made Peri Peri, perfectly garlicky and peppery with a lemony tanginess that made our mouths water. It had a satisfying kick, without being blow-your-head-off hot.
Spatchcock chicken came next. Its charred skin was amazingly tasty and smoky. A squeeze of lemon heightened its tastiness further and a drizzling of Peri Peri sauce added yet more depth. The star of the show though was the succulent burger topped with pulled pork that’d been slow-roasted for 18 hours.
The Great Gun’s bar is in on the action too, adjusting its menu to suit the chef in residence. The cocktails aren’t to be missed, which feature homemade, slow-aged syrups and jams from Borough Market.
Great Guns Social combines the cosiness of a locals’ pub with the high calibre of food you’d expect from a top London restaurant. This new Borough hotspot should be next on every food-lover’s to-do list.
Great Guns Social – Where & How?
Great Guns Social is located at 96 Southwark Bridge Road London SE1 0EF. For bookings or to find out more, visit www.greatgunssocial.com or call 020 3475 0030.