We had wanted to take a visit to Mark Greenaway’s restaurant for some time and our 2nd wedding anniversary seemed like the perfect excuse! Located on the corner of Queen Street and North Castle Street, the restaurant forms the bottom of a converted mansion. We were greeted by a super-friendly maitre d’ who took us to our table next to one of the windows. Knowing it was a celebration for us, Mark had left an anniversary card from himself on the table (a keepsake!) and we were soon nursing a couple of glasses of bubbly – lovely stuff, thanks Mark!
The restaurant itself was fitted out in a contemporary versus traditional sort of fashion and was relaxing and interesting. I was particularly drawn to the main lighting of the room as shown below.
I think this is the first time I’ve taken a photo of every single page of a menu, the reason being the simple fact that I could have happily eaten absolutely anything from it (well, perhaps not the goat’s cheese…); it all sounded delicious! We ordered a bottle of Don Nicanor’s 2012 Malbec (Mendoza) to help us peruse the menu. This was decided on with a little help from our fantastic sommelier (I think there were two sommeliers on that night!) and it sure was a lovely Malbec.
Not long after ordering we were presented with some lovely fresh bread & butter and an amuse-bouche of tomato gazpacho (tomatoes sourced from Cyrenians Farm, a Social Enterprise just outside Edinburgh that Mark sources a lot of fresh ingredients from) with basil and roasted cucumber and tomato jelly. This was really tasty, classic combination of tomato and basil and the jelly was a new one on us and went really well. It was served on a piece of wood from Mark's partner's parents' garden!
On to our starters and Mrs G chose the venison carpaccio served with soused tomatoes, tomato tartare and parmesan “snow”. She enjoyed this very much and wolfed up every last bit. The tartare added a subtle sharpness which complimented the rest of the dish very well, the capers, cornichons (I think!) and parmesan topped it off with style.
I’d opted for the duo of hand dived west coast scallops which came served, as pictured below, with pork crackling, Dashi broth, soy caramel, sea vegetables and rice wine vinegar jelly. The scallop on the right was cooked with the soy caramel whereas the one served in the shell with the crackling was finely sliced and raw. The eating process involved cooking the raw one by pouring the broth over it and letting it cook while devouring the other. This added a bit of fun to the dish and I liked the thinking behind it. This dish was simply delicious! A great combination of flavours and a striking presentation – no criticism!
We were then presented with a Cona coffee-maker full of Mark’s take on cock-a-leekie soup. Again this added some fun to this (unexpected) dish; Google them to see them in action! I’d seen Jak O’Donnell using one of these on Great British Menu just a couple of weeks before this visit so was most pleased to see it in action up close! The percolated broth was poured over the chicken, rice and fig (I think). This was delicious, so fresh and clean tasting as well as having that x-factor buzz.
Moving onto the mains and Mrs G had, after much deliberation, chosen to go with the beef, or more accurately, the 40-day dry aged fillet of Aberdeen Angus. This was accompanied by a celeriac gratin, oxtail cannelloni, wild mushrooms, watercress purée and a red wine jus. Safe to say she absolutely loved this dish too, insisting I tried it. I duly obliged. The beef was pink and tender, as it should be served (the waitress had mentioned this was how it came which pleased us both). The accompaniments were equally good, it was a strong main course; it was also presented in an elegant, contemporary fashion.
I really could not make my mind up right up to the point of ordering. Somehow, the words “I’ll go with the pork” came out. Upon seeing my 11 hour slow roasted Clash Farm belly of pork served with a pork cheek “pie”, blackened fillet, sweetcorn and toffee apple jus, I was very happy that those words had been uttered! It looked terrific and tasted utterly amazing. Every single morsel of food on this well thought out plate was delectable! It really was special; best pork dish I’ve had in a long long time.
We were then brought, as a wee refresher, what Mark describes as strawberries and custard, and what I would describe as a strawberry panna cotta-like pot of beauty! This really was delicious and probably should have quelled my desire for a dessert…!
Mrs G decided to forego dessert in favour of cheese (she’s cheese-mad!) and selected the Cornish Yang, Lanark Blue and Brie Campagnard. These were served with frozen grapes, quince, oatcakes, crackers, celery and apricot. We both very much enjoyed these lovely cheeses (I tried a tiny bit of each).
I decided to forego cheese in favour of dessert and opted for “Mark’s Great British Menu “Knot” Chocolate Tart”. This came with custard jelly, frozen cookies, crème fraiche parfait, salted caramel and kumquat purée. It was incredible! The presentation was amazing and it was matched by the flavours on the plate. Everything worked together so well and I had no trouble finishing it all off. Delicious.
We were now both full to the brim and ordered a couple of espressos to try and offset the sleepiness. These came with homemade chocolate bars, white chocolate lollipops and fruit pastilles. The indulgence continued! Again, everything was truly excellent!
This was a hugely successful trip to Mark Greenaway and I can easily understand why there were no empty tables; he has got a fantastic name for himself here and quite rightly so. Superb service, environment, presentation, quality and taste. Restaurant Mark Greenaway oozes brilliance.
Mrs G and I had not been to The Corinthian, in any capacity, for roughly two years so decided that we should give it a whirl having heard that there was a new brunch menu. At this point I must disclose that we were invited to try the new menu and, as such, were not paying for the meal. I assure the reader, however, that this post is an honest review of the experience we had there and I have not been asked , nor have I offered, to provide a favourable review on account of this.
The welcoming, stylish interior of the main restaurant area is iconic. It’s amazing to think this was originally a private residence before serving as a bank; if this was my gaff I would’ve known that I had made it.
Upon arrival we were led to our table by a friendly waitress. We had a booth on benches facing each other but there are also crescent-shaped booths available which are suitable for bigger parties. The brunch menu comprises a good selection from a full Scottish breakfast to pancakes with bacon.
Mrs G ordered a Bloody Mary to drink. We may, or may not, have been drinking a bit the night before and this sounded ideal to me; I ordered the same. They were lovely. They were nice and spicy (as asked) and, I think, topped up with a splash of red wine. The liquid wasn’t thick as some can be but very tasty. I’m not sure how thickness reflects on the quality of tomato juice used, but I do know that it was a great drink that I would order again.
After much deliberation (I had to ensure I at least tasted the Benedict), I decided on the full Scottish breakfast with a poached egg rather than scrambled. When it arrived a wee while later it was practically begging me to dig in. Everything on the plate looked of good quality, even the beans, which I would rarely take with breakfast, looked apetising (and were nice!).
The sausages were hot and tasty, the bacon grilled nicely, the tomato was fresh (and, being a man, especially good for me) and cooked well, the tattie scone lovely, the Portobello mushroom was nice, the black pudding added a great flavour and the egg was cooked perfectly. All in all, it was very, very good. If I’m being picky, and this is just a personal preference, I would have liked the bread toasted a little more (I did not ask staff to do this and I’m sure they would have done had I asked!).
Mrs G had, with no pressure from me (honestly!), decided on the Eggs Benedict. This is one of our firm favourites and a good way to benchmark the quality of the food here given we’ve had it in many places across Glasgow. The presentation was spot on; simple but delicious looking. The eggs were served on muffins with Parma ham with a fresh leaf salad alongside.
These eggs were also cooked perfectly and oozed a nice runny yolk which intertwined with the delicious Hollandaise. Mrs G would have preferred a little more Hollandaise but I was of the opinion that the right amount was served; we don’t always agree! The Parma ham was a great idea and something I hadn’t had before with Benedict. I’m not sure why as it was superb! The Benedict compared favourably to some of the best we’ve had in Glasgow (I’m thinking Epicures and Booly Mardys) and we recommend it highly.
We finished with a latte (me) and a cappuccino. Mrs G, in her haste to try the cappuccino, forgot that I was supposed to take a wee snap first. Not wanting a photo of a stirred up version I opted against it and satisfied myself with a shot of the latte alone. Needless to say both of the coffees were excellent and finished off our brunch experience delightfully.
Well done, Corinthian!
Casa Russo sits above Fopp on Byres Road (where La Vallé Blanche, which we really liked, used to be) and is run by the same guys behind La Fiorentina (Paisley Road), Mediterraneo (Ingram Street) and Volare (Newton Mearns). It’s slogan is “come join the Family”; we were perambulating up and down Byres Road looking for somewhere to luncheon on a whim. We decided to join the family for lunch.
We were greeted at the entrance at the top of the stairs by a friendly waiter, who may have been Mariano Russo (we’re not sure), and promptly shown to a clean and bright table adjacent to a window looking out over Byres Rd. Not much had changed from the La Vallé Blanche days in terms of fit out, but it was brighter than I remembered it; perhaps a sunnier day, who knows?
Upon being given menus, we noticed that the lunch deal included Saturdays. This proffered a two course lunch for £5.95 (I’m sure it was, albeit website now says £6.95 so I may be wrong. This is the problem with waiting too long to blog about visit coupled with incomplete notes on the day!) which seemed a great price point for a restaurant on Byres Road!
The menu wasn’t limited to 2 or 3 meals, there was a decent choice. We ordered some drinks and perused the menu. I started with the Bruschetta Romana (as I type this I’m reminded of my mother in law who will explain that the pronunciation I of the word is “broo-sketta” at any given opportunity. Perhaps an Italian reader can confirm or deny this?) which consisted of toasted bread festooned with melted mozzarella, tomatoes, rocket, red onions and balsamic vinegar. It was delicious; as good as any bruschetta I’ve had in Glasgow. I ate the whole plate (not literally) within a few minutes.
Mrs G elected for the Pate Dello Chef, a creamy chicken and duck liver paté blended with sherry. It came with a toasted Italian bread, crispy salad and a wee pot of sweet red onions. This, too, was a delight (I was allowed a taste!). Very tasty starter indeed which was well received.
Onto the mains and Mrs G had gone for the Lasagne al Forno (she loves a lasagne) and it came, piping hot, in an individual oven dish. Simple, but good, presentation. She really enjoyed it and finished every last crumb.
I had decided on the Pasta Principessa which comprised chicken, Parma ham, tomatoes and petit pois in a cream and white wine sauce. This was also tasty; I didn’t seem to have a huge amount of Parma ham but figured this was permissible given there was no additional cost to have this as part of the lunch deal. I happily ate all of it and was satiated and ready for a lie down!
We (well she…!) decided this would not be a great use of a Saturday afternoon and thought coffee would be a good idea. I would advise any Italians reading this to stop now before you think of us as silly British people; for we ordered a latté and a cappuccino. I know this would be frowned upon in Italy at this time in the day but we were in Glasgow and fancied them! And they were lovely.
All in all this was an enjoyable lunch, perhaps not the finest Italian cuisine in Glasgow, but, at the price it was fantastic! We’d definitely go back for a bargain lunch!
The Kitsch Inn forms the first floor space of this ever-popular Glasgow bar on Bath Street. The cuisine is Thai and, not being far from the office, I decided to treat Mrs G to an impromptu lunch here (nothing to do with Valentine’s day, I hope you understand!).
This wasn’t our first trip here but it’s the first one at which I took photos for the blog; the idea being I would upload and review within a reasonable timescale. I did not.
We were greeted by a very friendly waiter/barman/duty manager who showed us to the table which was already set up with water and some tempting Thai crackers and dip. These were delicious and a perfect way to whet the appetite!
Kitsch Inn offers an “Express Lunch” menu which is £8 for two courses (correct as at August 2015). The menu is not massive but offers a decent choice and I would far rather a smaller choice of quality dishes than 100s of mediocre ones! The courses come together on a platter thus presenting the opportunity to dip in and out of each one at your leisure.
I chose the Crispy Prawn Tempura as a starter and the Thai Green Curry for my main. The tempura came with a sweet chilli dipping sauce and some crispy leaves. The batter was nice and light and contained some tasty, juicy prawns. The dipping sauce complimented them very well and resulted in a lovely starter which was finger licking good.
The curry was served with basmati rice and garnished with fresh chilli and coriander. The flavours were coconutty, fresh and spicy with a hint of lemongrass; it was lovely! I used the rice to absorb every last bit of flavour from the bowl.
Mrs G decided on the Chicken Satay Ayam to start, followed by the Massaman Beef Curry. She absolutely loved the chicken skewers, which were served with a peanut sauce and chilli and cucumber relish, and hovered them up (she is partial to a satay…).
The Massoman Curry was also well received with succulent beef which was deep with flavour, spiced perfectly, and complimented the peanutty satay very well.
So, overall, a very tasty last-minute lunch which we both very much enjoyed. At £8 the price point is great for a work lunch and it would be suitable for a place to take clients.
We’d definitely go back and don’t hesitate in recommending it!
After hearing from friends and reading in reviews about Kained Holdings' (think Lebowskis, Crafty Pig, The Finnieston) latest venture, we were very excited about having finally got around to giving it a go. Adjacent to The Finnieston, on the main strip of the area of the same name, Porter & Rye was buzzing with atmosphere when we walked in. The decor is a mix of modern/traditional and the walls have been stripped back to limestone in areas. The first thing that really grabs your attention though is the meat freezer which is next to the bar. All carnivores will like this; it showcases cuts of beef selectively sourced, by Rodgers (butcher), from the Brown family farm, Gaindykehead, in Airdrie.
The bubbly Australian waitress led us to our table which was nestled under the split staircase. This may have put some people off but we kind of like being out of the way. She came back with the blackboard of the available cuts of steak and knowledgeably talked us through the options. After some thought, we decided on our starters, steaks and a carafe of red.
Mrs G has a penchant for venison and went with the pan-seared venison with salt baked celeriac, sherbet blackberries and port jus. This was simply delicious (I was permitted a morsel to try!). The venison was cooked perfectly and was very tender and flavoursome. The sweet blackberries and salty celeriac accompanied it perfectly. I think I'll be ordering this to start when (not if) we next go!
I decided to go for one of the specials they had on the night which was a crispy duck egg served with risotto. Wow. This was sheer indulgent bliss. The egg was cooked perfectly (I simply had to take a second snap to illustrate this!) and went together with the risotto beautifully. For a starter, it was perhaps a bit much (I felt like I'd finished dinner afterwards) for me, albeit I finished every crumb due to the fact it was damn right gorgeous! If I had been able to resist finishing it all then I would have, but that was an impossible task; wonderful!
For the main event we both chose our favourite cut, rib-eye, medium rare. For sides, we went with bone marrow mac 'n' cheese, fries and purple sprouting broccoli. I chose the house sauce (a hybrid similar to a mix of bearnaise and diane) and Mrs G went for the beef jus. We selected our weapons (steak knives) from the selection that was brought to our table and were poised to attack the mouth-watering plates that were put before us.
The 8 oz slabs of meat gracing our table looked amazing; the criss crossing of the griddle just adding to the beauty, and our expectations! Cooked to perfection and full of juicy flavours these steaks were awesome. The sauces were delicious and the sides were brilliant. The mac 'n' cheese was as good as the reviews I'd read about it and the fries and broccoli also very good.
As usual, neither of us had room for dessert given the foodie goodness we had consumed; we saw some being served to other diners and they looked of equal quality and flavour to our savoury delights. Perhaps next time...
Yes, this was a great meal out and compliments must be given to the team at Kained Holdings and the culinary brilliance of Group Head Chef, John Traynor. We'll certainly be back.
The one criticism (and I'm digging deep to find it) is the proximity of the neighbouring tables. When the table next to us left the arse of one of the diners came worryingly close to my food and then brushed up against my shoulder. I think one less table in the area under the stairs would solve that issue.
The burger market in Glasgow is somewhat saturated but I am in no way bored of aiming to consume a burger once a week (or more often!).
I'd heard mumblings from people saying they'd had a tasty burger from Tut's and, if I'm honest, I did not expect them to be on a par with specialist burger joints littering the City Centre. Don't get me wrong, I've eaten a Tut's half a dozen times or so and enjoyed every meal but my hunch was that the burger would be good, but surpassed by the brioche bun wielding experts.
I was wrong.
The Tut's Classic Burger (patty with caramelised onions and mature cheddar) was excellent. The meat was very juicy and flavoursome whilst the caramelised onions added a lovely sweet flavour which the mature cheddar cheese complimented beautifully.
After taking a couple of bites I had to try and get another shot to try and illustrate just how juicy (without being too drippy and, well, wet) this champion was. Served on the side were tasty fries, slaw and pickled cucumber (which I liked but Mrs G was not too keen on). I love a pickle and inserted the cucumber into the burger to add a sharpness; fantastic!
They do a deal on Monday and Tuesday for 2 burgers and 2 drinks for a tenner. Get your ass down there if you've not yet had the joy of a Tut's burger. Up there with the best in Glasgow.
Enough is enough. My backlog of unposted blog entries is towering on my desk (figuratively, of course) and the need to put pen to paper (again, figuratively) has reached a critical high. Once again I'm playing catch up so will update this blog with some quick reviews that I hope will still be funformative.
In the first instance, and most recently, was my trip to Babu on Friday there. I've experienced Babu before at a couple of events via The Street Food Cartel, but, embarrassingly, I had not yet been to their basement premises one block from my office in town. Lunch plans with colleagues fell away mid morning but I already had it in my head that I was going to dine on something more interesting than a supermarket meal deal so had to think of something. The "eureka moment" hit me at around noon when I came across a Babu menu whilst rifling through my drawer trying to find a document for work. Decided.
Babu is just on the edge of Blythswood Square and comprises a charming little basement premises with a friendly and aromatic atmosphere. There were tables and chairs outside (not occupied as we're still in winter) and inside with a good mix of clientèle perusing the menu and eating approvingly.
After some deliberation I chose the roti wrap (a hurrah to Barbados experiences last year) with the chicken curry of the day. This was made to order using the home style curry, lettuce, red onion, lime and coriander; I was salivating by the time I'd taken this deliciously-smelling warm baton back to the lair.
I decided to mitigate the risk of curry to the suit by decanting said wrap onto a plate. As soon as the first mouthful hit my taste buds I knew I was in danger; it was absolutely delicious! The depth of flavour to the curry coupled with fresh salad ingredients and the bitterness of the lime was sublime. The fresh coriander (I'm still amazed at people who don't like my favourite herb) finished it off splendidly. Wow, what a wrap!
I was a little concerned that the curry would have been toned down a bit to cater for western spice receptors but it was not; it packed a punch and tasted brilliant.
Joanna Blythman recently rated this place 10/10 after sitting down for a meal in the cafe area. I look forward to doing this soon and experimenting with the different things on the menu, both meat-free and meaty!
Having been to Martin Wishart’s place in Leith a couple of years ago, we were expecting good food, service and ambience. I’m happy to say we were not disappointed!
The basement level of Malmaison is completely different to the dark bar that was there before; it’s been opened up and brightened up to good effect. The décor is modern yet elegant.
The bread and butter that we started with was lovely – a warm ciabatta-like bread which must’ve been freshly baked; dangerous though as we didn’t want to spoil our appetites and politely declined when offered more (we had scoffed two pieces each already!).
It was Mrs G’s birthday treat so wanted it to be special. The menu provided an array of choices and I could have happily had a number of options. After a chat with the friendly and knowledgeable waiter we decided to share the Cote de Boeuf; bone in rib cut. To start, I opted for the Seabream Tartare and Mrs G the Crab Marie Rose.
Both of these starters were very, very good. Mine was refreshingly zingy thanks to some citrus flavors and capers; accompanied by a quails egg, sardine (anchovy?) and a jelly (perhaps quince) Highly recommended. Mrs G loved her crab dish too, so great start to the evening!
The main event; the Cote de Boeuf, wow! Incredibly tasty, incredibly tender and perfectly cooked to our desired medium-rare (rib on the bone needs just a tiny bit more). The thick cuts of melt-in-your-mouth meat were accompanied by crispy potato wedges, onion rings and a simple salad.
What more could we want? The meat was the main event and was sublime! Not one scrap of meat remained circa 15-20 minutes later! I would put it up there with the quality we’d enjoyed at Alston Bar & Grill – can’t decide between the two!
Notwithstanding the fact that we had had enough food by now and anything more would have been pure greed, we decided to go crazy and have dessert. Mrs G chose the Crème Brulee whilst I went for two scoops of ice cream (I was really full!); one of vanilla and one of pistachio.
These delicious sweets really did proffer the icing on the cake (figuratively). What a great way to end such a fantastic meal, absolutely lovely! The brulee was crisp on the outside and soft on the inside (like an armadillo), whilst the homemade ice cream slid over the palate leaving a yummy flavour and pleasant coolness.
The food was washed down with a delectable Pinot Noir – light and easily drinkable yet full of flavour.
All in all, a fabulous experience!
Currently working on a draft letter to BA.
Worst flying experience ever!
Borne out of An Lochan, the Wee Lochan is a quaint little restaurant in the Broomhill area of the West End. I’m not really sure of the history of the place and whether it’s the same owners as before (or whether there are any links with an Argyll hotel with a very similar name); perhaps these are questions for next time…
We turned up for lunch without a booking (as seems to be our way these days!) as we had actually intended to try Don Costanzo in the Park Area for the first time. However, it was closed when we arrived (1220), despite the website saying it was open, so we’ve still not been there. We sat in the car for a few minutes trying to think of an alternative lunch spot and were soon en route to Broomhill as we realised we hadn’t been to An Lochan since the name change (or ownership change..?).
We were soon sitting at one of the three available tables with some ice cold water and some lovely bread rolls and butter. The restaurant was almost full of a variety of patrons and the general buzz as good. Mrs Glasgowscran had her obligatory glass of white wine whilst I, the driver, had a refreshing fresh orange and lemonade.
We poured over the menu and I opted to start with the Cullen Skink and Mrs G the scallops with pancetta and pea puree. The Skink was very good; nice and hot with beautiful chunks of fresh fish. It was one of the nicest Skinks I’d had for a while and I certainly do enjoy a Skink (careful!). Mrs G loved her starter. She’s got an obsession with scallops and will rarely see past them if they’re on the starter menu! The combination of the scallops, pancetta and pea (classic) made for a mouth-watering (I tasted it) plate. Yes, we were both very happy thus far.
For mains, Mrs Glasgowscran had ordered the pigeon, from the starter menu, which sounded fantastic (we’ve been eating a fair bit of pigeon recently due to a hunter-gatherer at my work and have really been enjoying it; very underrated meat). The friendly front of house staff member came and explained that there had been a mix up with their supplier and they had sent partridge rather than pigeon. Rather than simply giving Mrs G the menu and asking her to choose something else, the lovely lady showed real interest and concern; she enquired as to whether Mrs G fancied something gamey and then suggested the venison from the dinner menu. This was not normally available at lunch but it showed there was a genuine desire to appease the customer in the face of a slight hiccup.
The venison came with dauphinoise potatoes, parsnip puree, green beans and figs rolled in bacon (we think, Mrs G wasn’t a fan of these). The dish was finished off with a tasty gravy. Other than the figs in bacon Mrs G loved this dish which certainly satisfied her desire for game!
I had ordered the Thai-style fish (I can’t for the life of me remember whether it was cod or monkfish… My hunch is the latter. I must start jotting things down!) served in a coconut broth with fragrant rice and tempura prawns and spring onion. This dish was superb. It was very authentic tasting with a perfect level of spice; the tempura prawns and spring onion were simply lovely. The portion size was generous and I could not stop myself from devouring every last grain of rice.
As per usual we were not up to the task for trying to devour dessert, despite the options sounding very nice…
All in all a lovely lunch. We were impressed not only with the quality of the food, but also the reaction of the front of house staff in order to overcome a mix up with the food they could actually put before us. On top of this, they charged us the price the starter pigeon would have been for the venison. This was actually less than half the price the venison sold at. I can’t emphasise enough that this act really did leave a pleasant taste in our mouth (both literally and figuratively) and we will certainly be back shortly.
Well done Team Wee Lochan.