Restaurant review: The GriffinBy George Hamilton
October 10, 2012
It's a good job The Griffin knew we were coming – I fear we never would have got a table otherwise.
Every seat in the place was filled by a drinker or diner, although the lovely manager Anne Marie surprised us by saying she didn’t consider it a busy night.
We certainly thought it was busy, with the Friday crowd a buzzing mixture of ages from 30 to 70.
There was also a good mix of ages behind the bar – and more importantly there were plenty of people there too – handy if you order your food at the counter, as you have to at The Griffin.
We sat in a raised dining area and perused the menu, which has plenty of choice for different tastes and budgets, and a good selection of wine.
Having suffered a Gallo 2011 Californian Sauvignon Blanc at home the night before, I was keen to start with something which actually was crisp and fruity.
The Vasse Felix Semillon Sauvignon Blanc (£5.29 for 175ml) did not disappoint.
My wife Sarah chose a Casillero Del Diablo Shiraz Rose (£3.99 for 175ml) to accompany her beautifully presented starter of Scotch & Egg (£5.99).
This combination of venison, haggis and oatmeal crumb was a texture and taste sensation with accompanying chutney – and blew my fairly nondescript Pork, Chicken and Mulled Cider Pate (£4.49) out of the water.
We were torn on deciding a main course. The Aromatic Duck (£14.99) tempted both of us, but we eventually decided on Roasted Pork Belly (£11.29) for me and a Scottish Venison Burger (£9.99) for Sarah.
My pork was complemented by an excellent red wine sauce and thick and creamy mash.
A buttery Yalumba Shiraz (£5.99 for 250ml) helped it go down very nicely indeed.
The burger was also well received by Sarah, who complimented the slightly sweet bun, although she felt the fried egg atop it superfluous, even if it had been cooked to a runny perfection.
She also thought the accompanying bowl of chips and onion rings looked anaemic and could have done with a bit more frying.
Although we were full by this point, the crumble of the day (Gooseberry and Ginger – £4.49) couldn’t be turned down.
It was accompanied by thick custard and was crisp on top, sweet in the middle and all-round gorgeous.
After two hours we left The Griffin full, content and unwound after a busy working week. It may well become a regular for us.
- Telephone: 0118 947 5018
- Website: www.thegriffincaversham.co.uk
- Address: The Griffin
10-12 Church Road