Kappys in Guildford is one of a number of restaurants in easy walking distance of our place and we go often. However we hadn’t been for a month or so, and had heard the menu had been changed a little so we walked on down one evening this week. There is a semi-al fresco area out front, but we chose to sit inside as it was a little humid with the approaching cyclones up north.
This is a family run restaurant and you can always be sure of a friendly welcome from Bianca and the others serving at the tables and in the kitchen. We were seated at a table by the front windows and had a look over the menu. Our usual wine choice here is the dry French rosé, Chateau La Gordonne, and our wine was on its way before we ordered it. How predictable we must be!
The menu has been updated somewhat since last we were here – of course many of the old favourites are still there – wood roasted mushrooms with chilli, spinach and parmigiano; chilli crab linguine; roasted chicken; spinach and blue cheese ravioli – but a few new dishes have appeared and we thought we should try a couple of those.
As well, I walk past the restaurant almost every day and had noticed their blackboard outside trumpeting black cherry gelato and that appealed as a dessert choice.
We decided to order a salad, a new addition the pesce plate, and a new pasta dish – spaghetti with a sauce of tomato, capers, anchovies and olives – this sauce is known as puttanesca – said to have been invented in the 1950s when an Italian chef low on ingredients had to search around and make a sauce for some of his customers late one night – and so it was that spaghetti alla puttanesca came to be, named for those customers who were apparently ladies of the night, so to speak.
Our salad, iceberg, cos, olives, tomato, radicchio and red onion, with an oil dressing was cool, crisp, crunchy and light – just what we wanted. This was a prime example that fresh ingredients, simply put together can produce a lovely dish, and so it proved to be.
The pesce plate – with our eye on dessert we chose the entrée size – came out as a plate with small mounds of fish, smoked salmon, squid and prawns; it was served cold. The fish had been grilled, was tender and moist; the squid rings very well cooked, again very tender; while the prawns, cooked with their tails, were sweet and firm. The smoked salmon was smoky, oily, delicious. This was once again a statement of simple, well cooked food that ticked all the boxes.
The spaghetti was excellent – the pasta cooked al dente, the sauce simply brilliant -in turn salty from the anchovies, olives and capers, with sweet notes from the tomatoes, and wonderfully fragrant from the garlic and capers; at the risk of repeating myself a simple well cooked dish, fresh ingredients, bursting with flavour and aroma.
We were able then to go on to the desserts and chose toasted coconut meringue, with black cherry gelato and raspberry sauce. A crisp, chewy meringue topped by two scoops of beautiful gelato – creamy, slightly sour from the cherries – toasted coconut sprinkled over, and sitting in a sharp, sweet sauce of raspberry, with cream dotted with strawberry quarters. It was delicious.
Kappys always seems to satisfy – the food is well cooked, looks good on the plate, tastes even better; the service is friendly and welcoming; it is a neighbourhood gem.