Shardana is an authentic and independent Italian pizzeria in the heart of Guildford, hidden away in Baker’s Yard, which is located just off the High Street in the upper end of Guildford’s town centre. This little-know gem can easily be missed by passers-by as the restaurant is found on a small side-street situated between Michael Chell menswear and Crew Clothing- certainly not the most conspicuous of places.
However, those who do manage to find it will be pleasantly greeted by a warm and friendly atmosphere adjoined with a clean and modern feel. Huge glass windows dominate the exterior which give it a sleek feel, but more importantly, a glorious amount of light for diners inside. The converted warehouse that also used to be the home of a luxury t-shirt store still has an exposed, urban feel with white walls, high ceilings and metallic fixtures. This is unlikely to be typical of a traditional Mediterranean restaurant, but certainly succeeds in creating a fresh and chic ambiance.
But as you would expect from any respectable Italian restaurant, the food and service is the most important factor in making sure you have an enjoyable experience. So the menu is compiled of a selection of mouth-watering dishes that you may find takes some time to choose from!
The selection of starters include Bruschetta Classica, Gamberoni (King prawns skewer grilled and marinated with garlic, parsley, chilli and lemon sauce) and Cozze Piccanti (Mussels stewed in a spicy tomato & white wine sauce). Or if you would prefer, there are vegetable and meat sharing platters and the exceptional Calamari Fritti which is an excellent choice to divide amongst friends. And as a second course, there is a good variety of options between the stone-baked pizzas, freshly cooked pastas and healthy mains.
There are a good combination of classic pizzas such as the Americana, the Siciliana and the Margherita, with some more unusual options like the Shardana (Tomato sauce, mozzarella, goat’s cheese , onions, chicken and chillies), 4 formaggi (Cream, mozzarella, brie, gorgonzola and pecorino cheese) and the Calzone Vulcano (Tomato sauce, mozzarella, ham, mushrooms and olives). Pastas like Penne Pollo Rosa Chicken (sundried tomatoes, cream tomato sauce), Pappardelle Porcini Cream (Porcini mushrooms, white wine and truffle oil), Gnocchi Sardi (Fresh Italian sausages, red onions, tomato sauce and fennel seeds) are also a tasty option.
And on the mains list there are such choices as Stufato di Pesce (A medley of seafood stewed in white wine and spicy tomato sauce), Spigola Al Forno (Baked Sea bass in a salty crust, served with mashed potatoes and French beans) and Bistecca Di Manzo (Grilled rib eyed steak served rosemary baked potatoes and beans). There are the usual sides on offer like garlic bread, green salad, minted courgettes and rosemary potatoes as well as some beautiful desserts such as homemade tiramisu, panna cotta and torta al limone.
Shardana is a lovely place for families and shoppers alike, with great food and a homely atmosphere. There is a small bar area that is perfect for business meetings or a quiet drink and there is a set lunch menu that comes at a reasonable price. As they say themselves, Shardana; where spring is all year round.