Last weekend we met up with some friends to check out the newish restaurant Guild. It’s a restaurant where you can check out various games and play while you’re eating.
It was a good thing we booked as the place was absolutely packed, there were empty tables outside but with the rain this wasn’t much of a surprise. They also offer hoodies that you can wear if you’re cold while sitting outside, I love this idea and think it will be very popular in Canberra where people love to sit outside in the spring and fall. It’s a nice twist on the classic blanket basket offered at other area restaurants.
Because the restaurant is located in the lower level of Bailey’s Arcade we expected it to be dark, like you’d imagine a game place to be, but it is very light and airy. The floors are polished concrete but they were smart enough to put some acoustic batting on the ceiling to keep the noise level down and from bouncing around the restaurant. This was another nice change from other new restaurants where you can barely hear the person across from you because they don’t do anything to soften the noise.
There are two different menus that you’re given at the table, one for food and drinks and another just as long for games. It was slightly easier to decide what to eat rather then what to play, they do have a recommendation list though and you can go over to the game bookcase and browse through the available games.
We played two different games, Zombie Fluxx, a card game where the rules and requirements constantly change, and Love Letters, a quick and easy card game. As it was four of us we had a smaller table, but still plenty of room to fit us all in, which is why we opted for the card games. Our choice was validated when our food came and we were able to continue playing. There are lots of bigger tables as well for larger groups and larger games.
When you order your game you can also get a Game Master to explain the rules to you and assist you in setting it up. This can be very useful in some of the more complex games, ours were both relatively simple. At certain times there is a charge per person to order a game to cover the time of the Game Master to explain it, while I understand this I think it should be more selective about which games are charged as we only needed the Game Master for a minute or two and we were charged $12. I think a few more games like Fluxx could fall under the no charge category.
There is a good sized drink and food menu with dishes ranging from sharing appetiser platters to steak. I was impressed with my Dark and Stormy and the wine was poured with a generous hand. While appearing reasonably priced we were disappointed to see that the $22 pizza was the size of a pizza you’d expect to pay $15 for. It was tasty though and Andrew ate through it before I had a chance to snap a picture. For myself, I tried the pulled pork. It was alright but I wouldn’t have classified that as pulled pork, maybe just a BBQ pork burger instead, but I am incredibly picky when it comes to pulled pork.
We tried the Walnut and Sticky Date Pudding for dessert and I found that to be the most disappointing part of the meal, the butterscotch sauce was nice but necessary as the pudding itself was incredibly dense.
In general the food seemed to be an afterthought to the rest of the set-up.
The other problem we found with eating was that while the staff were very attentive in taking our order and delivering our food and drinks they all seemed to disappear after that. We looked around after our plates had sat empty for a while and it did actually appear that there were less staff around, mainly just the Game Masters were left. It makes sense because you’re going to have one mass sitting of food for the evening and then those tables might continue to have nibbles and play games for a few hours so it’s not necessary to have so many staff. It would greatly benefit them to have slightly more attentive staff during that time though as we would have gladly ordered more drinks and could have easily settled in for the evening if we had someone coming round every so often to check on us and see if we needed anything.
That being said, the staff were all incredibly friendly and attentive every time we dealt with them and I can’t even imagine how many game rules are crammed into the heads of the Game Masters.
Restaurant: Guild, LG, Bailey’s Arcade, 150 London Cct
Atmosphere: lively and cozy
Staff: knowledgeable and personable
Food: ok, it could be improved but we’d still eat it
Would we return: All in all we agreed we would happily return to Guild again, especially if we find a new game we want to test out to see if it’s worth purchasing.