Little Guildford is a little unusual in that it only opens a few days a week – Thursday to Saturday for dinner, Friday to Sunday for lunch and Sunday only for breakfast (although Saturday is coming soon, apparently). Its Facebook page describes it as “a new restaurant aiming to provide a fresh, simple and seasonal menu in a relaxed environment with friendly local staff”. We arrived for breakfast today just after the opening time of 8am to find it already busy, which was a good sign.
The fitout is quite simple & rustic but perfectly comfortable, and child-friendly as you can see from the counter – they even provide paper & pencils to keep the kids amused. Little Guildford looks small at first but there’s plenty of seating inside and out, with both small and larger “share” tables to choose from. By 8:30am tables were getting scarce so this is something to bear in mind.
I normally refuse the “mug” coffee option as I find it usually invites disaster, but I wish I had accepted today as our coffees took a rather long time to arrive and my cappuccino was rather small – I don’t know whose finger could fit through that handle. They use Fiori coffee which was okay, but nothing special. I followed with a mocha which was also just okay.
The breakfast menu is quite small but with plenty of choices including buttermilk pancakes ($14), eggs Benedict with ham, bacon or salmon ($16), Atlantic salmon pattie with poached eggs, asparagus & hollandaise ($18), a breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs, chorizo, guacamole & tabasco ($16) plus the usual eggs on toast ($12) with a wide range of reasonably priced extras ($3-$4) to choose from.
Predictably I chose the big breakfast ($22) with poached eggs, bacon, chipolatas, tomato, pesto mushrooms and potato cake. I also added baked beans – yes “normal” beans! – for $3. I was a little surprised to find the beans plonked on the same plate as everything else, they’re not very elegant and made the dish look rather messy, if that matters.
There was nothing really wrong with anything on the plate – the poached eggs were perfectly cooked and the bacon & sausages were of high quality, but the potato cake (with hollandaise) and mushrooms just didn’t excite. I often hear it said that a big breakfast is just an assembly of separate items on a plate, but when done right it can really sing, even with “fancy” ingredients – think Sayers Sister or Jezebelle. This big breakfast didn’t really work, but it’s hard to put my finger on exactly why.
Renay chose the “Avocado Smash” with tomato & feta on sourdough which she really enjoyed, noting the freshness of the ingredients and how the dish was raised by the hint of lemon juice and the balsamic glaze.
I sat facing the kitchen and observed what seemed like disorganisation and confusion with the tickets and food being sent out; I wonder if perhaps the staff aren’t used to serving breakfast since they only open once a week. That being said, the service was very friendly and the wait for our food wasn’t particularly long (although at least one table that arrived after us received their food first) and I didn’t hear anyone complaining.
There are quite a few breakfast destinations in the area, including the Rose & Crown directly opposite and the excellent Jezebelle, which is admittedly a more “intimate” dining experience. The food, coffee and service are all good at Little Guildford and it’s definitely worth a visit for a Sunday breakfast, particularly if you’re in a group and / or dining with children – just get there early.