Category

Food Reviews

Category

Just before The Commonwealth Games, Ross & I headed to Blythswood Square for lunch. I’ve been to the stunning hotel quite a few times for drinks and events, but had never dined in before. If you have never heard of Blythswood Square before, it is an award winning 5 Star Luxurious Hotel & Spa situated in Central Glasgow with over 100 rooms, individual suites and a luxury penthouse. The Restaurant & Bar itself caters for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner along with Afternoon Tea and my favourite, Blythswood Bubble Afternoon Tea giving you unlimited Moët & Chandon Champagne. Yes Please!

On this occasion, we were sampling the Three Course Market Menu which is £22 per person. The menu regularly changes and gives you a variety of fish, vegetarian and meat dishes to make any palette happy. Just by reading the menu, you get an indication at how high end and well thought out the entire menu is, not just the Market Menu.

Upon entering the rather empty restaurant, we were given the Market Menu and our drink order taken. The hardpart was trying to choose what we wanted to eat, we couldn’t both order the same for photographic and review purposes, naturally! In the end, I decided to order the  Prawn Cocktail with Avocado which had a £5 supplement charge. Ross ordered the White Onion & Fennel Velouté with Herb Oil. For mains, it had to be the beef for me but not just any ol’ beef. I ordered the Seared Shoulder of Beef with Mushroom, Pea & Bacon Cassoulet, Mashed Potato & Red Wine Jus. Ross decided upon the Roast Loin of Pork with Homemade Yorkshire Puddings, Vegetable Panache and Roast Potatoes which again had a supplement charge of £3.

When my Prawn Cocktail arrived, it looked too good to eat, but of course I did! The menu stated that it was made up of baby prawns so when I was met with a rather lovely large plump prawn on the edge of the glass, I was pleasantly surprised. The prawns were fresh, cooked well and the Seafood Sauce was the right mixture of spicy and tangy. The ratio of prawns:lettuce was good which meant I wasn’t overpowered with lettuce, it was just the right amount for the glass. When making my way down the glass, I was met with an avocado cream which was coating the lettuce and bottom of the glass. It was refreshing and a lovely addition to the dish. No chunks of avocado which I’m rather glad at as it’s not my favourite texture in the world. The Parmesan crisps were another welcome addition, crispy and cheesy, helping to gather up the sauces. Beautiful introduction to Blythswood and a refreshing change to your standard Prawn Cocktail.

Blythswood Square- Prawn Cocktail with Avocado

The White Onion & Fennel Velouté with Herb Oil was creamy and slightly sweet. The aniseed flavour from the fennel and the herb oil didn’t overpower the velouté and instead complimented it. There isn’t really much to say about the velouté, it was smooth, flavourful, well presented and most importantly, tasted good. If we did have one criticism it is that it cools down very quickly but there isn’t much the kitchen can do about that. 

White Onion & Fennel Velouté with Herb Oil

After a rather long break, it was time for our mains. By this point, the restaurant was filling up which meant the staff were a little more distracted and rushed off their feet but as this was a lazy Sunday afternoon, we were fine with our wait.  I was ravenous and my eyes lit up when I spotted our food en route to the table. Again, faultless presentation for both dishes.

The Seared Shoulder of Beef was very well cooked; medium rare if you wanted to know. I was initially expecting slices of beef à la Roast Beef so just like my starter, I was pleasantly surprised when I was met with three rather chunky slices of  beef. Beautifully soft, melt in your mouth, trimmed of fat and extremely flavoursome. The Cassoulet of Mushroom, Pea & Bacon was a great addition to the beef, mushrooms being my favourite vegetable (or fungus if you really want to be technical!). The bacon (lardons) gave the dish a salty element to offset the sweetness of the rather rich red wine jus. The dish was perfected with wonderfully creamy and buttery Mashed Potatoes. Midway through my main, I popped to the bathroom and while I was gone, the waitress noticed I was away and popped my plate under the hot plate to keep warm. I thought that was a very thoughtful touch because there is nothing worse than cold food in a restaurant. Big thumbs up for that!

Seared Shoulder of Beef with Mushroom, Pea & Bacon Cassoulet, Mashed Potato & Red Wine Jus

Not being a huge fan of Pork, I didn’t really try Ross’ main of Roast Loin of Pork. Again, it was cooked very well, very soft and easy to cut with the knife. I hate when you cut into meat only to find it as tough of leather. Doesn’t do your teeth any good. Luckily, we didn’t experience that problem! The Vegetable Panache with a mix of Mushrooms, Green Beans, Spring Onions (or Leeks) if I’m not mistaken. Talking of well cooked, the Yorkshire Pudding was light, crispy, golden brown and delicious. If only it was slightly bigger or you were given a double helping! To compliment the dish, Roast Potatoes were served. Just like the Yorkshire Pudding, they were light, crispy on the outside but fluffy and well cooked inside with a wonderful golden brown colouring. I did steal one because they were that good, sorry Ross!

Roast Loin of Pork with Homemade Yorkshire Puddings, Vegetable Panache and Roast Potatoes

I was fit to burst after our mains but you cannot NOT have dessert, right? Instead of ordering two separate desserts, we decided to be reasonable and share one; the Iced Honeycomb Parfait. I adored this dessert. The parfait was absolutely delicious, creamy, well set and included little honeycomb pieces. I started regretting sharing now. The Strawberries were sweetened and complimented the parfait but I was a little let down by the Madelines. They tasted good but perhaps didn’t work too well on the plate with everything combined. The chunk of Honeycomb on top of the parfait was left til the end and our teeth battled through crunching it. It wasn’t as soft as a Crunchie Bar Honeycomb and was a slight battle to devour but one in which we conquered.

Iced Honeycomb Parfait with Strawberries and Lemon Madeleines

Overall, the entire meal was a success. It was delicious and great value for money (£18.50 for two courses if you can’t face three). I’m rather shocked that I didn’t go to the Hotel previously for a meal and now I have been, it certainly won’t be my last visit. The staff were very friendly and even though towards the end they were rushed off their feet, they were superb. The Restaurant is well designed and I cannot wait to go back again, this time for dinner!

Have you ever been to Blythswood Square? Have you eaten in the Restaurant? If so, what would you recommend to others? If you haven’t been and you’re in Glasgow, what are you waiting for?

Disclaimer: I was invited by Blythswood Square as a guest in return for a review. Whilst my meal was complimentary, we paid for drinks and left a considerable tip. 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 Blythswood Square Restaurant - Blythswood Square on Zomato

This weekend Nick Watkin’s aka El Perro Negro created one of the most decadent burgers Glasgow has ever seen, quite rightly named The Top Dog.

Self taught chef, Nick started off catering for private dining events but recently ventured into the Burger Scene which is extremely rife in Glasgow and fiercely competitive. Currently making dishes at his pop-up restaurant at Bar Bloc, he aims to expand his current range over the coming months.

The Top Dog consists of a burger patty made from rare breed Highland Cows mixed with some bone marrow, quality bacon, black truffle mayonnaise, bone marrow and Roquefort butter, caramelised onions in between a sesame seed toasted brioche bun. Served with french fries and a little tub of black truffle mayo on the side, it will set you back £9.95 which is rather reasonable considering the quality of the ingredients involved.

The patty was thick, well seasoned and robust. You could tell that the burger was of a high quality after the first bite. The bone marrow and Roquefort butter did not overpower the burger as I first feared. The combinations of flavours worked extremely well. The patty was served medium-well and even though I would have normally gone for medium, it was extremely juicy. I wouldn’t put this down to the chef, but to the waitress who didn’t really know anything about the burger. When asked how the burger is cooked, her reply was “it’s a little messy”. When asked again if the burger was served well done or medium, she responded by saying “yes, it’s cooked, you’ll like it”. I don’t think she had any idea what I was asking and that was a bit of a let down, but in no way reflected on El Perro Negro .

El Perro Negro's Top Dog Burger- Inside

I can honestly say that it was by far the best £9.95 I spent in a long time. The burger was sensational and that is a pretty hard thing to say about a burger. However, this burger is of such a high calibre that it is safe to say that it is one of the best in Glasgow. After finishing the burger, I couldn’t stop talking about it. The black truffle mayo which was served with the burger was rather addictive and took the entire burger to a whole new level. So much so that I asked if I could get some to take away with me.

El Perro Negro's Top Dog Burger

The burger was completely sold out today and is on limited sale tomorrow (Sunday 20th July). If you’re in Glasgow and like a good burger, you definitely need to head down to Bar Bloc and try one for yourself before they are gone for good.

On Monday, Ross & I joined a table of other food bloggers to a special tasting menu at The Little Urban Achievers Club (LUAC) on Great Western Road. The five course menu was created by Group Head Chef John Traynor with the theme of “Meat The Pig”.

To start, we had a little box of Pork Scratchings. I tried one but in all honesty, I detest them. I don’t get why people like them as a snack. Others on the table loved them, even Ross who had two whole boxes to himself.

The first course we sampled was Smoked Pig Cheek Broth which was served along with Kilner jars of Herb Smoked French Bread. The soup was delicious, full of flavour and the pigs cheeks were cooked so beautifully that they fell apart. Definitely one of my favourite dishes on the night.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Next, one of my all time favourites, Jalapeño Poppers. Instead of just the normal run of the mill Poppers, we were given two types, Ham Hock and Smoked In-House Cheese which were both coated in Panko Breadcrumbs. These were superb. I really wish LUAC put these on the menu full time because I’d be ordering these, a lot. They were spicy but it didn’t detract from the flavour.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For our Main, we were given individual Tasting Platters which had a Crispy Pork Slider Burger, Pulled Pork, Sweet & Sour Ribs, Ham Hock Croquettes, Pork Loin and Sweet Potato Fries. The meat of the ribs fell off the bone, was very tender and the sauce was just the right level of sweetness. The little spoonful of Pulled Pork was delicious but I’m not a huge Pulled Pork fan, which John knew. Sadly he didn’t convert me this time!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Crispy Pork Slider Burger was plain & simple, just the way you want a burger at times. The pork (unsure of the cut of meat) was crispy but light. It wasn’t heavy but after eating so much rich food, I couldn’t finish the little burger. I would have liked an additional sauce with the burger other than the little tube of Homemade BBQ Sauce we got, maybe a mayo?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Ham Hock Croquettes were fluffy, seasoned well and when dipped into the BBQ Sauce were scrumptious. The last element on the platter was a chunk of Pork Loin. I was pretty full by this point so only ate half of the loin, and it was a mixed bag for me. The loin didn’t have much flavour to it and I had to smother it in the BBQ Sauce to give it some added flavour.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Lastly, we had Bacon Doughnuts with chopped Strawberries. Utterly delicious. I wish I had more of these. They were soft, fluffy, slightly salty but the sweetness of the strawberries and the coulis didn’t let the saltiness overpower it. The doughnuts were very light and far from the dense doughnuts that you sometimes get. A beautiful end to the evening.

Overall, John Traynor and his team have great vision and I love tasting dinners as you get to sample certain dishes you would never normally order. At £30 per person, I feel that it is good value for money for the amount of food you get (along with two alcoholic drinks). The next tasting menu John is working on is “Meat The Smoked Chicken and Egg” allowing you to sample dishes such as Truffle and Parmesan Chicken Wings, Build Your Own Snow Cone and a dessert version of Eggs & Soldiers. It sounds rather intriguing and a group of us have already decided we’re going to book a table and try the six course menu in August.

Disclaimer: I was invited by John Traynor as a guest in return for a review. Whilst my meal was complimentary, Ross paid for his meal and we paid for drinks. I was under no obligation to write a positive review and my comments reflect my true experience on that evening.

Rarely do you dine in a restaurant and want to instantly book a table for the next day. That is what happened when I dined at the new restaurant located in the basement of Glasgow Central Station on Thursday evening.

The restaurant & bar obtains its name from its historical namesake Alston Street which was formerly the main street in Grahamston, the old village just outside of Glasgow’s boundaries which was demolished in 1879 to make way for the Caledonian Railway Central Station, now better known as Glasgow Central Station. Only two buildings from the original Grahamston village still exist in Glasgow and these are the Rennie Mackintosh Hotel and the Grant Arms pub located next to the Hielanman’s Umbrella on the Union Street side.

Walking down the rather colourful staircase, I was met with a Timorous Beasties wall mural, the open kitchen and one of the waitresses showing me to the rest of the guests. First impressions? Industrial Chic.

Alston Bar & Grill, Glasgow
© Renzo Mazzolini
Alston Bar & Beef
© Renzo Mazzolini

Meeting the rest of my dining guests, I was offered the bar’s signature gin cocktail ‘1873’ which is named after the last time anyone saw the main Alston Street running through Grahamston. The cocktail is made from Caoruun gin, blueberry jam, lemon juice and topped with some Champagne and blueberries. I’m not the greatest fan of gin, in fact if I could pick one of the worst spirits in the world, gin would be just that. However, upon taking a sip of the cocktail, I couldn’t taste any gin. Thumbs up for me.

Alston Bar & Beef
© Robin Mitchell

After chatting to the guests, it was time to do a brief gin tasting with resident “gin-noisseur” Chris. We sampled three different varieties of gin; Caorunn, Pickering’s and The Botanist. Chris talked us through the history of gin aka Mother’s Ruin along with the difference between the different types of gin on the market. Alston Bar & Beef house 55 different types of gin and 12 are Scottish. From those, they have created 10 perfect serve cocktails catered to suit everyone… even me.

I took a little sip of Caorunn and it had a pleasant after taste. It was a drier type of gin compared to the other types which sadly I did not like. I do hold my hands up and say that I don’t like gin but at least I tried and reconfirmed my hatred, except for the 1873 cocktail which was lovely and I would certainly order that again. The others around me on the other hand loved the gin, so I guess I’ll have to take their word for it.

The main attraction for me though was the food and it certainly did not disappoint. On our table was a personalised menu with my name on it along with a six course menu of various dishes we were going to sample from the main menu. Just by reading the menu, you could certainly tell a lot of thought had been put into the food but that was just the start!

Our first dish was Steak Tartare with Quails egg yolk, crouton & olive oil served with a perfect serve Gin Cocktail. The Steak Tartare was very light, fresh and perfectly seasoned. The raw quails egg yolk perfected the tartare and the added crouton gave it a wonderful crunch. A perfect introduction so far.

Alston Bar & Beef- Steak Tartare

Ham Hock Roulade, pickled beets & cauliflower puree followed shortly after. The meat was tender, full of flavour and the pickled beetroot was a welcome addition. I loved the flavour combination between the saltiness of the ham hock and the sweetness of the beetroot.

Alston Bar & Beef- Ham Hock Roulade

Next we were served a visually stunning dish of Pan Fried Scallops with pea puree, Parma ham & black pudding. This was by far one of the greatest dishes I’ve had in a long time. The plump scallops were seared perfectly and the Parma ham works impeccably well. Together with the rest of the elements, it turned the dish into mouthwatering perfection for me. This is a must order for me.

Alston Bar & Beef- Pan Fried Scallops with pea puree, Parma ham & black pudding

It was then time for our main dish; a 14oz Bone in Rib Eye Steak served with Fries, a selection of butters (Garlic and Cafe de Paris) and sauces (Peppercorn and Bearnaise). First thought? I have an entire cow infront of me. The restaurant uses a Montague oven which reaches extremely high temperatures and when cooking steaks, it allows the meat to be tender and juicy inside while being perfectly charred on the outside. The meat is from J. Gilmour & Co Ltd, an independent family run business established in 1946 specialising in the supply of high quality meats and more specifically “Tweed Valley” dry hung beef from the Scottish Borders. I asked for my steak to be cooked medium rare and it came just that. It was succulent and the marbling of the meat added to the flavour. If I had to pick one criticism, it would be that the steak had a little too much fat for me on a few of the edges, the fat was very soft though which made it easy to cut away. I’ve just not been a huge fan of fat in meat after a choking incident as a child. Due to the size of the steak and the courses already eaten, I couldn’t finish the steak but I aim to make it a mission very very soon.

Alston Bar & Beef- 14oz Bone In Rib

After a welcome comfort break, we were served dessert which was a deconstructed version of Pear Crumble. It consisted of a poached pear, with some crumb dusting along with more crumble scattered on the plate and a small jug of Creme Anglaise. The pear was poached whole and when eating with a spoon, was tender and cut away gently. This was a beautifully executed dish and left you wanting more.

Alston Bar & Beef- Pear Crumble

Lastly, we were offered a cheese platter from George Mewes along with quince, grapes & oatcakes. I sadly never tried any of this as I was so full but the rest of the guests at the table thoroughly enjoyed it.

Overall, the meal was incredible. If I had to sum it up into two words, it would be Gastronomic Perfection. It was honestly one of the best meals I have ever had. I wanted to instantly book a table for the next evening but sadly already had prior arrangements. It is a stunning venue, the staff were extremely knowledgeable and friendly not to mention the incredible food by 28 year old Head Chef Nicol Robertson. His vision along with the management have turned this forgotten Central Station basement into one of Glasgow’s Top Destinations.

Disclaimer: I was invited by Alston Bar & Beef 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 on that evening. 

Alston Bar & Beef
Central Station
79 Gordon Street
Glasgow, G1 3SQ
Tel: 0141 221 7627
Web: www.alstonglasgow.co.uk

Alston Bar & Beef on Urbanspoon

GIVEAWAY

Win a fantastic sharing platter or Porterhouse steak for two at Glasgow’s newest steak and gin venue – Alston Bar & Beef.

Offering over 10 different cuts of beef on its menu, this lucky winner will win their choice of either a Porterhouse steak or the assiette of beef.

The Porterhouse comes in a range of sizes to suit every appetite and is the biggest steak on this comprehensive meat lovers menu. The 35-day dry-aged Porterhouse is a hand-picked Aberdeen Angus cross Limousin Scotch beef from accredited farms in Ayrshire, East Lothian & Aberdeenshire. It is cooked to perfection in the specialist Montague oven, ensuring all the flavours are sealed in.

The assiette of steak includes gourmet cuts of 40-day dry-aged flank, hanger and iron steaks. Weighing in at an impressive 700g, this truly is a plate for steak lovers. Each of the cuts offer a different texture and flavour, and all have been cooked to perfection.

The prize also include a bottle of wine to share.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you didn’t know the exact location of  the Stockbridge Restaurant was located on St Stephen Street in Edinburgh, you’d more than likely walk past it and continue down the road, double back on yourself and then finally notice the fairy lights guiding you down rather steep steps to the entrance. Blink and you’ll miss it.

Ross & I were welcomed by a rather friendly maître’d who instructed us to pick whichever table we wanted. The restaurant was rather quiet at 7:30 and were able to pick a quiet table in the corner so I could watch other diners and take photographs without bothering anyone. 

When looking at the menus, we decided to go dishes from the À la carte menu instead of the set menu unlike the other diners. Trouble was, there were several things that I wanted and found it hard to finally settle of what I wanted. I’m rather indecisive when it comes to food at times.

While waiting for our starters, we were served the amusebouche of the day which was a salad of vine tomato, mozzarella, parma ham and balsamic. Small, simple and delicious. 

Amuse Bouche

To start, I ordered the Seared Scallops with cherry tomatoes, tapenade, aubergine and tomato vinaigrette. The scallops were cooked perfectly and when married with the tomatoes, tapenade and aubergines, it was a perfect introduction to the Stockbridge Restaurant. The flavour combinations were very well executed and would have gladly eaten more.

Seared Scallops with cherry tomatoes, tapenade, aubergine and tomato vinaigrette

Ross ordered the Goats cheese fondant with beetroot salsa, caramelised walnuts and toasted brioche. The goats cheese was rich and creamy, however, the plate was overloaded with beetroot salsa and distracted you from the Goats cheese which was meant to be the main attraction. The beetroot salsa was enjoyable but you just got bored with it after a few mouthfuls.

Goats cheese fondant with beetroot salsa, caramelised walnuts and toasted brioche

A short interlude, our mains had arrived. Ross had ordered the Venison loin with venison pie, braised red cabbage, parsnip puree and a port wine sauce. The Venison was cooked beautifully, it melted in your mouth and the port wine sauce ensured that each mouthful was succulent. The main star of the plate though was the Venison pie with parsnip crisps. A mini shepherd-esq pie which was rich in flavour and very very delectable.

 Venison loin with venison pie, braised red cabbage, parsnip puree and a port wine sauce

For my main, I ordered Roasted rack of Hugh Grierson organic lamb and braised flank with tapenade creamed potato, polenta, feta and vegetable terrine and rosemary sauce. Once again, the meat was cooked beautifully, however, there was just a little too much fat for my liking. Not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things though. The tapenade creamed potatoes were an ample amount and very tasty. I love olives so I loved the idea of incorporating it within mashed potatoes in this way. It worked very well. Sadly, that’s all that worked for me. The Polenta, Feta and Vegetable terrine was very disappointing. It just didn’t work. The flavour combinations were strange and after one bite, I pushed it aside. It’s a shame really because it looked beautiful.

Roasted rack of Hugh Grierson organic lamb and braised flank with tapenade creamed potato, polenta, feta and vegetable terrine and rosemary sauce

To cleanse our palates before dessert, we were served the most mouth-watering passion fruit sorbet which the head chef hand makes himself. Beautifully smooth, sweet and tangy, it was the best sorbet I have ever tasted. Delicious.

Passionfruit Sorbet

I read rave reviews of the Banana tart tatin which the restaurant serves along with butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream so ordered that for my dessert while Ross ordered the Vanilla rice pudding with apple compote, shortbread crumble and cinnamon ice cream.

When I was served the tart tatin, I was slightly confused to find big chunks of banana vertically arranged on a small piece of pastry. Only the ends of the banana ended up properly caramelised and the rest was rather mushy. The butterscotch sauce was incredible and the vanilla ice cream was a welcome addition. Sadly, the tart tatin was a miss for me. If the bananas were sliced and arranged in the traditional way ensuring they were caramelised then the dessert would have been outstanding. It’s just a shame the size of the bananas let it down for me.

Banana tart tatin

Ross’ Vanilla rice pudding with apple compote was a high-end version of Ambrosia. Creamy and comforting. The cinnamon ice cream like the sorbet, was of very high quality and delicious. Jason should really think of selling his sorbet’s and ice creams outside of his restaurant. They were THAT good.

Vanilla rice pudding with apple compote, shortbread crumble and cinnamon ice cream.

Overall, it was a mainly positive dining experience, it’s a shame that certain elements of the dishes didn’t work for my personal tastes. The Stockbridge is a beautifully designed restaurant, the staff are friendly, attentive and welcoming, it’s no wonder that while dining, we noticed several regulars returning and chatting like old friends. I loved that the clientele ranged from pensioners to couples in their early 20’s so you never felt out of place like you do in some restaurants in the city.

Disclaimer: I was invited by The Stockbridge Restaurant as guests in return for a review. Whilst our meal was complimentary, I was under no obligation to write a positive review and my comments reflect my true experience on that evening.

On Mother’s Day, I decided to treat my mom to lunch at Cameron House. A few weeks beforehand, I was researching various restaurants around Glasgow and what Mother’s Day Menu they had. In the end, I narrowed it down to two places; Cameron House (a 20 minute drive away) or Mar Hall (which is practically 2 minutes away from my house). After looking at both menus against each other, Cameron House stood out the most to me and the fact they gave each mother a free gift (which we later discovered was a bunch of colourful tulips). Always a good thing!

We walked into the Cameron Grill at 2pm and lunch service was in full flow. Tables were packed full of families and the waiting staff were bustling around ensuring everyone was happy. We ordered some drinks and then made they rather easy choice of what we wanted from the menu. The rather good menu.

To start with, I opted for the Creamed Cauliflower and Mull Cheddar Velouté with a Parmesan Grissini. This was a rather unexpected choice for me as cauliflower is on my food hell list, however, I have to hold my hands up and say that the velouté converted me. The combination of the creamed cauliflower with mull cheddar with delectable. It was creamy and rather flavourful. The added Parmesan Grissini was a welcome addition which I subsequently dipped into the velouté. If I had to pick a fault with my starter, it would be the fact that it was served near boiling point. This meant that it was far too hot to eat for approximately 5-10 minutes and I had to keep stirring and blowing on it to make it palatable. By the time I was able to eat the velouté, my mom had already finished her starter.

Creamed Cauliflower and Mull Cheddar Veloute

My mom chose the Grill Seafood Taster to begin with after seeing that it contained smoked salmon and shrimps. Two of her favourite things. It was a rather simple dish with a shrimp cocktail served on a bed of cos lettuce, a slice of oak smoked salmon with capers and a hot crab bon bon (more like a fish cake). My mom was pleasantly surprised at the size of her shrimps as in the majority of restaurants in Glasgow, small shrimps are served which “look like maggots” as she says. The smoked salmon was rather small in size but made up for itself with the deep smooth flavour and texture. Crab is one thing my mom normally stays away from as she doesn’t like the brown crab meat, however, she enjoyed the flavours of the crab and potato within the bon bon. Great first course.

Grill Seafood Taster

For our main course, we both decided to have the Roast Rib of Donald Russell Beef and Yorkshire Pudding with Goose Fat Potatoes, Market Vegetables and a Red Wine Sauce. I could honestly sit and talk about this dish all day long. When we ordered, we were informed that the beef is either cooked pink or well done. Pink was definitely the right choice as it was by far the best piece of meat I have ever tasted. The beef was cooked to perfection. It was soft, succulent, our knives glided through the meat while cutting and mouthwatering upon first taste.  The goose fat potatoes were crispy on the outside and fluffy inside along with the extremely large Yorkshire puddings. Delicious.  I could have honestly ate this dish all over again. I just wish there was more meat on our plates because it was just THAT good, but to be fair, it was rather filling.

Roast Rib of Donald Russell Beef and Yorkshire Pudding

Lastly, I didn’t even have to take a second look at the menu to decide what I was going to have for dessert. As soon as I saw pistachio ice cream, it was fate. We had ordered the Milk Chocolate Tart with Pistachio Ice Cream and Raspberries. This dessert didn’t let me down. The tart was beautifully smooth and creamy, while being surprisingly light. This was down to the good quality milk chocolate that was used. If a dark chocolate had been chosen instead, it would have been far too rich and heavy. The pastry was cooked perfectly and was lightly sweetened. The tart was complimented with not only a wonderfully smooth flavoursome pistachio ice cream (one of the best I’ve ate around Glasgow!) but with a clotted cream-esq quenelle on top of the milk chocolate tart. Different textures of raspberries were also presented on the plate for decoration but also as an extra sweetened kick. It worked wonderfully. While writing about the dessert, it is making me want it so much more. By far one of the best desserts I’ve had in Glasgow and it’s surrounding areas.

Milk Chocolate Tart with Pistachio Ice Cream and Raspberries

For £27.50 per person for three courses of this calibre, it is value for money and then some. I would have paid even more. The quality and care put into each dish was evident and I would quite happily devour this meal all over again. Maybe this time with a slightly cooler velouté.

Cameron Grill is deserving of a visit if you’ve never been before. The hotel is situated on the banks of Loch Lomond, one of my favourite areas which is full of childhood memories for me. A truly wonderful place.

Cameron Grill
Cameron House
Loch Lomond
Alexandria
Dunbartonshire
G83 8QZ
Tel: 01389 722 582
Web: Cameron House Restaurants

At the end of February, I went to The Finnieston for the Best Of The West Tasting Menu & Wine Dinner after being invited by the Group Head Chef John Traynor. I had never dined at The Finnieston before but I knew from speaking with friends that it had mixed reviews, oh and it allows dogs into the restaurant.

Wanting to judge the food, atmosphere and service for myself, I went in with an open mind. A slightly nervous mind owning to the fact that I’m not a huge fish fan. I adore shellfish but for some reason, some fish scare me.

The tasting menu comprised of six courses of sea food combinations with wines matched by Frank Bradley (previously of Alliance Wines) to accompany each course. With each course served, Frank came around and explained the choice of wine and gave us a little background information on it.

First course was a West Kilbridge Tempura Oyster with Jerusalem Artichoke Puree. Yes, you read correctly. Tempura Oyster. I have to admit, I was rather apprehensive about trying this. I love oysters the way they are normally served- raw. With the tempura oyster, a Baumard Cremant de Loire Blanc (France) was chosen. The batter on the oyster was light crispy golden brown and inside a soft perfectly cooked oyster. It was delicious. I’m now a reformed tempura oyster lover. The sparkling wine was light, clean and crisp with a hint of pear, complimented the flavours extremely well.

West Kilbride Tempura Oyster with Jerusalem Artichoke

The dish I was most looking forward to was next, Ethical Shellfish Company Hand Drived Scallops with Rhubarb Pickle and Apple Crisps. I adore scallops, well cooked ones. I’ve had exceptional scallops and I’ve had awful ones in various restaurants around the world. The scallops were large and plump, seared on the outside but if I had to be honest, they weren’t seared enough for my liking. I would have liked them a lot more if they were seared for another few seconds as they were so plump, but that’s my own personal preference.

Ethical Shellfish Company Hand Dived Scallops, Rhubarb Pickle & Apple Crisp

The puree was delicious, the rhubarb had a nice tartness to it and the apple crisp was great for finishing off some of the extra puree. The wine for this course was Domaine Defaix Chablis (France), it was very citrusy white wine and rich. I enjoyed the wine and glad that it was being served for the next course as well.

Wine Tasting

Simple described as Cock A Leekie ‘My Way’, it left us wondering what on earth it could be. Soup? What way is his way? Well, his way was a deconstructed version of Cock A Leekie soup with sliced chicken breast, leeks, carrots, edible flowers, date puree and then a broth that was poured for us at the table.  I couldn’t fault this. I rarely eat soup because I find it rather boring but this was very aromatic and flavoursome. The edible flowers made the dish stand out even more. Beautiful.

Cock A Leekie 'My Way'

Next up was Troon Landed Salt Cured Hake, Pork Belly, Smoked Mackerel Croquet with Purple Sprouting Broccolo, Braised Fennel and Unami Butter Sauce. To accompany the dish, Domaine Wachai Zweight (Austria) was chosen. Maybe an unlikely choice given that it was a red wine and you normally associate white wine with fish but it balanced the dish. It wasn’t a dry red wine, it was light and crisp. The hake was cooked perfectly- succulent light and flaky flesh with skin crispy. The pork belly meat was flavoursome, soft and full of texture. The rind was beautifully crisp, however, there was too much fat which I had to discard as I’m not a fan. Unfortunately, I disliked the mackerel croquet as I’m not very keen on strong flavoured fish. My boyfriend on the other hand, loved the croquet and ate mine along with his own.

Troon Landed Salt Cured Hake, Pork Belly, Smoked Mackerel Croquet

After a short break, we were served one of two desserts. First up was a Basil and Raspberry Doughnut. What we got was nothing short of impressive. The doughnut was served with your own injection full of jam which you squeezed into the doughnut, along with being rolled in basil sugar. The doughnut was surprisingly light and the jam was delectable. I actually ended up eating the jam on the spoon. It was THAT good. Basil & Raspberry works extremely well, I could have happily ate another doughnut. I really think that this dish should be put on the restaurant menu from here in out.

Bail and Raspberry Doughnut

Lastly, a dessert of ALL desserts. Vimto Candy Floss Panna cotta with Popcorn Sorbet, Salt Caramel Fudge, Honeycomb and Popping Candy Crush. The wine to compliment the dish was Mad Tokaji (Hungary). I’m not sure any words could describe just how outstanding this dessert was. The panna cotta topped with candy floss was divine. The fudge was true and proper soft fudge, not a tablet consistency like some are mis sold. The popcorn sorbet was mouthwatering, leaving you wanting more. The dessert was finished off with some popping candy, my childhood favourite. How could anyone hate popping candy? I found the Mad Tokaji wine too sweet for me, especially with a dessert which was equally as sweet.

Vimto Candy Floss Pannacotta, Popcorn Sorbet, Salt Caramel Fudge, Popping Candy Crush

Overall, the food was exemplary and even though I disliked a few components to the dishes due to personal preference, it was really hard to fault it. It was a great introduction to The Finnieston for me and I will be back again to test the A La Carte menu (along with the dog for good measure!). We had a dedicated waiter and waitress for the evening which were very attentive to the tables, so for me, the service was to a high standard. I can’t judge for the restaurant as a whole though, hence needing to go back again to the main restaurant.

The tasting menu with matching wines costs £49.95 per person. It sounds rather steep, however, when you taking into account the high quality and thought put into the dishes along with wines to match, it is well worth the price. It is also a lot cheaper than others I have seen around town. The Finnieston do four of these per year so if you’ve never been, I highly recommend that you push the boat out and try one.

Note: I dined at The Finnieston as guests in return for a review. Whilst our meal was complimentary, I was under no obligation to write a positive review and my comments reflect my true experience on that evening.

The Finnieston Bar & Restaurant
1125 Argyle St, City Centre, Glasgow G3 8ND
Tel: 0141 222 2884
http://www.thefinniestonbar.com

Finnieston on Urbanspoon

I’ve always loved Pizza Express, with the Bruschetta Originale being my favourite. Anytime I visit Pizza Express, it is something I always have to order and when I’m craving pizza when on a diet, the American Hot Leggera gets my vote.

Pizza Express recently launched a new seasonal special menu and I was invited along to try it out. The new limited edition menu features a revamped version of the popular dough balls which are baked with Gran Moravia cheese, two new pizzas Vesuvio (Pepperoni and n’duja sausage) and Cipollini (Spinach, sweet baby onions, red onions and mozzarella) which have sweet potato bases and a new dessert for the sweet tooth’s out there; Rhubarb & Apple Crumble.

Pizza Express Menu

To start, I ordered Bruschetta Originale (as predicable as ever!) and instead of my usual Sloppy Giuseppe or American Hot, I opted for the Romana base Rustichella pizza (Crispy pancetta, roasted tomatoes, rocket, Gran Moravia cheese, Caesar dressing). My boyfriend, Ross, ordered the “Speciale” Dough balls and then the Sweet Potato base Vesuvio pizza from the limited edition menu.

There isn’t anything bad I could ever say about the Bruschetta Originale, except, I wish there was more pesto. I haven’t bothered asking for more pesto before but I’m sure it wouldn’t be that big a problem. Hopefully. The combination of tomatoes, red onions, garlic, fresh basil and pesto is wonderful on top of a freshly baked piece of bread. If you’ve never tried it, I recommend that you do.

Bruschetta

The “Speciale” Dough balls were rather confusing for me. When we read the description on the menu “our famous dough balls rolled and baked with Gran Moravia cheese”, we thought that the dough balls may be stuffed with cheese. Instead, the dough just had cheese in the mixture. The dough balls were also supposed to be presented with a dip of garlic butter and you could pay extra for either hot n’duja sausage softened with olive oil, or pesto. We asked for an extra dip of pesto but were never given the garlic butter. I do really think that if the dough balls were to be truly “speciale”, cheese should have been oozing from the inside. Don’t get me wrong, they did taste good but something was missing.

Dough Balls Speciale

When I first saw my Rustichella pizza, I couldn’t believe how big it was. A normal dinner plate could barely handle the size of what was before me. I love Romana base pizzas as they are very thin and crispy, I’m not a fan of thick crust pizzas because there is too much dough for my liking. On my pizza, roasted tomatoes and Gran Moravia cheese were complimented with a rocket and caesar dressing salad topped with crispy pancetta. I loved the pizza. The pancetta was cooked just the way I liked it and loved the rocket salad on top. The next time I go to Pizza Express, I will definitely order this again. One problem I did face was the pizza was just too big for me alone. In the end, I got the half of the pizza boxed up to take home (cold pizza for breakfast anyone?)

Rustichella

Slicing Pizza

The Seasonal Special Vesuvio pizza was full of rich flavours with the pepperoni and n’duja sausage and the rocket salad was once again a welcome addition, however, upon first bite, you couldn’t really tell that the base was sweet potato. I like rich tomato bases on my pizzas and my boyfriend loves sweet potato but I think the base was overwhelmed by the toppings. When we picked some of the toppings off one slice and tasted just the base, the sweet potato was more evident. The overall flavours worked well and if you’re looking for something different than your average pizza, this would be it. My boyfriend being my boyfriend ate all of his pizza as well as some of mine. A good sign if ever there was one.

Vesuvio Pizza

Pizza Express Pizza

I didn’t think I could possibly eat anything further but after a good 20 minute break, we decided to try the Rhubarb & Apple Crumble along with the Banoffee Pie. I was really looking forward to the crumble as it has been a favourite of mine since childhood. Unfortunately, I was let down. To me, a classic crumble topping is just butter, flour and sugar crumbled up. However, on this crumble, oatmeal was incorporated and I dislike oatmeal with a passion. It’s a shame really because if I liked oatmeal, I would have really liked the dessert. A novelty with crumble is always pouring the custard (or crème Anglaise) on top, in this dessert, the crème Anglaise was encased inside. I would have preferred a small jug of crème Anglaise on the side so I could pour as much or as little as I liked. Due to the crème Anglaise being below the crumble, the fruit compote became rather soft and more puree like.

Rhubarb and Apple Crumble

To end our evening, the Banoffee Pie was surprisingly light. The biscuit base was buttery and nicely crumbled. The banana’s were caramelised with a toffee sauce and then topped with a rather large quantity of fresh cream. I wish that there was more bananas in Banoffee Pie in general. The pie is just screaming for an equal ratio of banana:cream.

Banoffee Pie

Overall, I enjoyed Pizza Express and found some new favourites that I will be ordering again. The staff were very attentive (only the manager knew I was there for a review) and friendly. It was very quiet when we arrived, only three other tables were occupied, but as we were leaving, the restaurant was near full with the staff coping well. Certain items on the menu are rather pricey, but the quality of ingredients used make up for this.

Have you been to Pizza Express? What are your menu favourites? Have you tried the new limited edition menu additions? Let me know!

Pizza Express
20 Provan Way, Glasgow G34 9DL
Tel: 0141 771 5979
http://www.pizzaexpress.com

PizzaExpress Glasgow Fort on Urbanspoon

On Thursday I popped along to Glasgow’s Oldest Bar & Restaurant Sloans for the launch of their new Street Food menu. I arrived a little late due to getting stuck on the M8 due to a bad traffic accident so missed the start of the food. How awful!

The menu features good ol’ comfort food dishes under two titles; Street Fries and Street Platters priced at £9.95 each. The dishes are meant for sharing but I’m pretty sure that if you were hungry, you could eat them yourself!

As I arrived, people were tucking into The Gringo (Beef Chilli, Cheese and Jalepenos) and The Stavros (Hummus, Falafel, Roast Veg, Olives and Flat Bread with Feta Cheese or Merguez Sausage) so I didn’t really get a chance to try them. I was told that they were really really good.

chillifries

Next up The Mac Daddy (Cheesy Macaroni with Bacon or Onion Rings and Salsa) and The Cowboy (BBQ Chicken Wings and Ribs, Blue Cheese Dressing and Hot Sauce) were served. I loved The Cowboy for two reasons; hot sauce & finger licking BBQ Wings. It was everything I could want to comfort me on a rainy evening and I would gladly eat it again. The meat just fell off the bone and the Hot Sauce gave it a wonderful kick. Don’t be afraid of getting your hands dirty! I do wish it was hotter though, but that’s the spice addict in me.

cowboy

I love the Mac & Cheese at Sloans, I’m a regular at the Scottish Macaroni Appreciation Club that they hold every month, I can’t get enough of it. The Mac Daddy did not disappoint. It is one of the best around in Glasgow. If you’ve never tried Sloans Mac & Cheese, you really should! I wasn’t a huge fan of the Salsa on top of the Mac & Cheese so would recommend getting the Onion Ring version.

macdaddy

The dishes are great value for money for the amount of food you receive and are very filling. So filling that I honestly felt like I went into a food coma after stuffing my face. It was probably due to the fact my eyes are always bigger than my belly. One of my flaws. It was just too good to say no to!

Huge thank you to DADA for the invite and to Sloans owner Oli Norman for hooking me up with more food since I turned up late. Can’t wait to go back and get some more Cowboy in me!!

Sloans Glasgow
62 Argyll Arcade
108 Argyle St
Glasgow, G2 8BG
Tel: 0141 221 8886
Web: Sloans Glasgow

Sloans on Urbanspoon

Note: Thanks to Charlene for the photos, mine came out all blurry. Total lifesaver!

Before Burger Meats Bun opened its doors on West Regent Street, it was talk of the town. For weeks people were counting down until they opened (myself included) dying to try the latest burger restaurant in Glasgow. The Burger Scene in Glasgow is pretty crazy at the moment so is there room for a new kid on the block? Oh yes.

Why all the hype? To me it is their background and passion. BMB is the baby of friends Ben Dantzic and James Forrest, who met while working at the Michelin-starred Peat Inn in Fife, Scotland. Ben, later became manager at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie in Gleneagles Hotel and decided to team up with James to fulfil their dream.

Their ethos? Ben told STV News that “Burger Meats Bun fuses high quality produce and mouthwatering recipes with a cool interior and atmosphere to offer a brilliant yet accessible culinary experience and we’re really excited to be bringing this new concept to Glasgow.”

Part owner and chef James Forrest added: “From our experience working in the fine dining sector with some of the best chefs in the UK, we noticed a real gap in the market for a casual concept, using first-class ingredients and making everything from scratch, and Burger Meats Bun does just that.”

So there I was, bang on midday entering the wonderful world of BMB and shown to our table of 10. No pressure for the guys then huh? Throw them right into the deep end!

The menu is simplistic, which I think is the best way to go as you focus on the quality of the food on offer. Burgers include three beef, two chicken and one vegetarian.  Sides are three types of wings, fries come in three varieties and three different salads for the health conscious. To top things off, two desserts are on offer if you can manage them. Once they are up and running, specials will be added to the menu and I can’t wait to see what they create.

I decided to order the Fiery Burger and then share sides of Thai Chilli Cheese Fries and Seoul Chicken Wings with Sharon. After a short wait (we were a big table after all!) our eyes lit up when a tray of neatly wrapped burgers arrived at our table & were handed out alongside a huge roll of kitchen towel for our hands. Sides were soon to follow before we all dug in.

Our table fell silent, huge smiles on faces and then sounds of Mmmmm……

Fiery Beef

The Fiery Burger was cooked to perfection and was one of the juiciest burgers I have ever tasted. The combination of flavours from the toma raschiera cheese, jalapeños, chipotle mayo and the beef was like a joyful explosion in your mouth. Unbelievable! The burger is garnished with lettuce, tomato and home made pickles which are made in house from a revised recipe from Ben’s grandmother. The pickles were that good that Ryan asked for a side dish of them for us to snack on. Proper pickles made from Cucumber. Oh yes!

The bun? Well no floury bap or seeded nonsense in sight you’ll be glad to hear. Instead the burgers all come in a high quality brioche bun. Chatting with Ben after we all ate, he was telling the table how they tried numerous types of bun but brioche turned out the best and from that they then taste tested various brioche recipes until they hit the perfect recipe they were looking for. A soft, springy brioche bun that holds your burger & doesn’t fall apart while you’re eating. Wonderful.

Fiery Beef Burger

Inside my burger

Mmmm burger

The Seoul Wings were full of flavour, fell off the bone & spicy. They weren’t as spicy as I thought they were going to be but certainly had a good kick to them. BMB have 3 different types of wings; Buffalo, Seoul & Chinese. I would definitely order these again but probably opt for Buffalo just to change things up a little! Ben also did say the Buffalo were the hottest and I do like spicy food!

Seoul Wings

While reading the menu, Thai Chilli Cheese Fries jumped out at me. For some reason, I actually thought the fries were going to come with actual Chilli and not Hot Sauce. So that was a slight letdown but after the first bite all was forgiven. The homemade fries (yes, you can tell the difference!) were smothered in cheese, sriracha hot sauce & garnishes. Even though they weren’t what I expected, they were lovely. Definitely ordering these again.

Thai Chilli Cheese Fries

I was almost going to explode as I was so full but I had to save a little space for dessert. It’s an unwritten rule I like to bestow upon myself most of the time. The waitress described both desserts to us and I couldn’t choose between Burger & Shake or Donuts & Sauce so why choose when you can have both (to share of course, I’m not THAT greedy!)

The donuts were a perfect size and served with a sauce. I could only eat a couple as they were so filling but from what I did try, they were soft, sugary and the sauce complimented them. I think the donuts could be improved on by having them filled with raspberry coulis, chocolate or custard so they aren’t as doughty. Don’t get me wrong, they were good but it’s just a personal preference of mine.

Donuts

The Burger & Shake isn’t what you expect it to be and that is what I love about BMB. Served with a Tonka Bean Shake, the “burger” is a giant vanilla macaron as the bun with a chocolate ganache as the burger, passionfruit gel as the cheese & raspberry coulis as ketchup. I was in dessert heaven. It was such a unique dessert and as you all know I’m a HUGE macaron fan. I was not let down. Perfection. Honest Perfection.

Burger & Shake

Macaron

Macaron

Overall, BMB was wonderful and I honestly couldn’t pick any major faults. As it was Opening Day I was expecting some hiccups or mistakes as its natural with first day (and week) nerves but none occurred. I can safely say that I highly rate BMB as one of my favourite places to eat in Glasgow now after just one visit. The food is superb, staff friendly, great decor and atmosphere. It could be seen as expensive however, BMB pride themselves on using high quality local ingredients from local suppliers (Aberfoyle Butcher, Big Bear Bakery, Gartmorn Farm and George Mewes), producing tasty simplistic food and they did just that. To me, that’s well worth every penny.

Happy Eaters

Expectations? Exceeded. Believe the hype. It’s THAT good. They really do do burgers. But better.

Burger Meats Bun
48a West Regent St.
1 William Street
Glasgow, G2 2RA
Tel: 0141 353 6712
Web: Burger Meats Bun

Burger Meats Bun on Urbanspoon

While I was up in Aberdeen, I had the wonderful pleasure of having dinner at Musa. I wanted to try somewhere new when I was in the city & a Twitter vote decided my fate. Set in an old 19th century church, Musa is a restaurant, art gallery and live music venue in the merchant quarter of old Aberdeen.

“Our eclectic menu fuses world inspired cuisine with quirky interpretations of Scottish staples. We fiercely advocate an artisanal, old world approach to food, focusing on local produce from small Scottish suppliers”.

We took our seats and were soon welcomed by Musa’s General Manager John Kelman who gave us some background info of the place, introduced us to the menus & spoke about drink pairings for each dish.

Bread and Olives

Looking at the Main Menu & Specials Menu, I honestly couldn’t choose what I wanted. Everything sounded so good especially the Black Pudding Dauphinoise which accompanied some of the dishes. In the end, I decided to order Scallops & Razor Clams with Basil Pesto and Pea Shoots to start with and then Venison, Bubble & Squeak, Green Beans, Asparagus, Sweet Potato Crisps & a Juniper Jus for Main Course off of the Specials Menu with a side order of Black Pudding Dauphinoise (I couldn’t resist!). Gillian ordered Haggis and Coriander Spring Roll with Chilli Jam to start with and then Ginger Roast Duck Breast, Braised Red Cabbage, Spiced Apple Puree and Black Pudding Dauphinoise.

Despite my ever growing love for Seafood, I’ve never tried Razor Clams before so I honestly didn’t know what to expect. The scallops were plump and cooked just the way I liked them. The razor clams reminded me a little of squid. Of course, I have nothing to compare it to so I’m not entirely sure they were supposed to remind me of squid… but they did. Both the scallops and razor clams were complimented with the warm basil pesto and pea shoot salad.

Scallops and Razor Clams

Gillian’s Haggis and Coriander Spring Rolls were amazing. I know that’s a little cliche to say but trust me, if you’re ever in Aberdeen, get your butt down to Musa just to try these babies. Crispy spring roll on the outside, peppery haggis in the inside with a chilli jam on the side. I honestly couldn’t fault anything about this dish (from the bits I tried) and I know neither could Gillian. We could have happily continued eating more of these until we could no longer move. That’s how good it was.

Haggis & Coriander Spring Roll

Along with our starters, John brought over some drinks to compliment them in particular 5am Saint by Brew Dog for the Haggis. I was given a White Wine (not pictured) to compliment my Scallops. I’m more of a Red Wine drinker, as you can see from the photo below but the White Wine was a nice addition.

Drinks to Match Starters

After a short break it was time for our Main Courses. My venison was tender, pink & had a lovely taste to it. It was a little rich but venison is a rather rich gamey meat. The sweet potato crisps were too sweet for my liking, but that’s just my personal preference. Bubble & Squeak was an interesting additional to the dish. I can’t say I’ve ever tried it along with Venison before, however, along with the Juniper Jus it was a combination that worked well. On a side note, it’s great to find a restaurant that knows how green beans and asparagus should be cooked. I’ve been to many an awful restaurant that give me mashed up vegetables that should have been al dente. It’s rather refreshing!

Venison

My specially requested side order of Black Pudding Dauphinoise was spectacular. You’d think with the amount of Black Pudding we eat in Glasgow that someone would have “invented” this but I have yet to see this on the menu anywhere in Glasgow. Soft, Creamy Potatoes layered with Black Pudding. Heaven in your mouth. Even though I was pretty full, I couldn’t stop eating this. Someone has to bring this wonderfulness to Glasgow. STAT!

Black Pudding Dauphinoise

Gillian’s Duck was delicious. Pink and tender, it melted in your mouth. I’m not a fan of “fatty” duck so was glad to see that there was no fat around. The spiced apple puree gave a nice sweetness to the meat and of course, helped give some added flavour to the black pudding dauphinoise which is my new favourite thing. I never tried the red cabbage because quite frankly, cabbage is on my list of “must never eat again vegetables”. Gillian did say she really liked it, so I’ll take her word for that! To be honest, if I had to order a main course all over again, I’d go with the duck over the venison. Don’t get my wrong, I did really enjoy my venison but the duck had more of a “wow factor” when I tried it. I’m pretty sure Gillian attempted to lick her plate clean. Just don’t tell her I said that!

Confit of Duck

We were both of the verge of bursting we were so full but you can’t go out for dinner without having dessert can you? I’m sure there is some law against it. No? Well I’m starting that rule from now, especially when sticky toffee pudding is on the menu. Oh yes. Gillian & I decided to share dessert because I honestly doubt we could eat a full one to ourselves. The sticky toffee pudding was light and fluffy with the perfect amount of toffee sauce smothered all over it. Unfortunately, I didn’t like the drambuie ice cream as it was too strong for me. Gillian on the other hand loved it and ate it all. Looking back, I’m pretty sure we didn’t need dessert but we were greedy and it tasted so so good.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

I’m glad that my twitter followers told me about Musa as I’m sure it’s going to be a place I frequent whenever I’m visiting Aberdeen. It is a little expensive but in fairness, you’d pay about the same for food in Glasgow which is not up to the same standard. Overall, I couldn’t fault the food or service at Musa and to me, that is worth every penny.

Note: I dined at Musa as guests in return for a review. Whilst our meal was complimentary, I was under no obligation to write a positive review and my comments reflect my true experience on that evening.

On Wednesday, I was invited to the Glasgow Hilton for Afternoon Tea at the semi-new Tì Tea Lounge courtesy of The Scottish Blogger Network in liaison with the lovely people over at DADA. I love Afternoon Tea, there is something to be said of the pure joy of eating little dainty cakes and sandwiches.

Derived from the Scottish Gaelic word for tea, Tì represents a modern, fashionable and cosmopolitan lounge filled with energy and personality. Tì not only offers traditional afternoon tea (£14 pp) but will introduce new versions of the classic with the “Tì Afternoon Tea with a Twist” including “Confessions of a Chocoholic” (£15 pp) and “Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea” (£17 pp).

We were met with a champagne reception and shown to our seats at the lounge, just off the lobby. Each table was perfectly laid out with dainty glass tea cups and staff then presented us with one of the three different types of Afternoon Teas they have on the menu. My table was presented with the Classic Afternoon Tea; an assortment of dainty finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones served with clotted cream and strawberry jam, lemon pancakes and a selection of sweet artisan cakes.

tea cup

classic afternoon tea