Tag

Glasgow

Browsing

A Merchant City staple since 2002, The Dhabba in Glasgow has consistently been named as one of the best curry destinations in the city, in particular, for North Indian cuisine. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I tried it out for myself – would it live up to its reputation?

It’s no secret that I adore Indian food, however, dining in a restaurant that purely caters to North Indian was a culinary adventure. Personally, the most I know about the differentiation between North and South cuisine is rather basic. With Middle Eastern influences in the North, Biryani is one of the most popular dishes to come out of the region. North Indian curries usually consist of creamy, thick sauces; ideal for dipping chapati or naan bread into. Food in the South, as served in The Dhabba’s sister restaurant, The Dakhin, is generally spicer with coconut based sauces, seafood and vegetarian dishes playing a huge role.

That’s where my knowledge ends.

Forget your Chicken Tikka Masala or Lamb Roganjosh, it was time to order some dishes and explore North India for myself, from the comfort of a rather elegant decorated restaurant in the heart of Glasgow.

A Glasgow institution since 1996, Mother India is the go-to destination for authentic Indian food in the city. From dishes such as Garlic Chilli Chicken to Lamb Raan, I’ve yet to find a dish that I dislike. In this post, I recreate one of my favourite dishes, Mother India’s Butter Chicken. 

With the flagship restaurant Mother India in Westminster Terrace, Monir Mohammed created a gem. With commitment to cooking quality authentic Indian food with local produce, fresh herbs and the best whole spices, it is no wonder that the restaurant became a roaring success. Now with five outlets, including takeaways and a cafe in Edinburgh, there is no slowing down for the brand. 

My parents and I have been known to drive 30 minutes to Dining In With Mother India (The Den) on Argyle Street to grab takeaway then drive all the way home. Is it worth the hour round trip? Without a doubt. Nowhere else in the area compares for me. 

2017 seems to have been the year that Glasgow finally started to catch up with the rest of the UK when it came to street food.

With businesses popping up all over the city like Julie’s Kitchen, Ramen Dayo!, Chompsky, Street Food Putter Club and El Perro Negro, it was time that Glasgow had a permanent street food market just like London (Hello KERB, I miss you!).Some of these pop ups have gone on to have permanent homes such as Julie’s Kopitiam in Pollokshaws Road which officially opened today. Go pay her a visit, not because she’s a friend but because her Malaysian food is exceedingly good.

In March this year, Big Feed launched as a joint venture between Street Food Putter Club, Firedog and Charlie Mills Coffee. Running bi-monthly, this was the first real street food market that Glasgow ever saw. Since launching and the initial hiccups pushed aside, it has regularly been a go-to destination for something a little different at the weekends.

Sponsored post in association with American Express®

I’m excited to let you all know that the glitz and glamour of the red carpet is coming to Glasgow next month.

The 61st BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express is putting on a special cine-cast of the live red carpet event at the Opening Night gala in London, followed by the European premiere of Breathe. I’ve got my tickets and you could be front and centre of the action too on October 4th 2017 from the comfort of Cineworld on Renfrew Street. Evening gowns and tuxedos are completely optional, but who am I to begrudge some mid-week glamour!

Showcasing the best of British and International filmmaking, the Opening Night gala is the start of a thrilling 12 days of world cinema. Between October 4th and 15th 2017, over 240 feature films will be showcased around various locations in London produced and directed by famous names to emerging talent breaking into the film industry. With thrillers such as ‘Blade Of The Immortal’ to the thought provoking ‘The Breadwinner’, there is a range of films catering to all genres that will surely entertain all audiences.

Ahead of the grand opening of the Tim Hortons flagship U.K. Store in Glasgow tomorrow, I went along last night to learn all things Timmys and get a sneak peek of the new store.

The home of the Double Double and Timbits, Tim Hortons is an infamous Canadian chain which first launched back in 1964, in Hamilton, Ontario by Canadian hockey player Tim Horton. Named after himself, the brand now have 4,500 stores worldwide and the Glasgow store is the first in Europe.

You’ve probably heard of Tim Hortons, been to a store on your travels or you’re Canadian and crave a slice of home. Never heard of it? You must have been living under a rock! Just call them the Canadian version of Starbucks, but better.

It’s no wonder that when it was first announced they were expanding into the UK market, massive social media hype was created within hours, showing no sign of decline. Timmys fans as far away as London and a Canadian expat who lives in the Scottish highlands announced plans to travel for their fix.

But the question on everyone’s lips since it was announced that Tim Hortons would be coming to the UK and where the first location would be was…

Why open Tim Hortons in Glasgow?

It makes a change that a big name like Tim Hortons would choose a Scottish city to announce their presence in the UK. Choosing Glasgow over the Scottish capital Edinburgh is also a win win for my hometown.

Tim Hortons Glasgow UK- Glasgow Mug

I asked the UK Marketing Manager that very question. She stated that they chose Glasgow after research showed it had a large student population and that rent was cheaper than in Central London. The Glaswegian demographic was exactly what they were looking for. Simple.

Where are they opening next?

“Rapid Expansion” has been thrown around in the press but what does that actually mean?

Well England, you will have to wait. Within the next few months, Tim Hortons are hoping to open another store around the wider Glasgow area. After seeing how they perform, they do have plans to eventually open as many as 5 stores in a year. For the mean time, Glasgow is their focus.

Opening Hours?

They officially open from 9am on Friday 2nd June. Thereafter, the Glasgow store will be open from 6am until Midnight 7 days a week. Times aren’t set in stone at the moment and are subject to change. With anything, it depends on the footfall and demand. Many stores in North America are 24hrs so you never know what the future holds.

Now onto the most important question of them all

Is it worth it?

When entering the store at the launch party, tables were adorned with the entire menu line up for our visual inspection. From the Hot Breakfast Sandwich, Grilled Paninis and Soups to their Crispy Chicken Sandwich, there is something savory for everyone. Don’t forget to choose the Combo to add Hash Browns to your breakfast order and Wedges or Kettle Chips to complete your lunch/dinner order.

Tim Hortons Glasgow UK- Soups and Chilli

Hot food is prepared fresh to order, baked and not fried thus resulting in delicious tasting food which isn’t dripping in oil. Much healthier before you move onto sugar overload and the Baked Goods.

While in store yesterday, I tried the Crispy Chicken Sandwich and Potato Wedges with Garlic Dip, Medium Iced Capp. Delicious, although I did end up eyeing up the Steak & Cheese Panini. That’s next on my list. I didn’t try their coffee on the night, however, the coffee Iced Capp is a must try.

Tim Hortons Glasgow UK- Crispy Chicken Combo Meal with Iced Capp

A trip to Tim Hortons is not complete without something sweet. Ah Timbits and Donuts. I’m looking at you Birthday Cake Timbit and Apple Fritter Donut. Addictive. The problem I have with Timbits are that they are that small you can’t have just one. You need to devour at least 3. Perfect excuse to get a box of 10.

Speaking of boxes, UK prices for 10 are £2.49, 20 for £4.49 and 50 for £9.99. Quite reasonable if you ask me. My colleagues were rather ecstatic today when I wondered in with a box of 50 for everyone. After less than 10 minutes, I was left with 5 which now have my name on them. My keyboard may or may not have crumbs from the Apple Fritter Donut I am currently munching on while writing this. It’s hungry work writing about food, that’s my excuse.

 

Pay it forward

One aspect of Tim Hortons that struck a cord with me was their charity work and I hope that they will bring that philosophy with them over in the UK, whether it be supporting local charities or sponsoring a local sport team. Who know what the future will hold but one initiative they will be doing instantly is allowing you to pay it forward with your coffee. With every purchase you make, your receipt is printed with a ‘Share The Love’ section. If you pass your receipt to someone, they will receive a free medium Original Blend hot drink.

Opening Day Rewards

The very first customer to enter the store tomorrow will win a years supply of Original Blend Brewed Coffee, the first 10 will get a years supply of Timbits and the first 100 people in the queue will receive a free combo meal lunch.

Not in the top 100? You aren’t forgotten about

So will you be visiting the store over opening weekend?

Location:

Tim Hortons
Union St (Four Corners)
Glasgow G2 8BT

Opening Hours:

0600-0000 7 Days

 

The Canadian theatrical sensation, Cirque du Soleil recently came to Glasgow. After years of dying to watch them live, I finally had my chance with Cirque du Soleil Varekai at The SSE Hydro.

Never heard of Cirque du Soleil before? They are the largest theatrical producer in the world with dancers,  gymnasts, singers and actors from all over the world competing to earn that coveted spot on one of their 20 worldwide productions. The hiring process is intense, as I discovered while watching a documentary about the troupe and even after months of training, you might still be rejected. After seeing the show for myself, I can see why the auditions are rigorous. 

Cirque du Soleil Varekai- Aerial Swings

Each production has a unique story, and Varekai is based on the Greek myth of Icarus. The show reimagined the story behind Icarus after he flew close to the sun and fell from the sky. Rather than drowning, within the production, Icarus falls into the middle of a forest with exotic creatures surrounding him. 

I have to admit that at times, it was hard to follow the storyline as I was too in awe of the acrobatic performances but even if you get lost, don’t worry. The set design, music, costumes and acrobatics in front of you are a spectacle which will leaving you in utter amazement. 

Cirque du Soleil Varekai- Tenor

Cirque du Soleil Varekai- Cage Dancing

Each act in turn from the Dance Trapeze to the Aerial Straps were superb but the final act of the Russian Swings was like nothing I have ever witnessed before. My stomach was in constant knots and my mouth cranked open in amazement. It was breathtaking watching performers flip, jump and glide in the air, along with jumping onto each others shoulders and from one swing to another.

Cirque du Soleil Varekai- Russian Swings

Definitely one night I shall never forget. 

Have you ever been to a Cirque du Soleil show? If not, you need to make it your mission to watch one of their productions at least once in your life. Varekai did not disappoint, it made me yearn for more. 

Are you a blogger or digital influencer based in or around Glasgow? If you are, Mondays are about to get even better! Today marks the official start to Millennial Mondays at Blythswood Square Hotel. Glasgow’s most renowned address aims to match the youthful personality of the city by encouraging local bloggers, digital influencers and creatives to hang out in the Salon Bar.

As I work full time in the IT Industry, I mainly write all my blog posts in my living room in the evenings or at weekends. The downfall is that you can be easily distracted by life and I don’t know about you, but I find it better blogging in new surroundings, people watching and sipping coffee. That is when Millennial Mondays kicks in.

Every Monday, Blythswood Square Hotel will offer complimentary smoothies, refillable tea and coffees along with pastries within the Salon Bar between 9am-5pm. Along with free wi-fi, this is the perfect location to get your creative juices flowing. If you’re feeling hungry nearer lunch, together with brand partners, ROX you’ll also receive 20% off food in bar between Sunday-Thursday. Trust me when I say the food is worth every penny. I’ve never once had a bad meal here.

Millennial Mondays at Blythswood Square Hotel- Brunch Selection

Last week, I joined bloggers The Everyday Man and Lafotka for a special ‘Millennial Brunch’ to kick-start the new initiative. Bloggers, Digital Influencers and TV Personalities joined forces to celebrate over a rather delightful brunch. From those I spoke to, everyone is loving that Blythswood Square Hotel is at the forefront, engaging with millennials in Scotland. Not something you normally find with 5 star hotels and outside of London.

Millennial Mondays at Blythswood Square Hotel- Hotel Decor

During brunch and catching up with friends, ROX held a prize draw and miraculously, I won! I rarely win anything and I can only thank Lafotka for picking my postcard out of the bag. I’m now the owner of matching earrings and necklace. Now who says Mondays are bad?

Note: Want to be part of Millennial Mondays and spend your day within The Salon Bar? Send your request to @SkapaPR on Twitter and also tag @BlythswoodSq. Once approved, you’ll be given a special card and key ring to enable you to take advantage of Millennial Mondays offers along with being sent exclusive offers unique to millennials.

The Glasgow Brunch Diaries is a new blog series where you’ll find me sharing my favourite brunch spots in the city, perfect with friends, family or loved ones, these are my top picks in the city. As this series grows, hopefully you’ll come to love my favourite places as much as I do.

It’s almost the weekend, you can say goodbye to your alarm clock and get that much needed lie in you’ve been craving since Monday morning. Brunch (after lie ins) is the best thing about the weekend in my opinion and what better way than to spend it stuffing your face and overdosing on caffeine.

In the first of the series, I popped along for brunch at family run Eusebi Deli on the corner of Park Road and Gibson Street in the West End of Glasgow. An Italian favourite, I’ve been numerous times for late lunches or dinner, however, this was the first time I tried their brunch menu.  

Eusebi Deli is always full when I pop in. I rarely book a table and I’ve never had to wait longer than 5 minutes to get a table either which is always great. On this occasion, we sat in their basement where private functions are normally held. Quieter and open plan, I love this space more than their main dining area where you can feel rather squished 90% of the time. 

I started my Saturday morning with Cacio e pepe, Roman style soft scrambled eggs with black pepper and pecorino shavings. Served with a generous amount of toast, they were cooked just to my liking, not too soft and not overdone. The addition of pecorino helped enhance “normal” scrambled eggs into something more indulgent. Say goodbye to eggs without cheese, so creamy, so delicious! Next time, I’m going to order a side of pancetta because they’d be perfect together and why not?

Eusebi Deli- Cacio e Pepe

Ross, ever the bottomless pit, ordered two dishes. First up was porridge, topped with orange compote, fruit and pistachio crumbs. Great portion size, the toppings married well with the oatmeal. I’m not a fan of porridge (a little like wallpaper paste for me) but I’m led to believe it was good. I think I’ll just take his word for it. 

Eusebi Deli- Porridge

Next up was Sugo– eggs baked in a tomato (sugo) sauce.  The Italian version of shakshuka, a rich tomato sauce was accompanied with two eggs and basil. Unfortunately, the eggs were overcooked so no yolk dipping but the flavour and taste of the sauce more than made up for it. I couldn’t resist scooping up some of the sugo with my toast, delicious. 

Eusebi Deli- Sugo

After a few more drinks, we decided to grab some items from their deli to takeaway for lunch later in the day. As well as selling a range of sandwiches, bread and popular Italian dishes to re-heat at home, they have a great selection of cakes on offer. My favourite? Bombolone. Pistachio Bombolone. Are you even surprised at that? I like the small little ones the most. Definitely make sure you have room for one of these after brunch. Or go wild with Nutella on tap. Oh yes. Trust me.

I regularly have pizza cravings. I wanted pizza. I needed to have pizza. To be fair, who wouldn’t want pizza? Pizza is the greatest food group there is. So I was on a mission to feed my desire with the best pizza I could find. Not an easy task when there are only a handful of places in Glasgow that serve half decent pizza.

And then Paesano Pizza popped up in Glasgow at the tale end of 2015.  

Ever since I first visited Glasgow Central Station’s underground restaurant Alston Bar & Beef,  I’ve been a firm fan, going back time and again. I like to think of Alston as Glasgow’s best kept secret which you enter via a secret passage door – blink and you’ll miss it. I cannot keep raving about the food to everyone around me and if someone asks for any restaurant recommendations in Glasgow, I make sure Alston is at the top of the list. If you want to check out my previous review, just click here.

This time around, I climbed down the Timorous Beasties staircase to sample their new Wednesday Steak & Lobster deal. For £40 for two, you can order a 250g dry aged rump steak, 1/2 North Atlantic lobster or a North Atlantic lobster roll each. The deal also includes a large portion of chips, lashings of garlic butter and a bottle of house wine to share. Sounds like a perfect way to spend a Wednesday. What’s even better is that the deal starts at 12 until closing which means if you want a rather decadent lunch, you can!

Alston Bar & Beef- Steak & Lobster Wednesdays

I’ve walked past The Millennium Hotel on George Square numerous times, all the while peaking through the glass windows at the diners. It is a place that I had never really thought about eating in as Glasgow has an abundance of great restaurants. That was until I was asked to visit the hotel and meet executive head chef Jean-Paul Giraud over dinner. 

Only a stones throw away from Queen Street Station, The Brasserie on George Square couldn’t be in a better location if it tried, right in the heart of Glasgow.  The hotel is always filled to the brim with tourists and business travellers alike. My mom and I were welcomed by the Brasserie Manager and shown to our table in the conservatory overlooking George Square. The perfect location for people watching as you eat. 

Chef Giraud developed the Brasserie menu, which reflects his French training, upbringing and incorporates the best seasonal Scottish produce. Just by looking at the menu and décor, you can tell that it has French cuisine at its core. 

The Bothy is a place that I had always heard good things about but never got around to visiting until Christmas Eve with Ross and his mother. Even though staff were rushed off their feet that evening, the food was delicious and the service was great. So when The Bothy asked if I’d like to try their newly relaunched brunch menu, it was time I made my way back to Ruthven Lane. Brunch is the best part of any weekend. Forget waking up before 9am, brunch is meant to be enjoyed after you’ve had a well deserved long lie, that’s why The Bothy serve brunch until 3pm.

Upon entering The Bothy, it feels like you are transported into someone’s house. The beautiful stone brick building has to be one of the prettiest locations in the West End of Glasgow. Cosy tables with sofas and upholstered armchairs adorn the dimly lit main restaurant alongside open fireplaces. In true Scottish fashion, the staff even welcome you in kilts, which is always pleasing on the eye, and are friendly to match.

The Bothy- The Bothy

After being shown to our table and offered drinks, I decided to try The Bothy Full Breakfast. Lori opted for The Bothy Vegetarian Breakfast. As Lori also has a nut allergy, she asked our waitress if her vegetarian haggis contained any nuts. A few seconds later after asking the chef, they confirmed that it was nut free. Thumbs up.

The menu also states that both breakfasts come with a fried egg, but we were actually offered a choice. I opted for poached and Lori ordered scrambled. I’m not a huge fan of fried eggs outside of my own kitchen so I’m glad we were given a choice. Maybe the menu should reflect that you can choose the egg of your choice?

The Bothy- Menu

We were starving so it was a welcome relief that we didn’t have to wait too long for our order even though the restaurant was packed full of locals or tourists alike either having brunch or ordering from the Braw Deal Set Menu.

My plate was overflowing with food, delicious looking food. I loved that both of our breakfasts came with a welcome surprise of some toast. You definitely need a good few slices of toast, especially to dip into beans and runny egg yolks.

The Bothy- Full Breakfast

The Bothy Full Breakfast comes with two Cumberland sausages, two pieces of smoked bacon, potato scone, Stowaway black pudding, beans, grilled tomato and my choice of poached egg. The Cumberland sausages were absolutely delicious. They were some of the best sausages I’ve ever eaten. High quality, flavoursome and no gristle. The rest of the breakfast was appetizing, but the sausages were the stand out for me.

The Bothy- Cumerland Sausage

Lori was equally as impressed with her vegetarian breakfast which came with vegetarian sausages, vegetarian haggis, potato scone, beans, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and her choice of scrambled eggs. Lori loved the vegetarian haggis as it was not something you’d normally get in a full breakfast. I’m also led to believe that the scrambled eggs were light and fluffy.

The Bothy- Vegetarian Breakfast

The Bothy- Vegetarian Haggis

The staff were as friendly as I remembered and even though the restaurant was full, they were very attentive. Overall, The Bothy has to be one of the best places in the West End to get brunch. I loved what I had ordered so much that I’ve been dying to go back ever since and I think it just may be on the cards again this weekend. 

The Bothy also hosts live music acoustic sets from local musicians who entertain you as you dine. If you don’t fancy having brunch, you can also try their great value Braw Deal Set Menu with three courses for just under £15, you will be sure to get your monies worth!

Where is your favourite place for brunch in the city? What do you like to order? Are you more of a full breakfast or benedict type of person?

Disclaimer: I was invited by The Bothy as a guest in return for a review. Whilst my meal was complimentary, I was under no obligation to write a positive review and my comments reflect my true experience that afternoon.

Click to add a blog post for The Bothy on Zomato