My Month of Food – June

We’ve reached the middle of June already. Not quite sure how that happened so quickly, but here we are. This means it’s time for me to summarises all the new places I’ve been visiting. Somehow, this post is very west end heavy and covers a bit of Finnieston, Byres road and Kelvinbridge area. I’m very excited about this post because it also features one of the best restaurants I’ve been to in Glasgow in general, the highly praised Alchemilla. I’m really pleased to finally be sharing my thoughts on it with you! You’ll also notice that I’ve featured Crossing the Rubicon again as they have a new menu so I thought it’s time to update my previously unfavourable review.

Silla Korean – Finnieston – Korean Food/Dinner

I have been eyeing up Silla every time I’ve walked past, and since I quite enjoy good Korean food it’s been on my list to try. Their menu has a number of well known Korean dishes, such as a variety of Korean pancakes , Bibimbap, a smaller selection than expected of Korean Fried Chicken (but they had it on the special the day we were there so it might be available more often than I think) and various noodle, rice, meat and hot pot dishes. I opted for the Korean Fried Chicken, special on the day, spring onion Korean pancakes, while my friends had the Kimchi Jigae (spicy Korean hot pot), a kimchi pancake and a few other small dishes to share.

Overall we were quite pleased with the food at Silla. The portions were plentiful, the pancakes very tasty and my Korean Fried Chicken was crunchy and the Kimchi Jigae was spic and sour. The restaurant itself is casual, with a selection of Korean drinks (as well as your standard beer and wine).

  • ££: About £20 pp, drinks included. Not too bad and similar in price to other Korean restaurants in Glasgow.
  • Good for Korean food, casual dining, ok for groups (but I suspect you should book in advance as the space is small).

Crossing the Rubicon (update: new menu) – Kelvinbridge – Pizza & Craft Beer/Dinner

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you will know that I’m not Crossing the Rubicon’s biggest fan (often disagreeing with other bloggers on this). I’ve had some pretty unimpressive food there and some pretty bad experiences (mind the time they served food containing gluten to my Coeliac friend and handled the complaint quite poorly…). So if it wasn’t for their spectacular Sunday night quiz I’m not sure I would have gone back after the last visit a few months back.

However, I’m pleased that we did go back as their new menu is a MASSIVE improvement to the Indian they were serving before. I’m still not sure how I feel about their Italian-Germanic fusion and German-inspired pizza toppings, however, the pizza I did try (spicy nduja) was actually pretty good. They also have a good selection of sauces (the beer sauce and the garlic mayo are great) and side dishes. The side dishes are probably the weakest point of the menu. They are all priced at £3 (which is okay) but are somewhat random. For example, who needs a bowl of chillies which is the same amount as a salad?! They could improve their side options by offering the larger sides (pickle salad, arancini etc) for £3 and having smaller portions for things like the chillies and olives for example. Overall, pleased to see the restaurant improving!

The pizzas are fluffy, with plenty of toppings and quite tasty. We have been back for more since that visit and tried a couple different ones. Still think this is my favourite one but my curiosity about their German-Italian fusion has now increased…

  • ££: Inexpensive, pizzas start from under £3 and it’s very decent;
  • Good for: pizza, craft beer and casual dining. Check out their Sunday night quiz by Sir James.
  • Avoid if: You are Gluten-free (Adding this there because they don’t have GF options and are not well informed/haven’t been well informed in the past).

Alchemilla – Finnieston – Dinner

This restaurant was so good it deserved a full review in its own right. You can read the full review here. To summarise – it’s simple food, cooked deliciously, using only the ingredients it needs. No need to over complicate when you have chefs that understand their ingredients so well. The restaurant serves Mediterranean inspired food, with seasonal ingredients, which can be washed down with tasty cocktails or natural wine. This has made it to the top of my favourite places to eat in Glasgow.

  • ££: Moderately pricey but well worth it. Our bill came to about £30 pp with 5 dishes to share and a drink each.
  • Good for: special occasions or when you simply want to celebrate fantastic food. Must try!

Kember and Jones – Byres Rd (West End) – Breakfast + Coffee & Cake

Finally, we have what I consider to be a West End Institution, having been opened for about 14 years. This is one of the first places I got to know with my mother and sister when we moved to Glasgow about 11 years ago and it holds a special place in our ‘history’. It’s still somewhat of a tradition that if the three of us are in Glasgow we will head there for waffles and coffee.

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I had two visits to Kember & Jones in the past week, one with a friend for coffee and cake (yes, waffles count as cake…) and one for a very late breakfast with my mother (perhaps it was lunch…). Over the years we’ve seen K&J change and expand both in size (though unfortunately, part of their shop has gone now to make room for more tables) and in food options. I feel that the change is for the better and am pleased to see more on their menu. Their deli counter is always delightful in its own right with many options of fresh bread available for purchase. As for their cake offering, you can expect very large slices of cake to go with your tea or coffee.

  • ££: Breakfast around £7 pp, reasonably priced.
  • Good for: coffee, cake, brunch, lunch.

2nd half of June coming up soon. Look out for it in early July.

Alchemilla

In the Finneston corner of Argyle street, snug in between notable restaurants like Six by Nico, The Crabshack and the Gannet, you will find the bright, colourful and modern Alchemilla. Opened only a year and half ago, Alchemilla has certainly established itself as one of the places to visit when in Glasgow. Loved by critics and diners alike, it’s also already mentioned in the Michelin guide.

In it’s heart is chef Rosie Healey who trained with a new favourite chef of mine (and old favourite of many in the food industry and food lovers alike) Yotam Ottolenghi. Needles to say, that Chef Healey absolutely does him justice with her fantastic food offering at Alchemilla.

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Asparagus, pumpkin seed cream, brown butter.

The food in Alchemilla is served in “small dishes” and it’s created to be shared. This is perfect as you and friends can order a fantastic variety of dishes to try. Most plates are priced at around £6 – £15 (the latter for meat/fish options) and are usually served beautifully and simple. In Alchemilla you’ll find a fantastic variety of fresh, seasonal vegetables and produce, as well as delicious seafood and meat options. Most dishes are cooked with a few ingredients, playing around with the flavours and highlighting the best of each main ingredient. Alchemilla shows us that there is no need to over complicate food, and that simple can be absolutely delicious.

A friend and I shared five dishes during our visit which was just spot on in terms of the amount of food we had. Saying that, though, it was incredibly hard to narrow down to just two dishes as everything on their daily-changed menu sounded absolutely delicious. I think I could have happily ordered everything on it. The menu is split into four parts: vegetables, fish & seafood, meat and desserts. We narrowed our choices down to two vegetable offerings, two fish and one meat.

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Globe artichoke with vinaigrette cream

The vegetables were two that I don’t particularly favour that much – the asparagus served with a sort of a pumpkin seed cream and brown butter, and a globe artichoke with an emulsified vinaigrette sauce. Both were incredibly delicious, though they are not vegetables I would usually eat. I was really glad to try them in Alchemilla because they were just stunningly prepared. I really enjoyed pulling out the arichoke’s leaves and smothering them in the creamy vinegraite and the crisp and tender texture of the asparagus.

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Smoked haddock and roast red pepper carpaccio

To go with them, we also ordered two fish and one meat dish. We went for one of the specials on the board: pickled herring with pickled potatoes, carrots, onion and dill and a smoked haddock carpaccio with roast red peppers. As for the meat, we had the ongled steak with spinach and pickled clams. It is hard to describe just how well everything worked in each particular dish. The freshenss of the pickled vegetables against the salty pickled herring created both a beatuful taste and texture with every bite. The smoked haddock carpaccio was one of my favourite dishes of the night. I have never thought about pairing sweet roast red pepprs with a lightly smoked fish but it worked so well, flavours just bouncing off of each other. Finally the onglet steak, which was tender and soft paired with acidic clams. It was certainly an interesting flavour combination, not one you’d come cross very often.

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Pickled herring, potatoes, carrots and dill.

This is preicsely what I loved about everything we ate in Alchemilla. The beautiful and sometimes unusual pairings of flavour combinations, served in a simple and relaxed dish. Allowing you to just appreciate the textures, flavours and ingredients dacing on your pallete. I cannot wait to go back to try and keeping trying all of what Alchemilla has to offer.

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Onglet steak, spinach and pickled clams (not pictured here as I had them seperately)

On a sepearte note, I really hope Rosie Healey releases a cookbook because I want to cook her food every. day.


Alchemilla is located on 1126 Argyle Street, Glasgow. You can find them on instagram: @thisisalchemilla. Our bill came to around £60, drinks included.

My week in food #5 (19-25 Feb)

I’m writing this a bit late because this week has been quite crazy. However, we had yet another week of good food which I thought was worth sharing with you. It started with some Buck’s Bar’s chicken wing Wednesdays, continued with a fantastic seven-course tasting menu at The Sisters and finished with an all you can eat sushi dinner on Friday at Yen’s.

Wednesday – Dinner @ Buck’s Bar

If you like chicken wings, burgers, liquor, rock’n’roll and a good collection of hot sauces, then… Buck’s Bar is the spot for you! When Buck’s Bar opened a couple of years back, I was quite excited to finally get a bar that serves delicious chicken wings in a variety of sauces. And the wings are good! They are big, juicy and saucy – just like they are supposed to be. There is a good variety of food on offer besides wings, so expect to find Buck’s delicious buttermilk or Nashville hot chicken, burgers, salads, waffle brunches and even vegetarian options! They are also great for entertainment – pub quiz, live music, burger and wing offers. For all the latest, check their website.

 

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Buffalo chicken wings at the front, and Big Leo’s Firewings at Buck’s Bar

 

We had the Buffalo chicken wings and Big Leo’s Firewings with the chilli and coriander coleslaw, sweet potato fries and sweet and chilli chips. All the food was good, but we were a bit disappointed by the Firewings are they are meant to be really spicy and really weren’t. But I hear that they are changing the sauce to make them spicier, so I’ll look forward to that.

Price: £16 pp for a lot of wings, sides, and drinks | Will I go back? Yes, back anytime I need some spicy chicken wings in my life. | Where: 111 West Regent Street, Glasgow City Centre.

Thursday – 7-course tasting menu @ The Sisters Kelvingrove

The Sisters in Kelvingrove had a fantastic offer running in February for “Taster Thursdays” where they offered a delicious 7-course tasting menu for just £22.50 per person. I had heard very good things about the restaurant so this was a perfect opportunity to try it. The food was indeed delicious and included fantastic local produce, highlighting the very best of Scottish cuisine. The menu included scallops and black pudding, haggis with onion bhaji, a mushroom veloute, variation on fish and chips, highland benison, a chocolate and banana pudding and a delicious cheese board to finish off with.

 

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Highland venison pie, creamed mash & roasted herbs at The Sisters

 

The ambience at the restaurant was nice, with a classic interior. The staff were excellent and offered a fantastic service. The food was very good, especially considering the low price. I would recommend The Sister’s at Kelvingrove for when you are looking for some fine Scottish food on a very reasonable price, at a classic restaurant.

 

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Cheddar crips, goat’s cheese mouse and blue cheese at The Sisters

 

Price: £27 pp including drinks, which is just fantastic value for the food we had. | Will I go back? Yes, though Glasgow has a lot of really good fine dining restaurants which I’ve been more impressed with. Saying that, however, not many will be able to beat the value for money The Sisters offers for the fantastic quality of the food. | Where: 36 Kelvingrove Street, Glasgow

Friday – all you can eat sushi at Yen Oriental

Every so often, Yen Oriental in the Rotunda host a Sushi Night where you can eat and order all the sushi you can eat in the space of an hour and a half for just £12.95 per person.  The sushi is pretty good and you can wash it down with some of the nice cocktails they have on the menu. Outside of sushi, Yen’s offer a variety of Asia food so you can find some Japanese, Thai and Cantonese favourites on their menu. The only thing is that the service leaves a lot to be desired. It was hard to get anyone’s attention and when we did they weren’t the friendliest.

 

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Salmon and Tuna Nigiri, Salmon sashimi and Crab maki

 

Price: £12.95 pp for the sushi night | Will I be back? I would probably attend more of their sushi nights in the future! | Where: 28 Tunnel Street, Glasgow

I hope that my weekly posts are giving you plenty of inspiration of where to go and eat and about in Glasgow! Let me know if you go to any of these restaurants!

 

My week in food #2 (15-21 Jan)

As those of you who follow the blog might recall, last week I started this new feature on my blog where I reflect and share my thoughts on the places I’ve visited over the week. Every week I will be aiming to write short and snappy reviews of restaurants and bars, which I hope, will help you discover somewhere new and exciting!

Thursday (18 Jan) – Dinner @ Six by Nico

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First meal out this week was in the fantastic Six by Nico to celebrate my birthday. I’ve already blogged about the restaurant and have written a more extensive review which you can read here, so I’m not going to write too much about my visit here. However, for those of you who haven’t heard of Six by Nico yet, I will do a short summary. The idea is: six-course tasting menu around a specific concept, which changes every six weeks. It’s also very reasonably priced – at £25 per person, and addition £25 for matched drinks, it’s a really well priced fine dining experience. It’s certainly one of my favourite restaurants in Glasgow and I would definitely urge you to pay them a visit if you haven’t been!

Overall cost: £25 per head, food is fantastic quality and very good value for money; Will we be back again? Absolutely, can’t wait for the next menu which is coming out towards the end of February!

Friday (19 Jan) – Brunch @ TriBeCa Woodlands

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On Friday, I took the day off from work to treat my mum to a day out in Glasgow. We thought we would start the day in style with a nice and filling brunch. There are a few TriBeCa restaurants in Glasgow and they offer tasty American scran. Think waffles, massive stack pancakes, NY-style French toast, and of course a full fry-up, as well as bagels, sandwiches, salads… and that’s just the brunch/lunch options. They also offer burgers, ribs, steaks… you get the picture – their menu and offering is really quite big, so there is something for everyone there. I had the full herd which was really quite a generous portion, and my mum had a bagel with jam, all washed down with coffee. The food was tasty, staff were lovely and service was quick, so we both left happy and with very full tummies.

Overall cost: £16 for the two of us, good value; Will we be back? Yes.

Saturday (20 Jan) – Dinner @ Bread Meats Bread

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Bread Meats Bread is a favourite of mines ever since it opened in Glasgow a few years back. They have two restaurants in Glasgow and one in Edinburgh and specialise in Burgers, Hot Dogs and meat filled sandwiches. Even though their burgers were delicious when they first opened doors on St Vincent Street, I’m happy to see, that over the years they have grown and improved the food that they offer and have a truly delicious menu. We visited the City Centre shop which is quite small and unsurprisingly busy for a Saturday night. We had to wait for a table for 30 minutes, and even though there are three other burger joints within 2 minutes of BMB, it is still worth the wait. I had the Wolf of St Vincent Street (Delicious burger with pulled pork & nduja), while my sister had the Pastrami burger (also delicious) and my other half – the Korean-inspired Kim Yong Bun (which he said was ok, but not as good as other burgers on the menu). We also ordered the Raspoutine as a side dish – delicious poutine, with added bacon and cheese. If you want a good burger, this is where you need to go!

Overall cost: ~£40 for three people with a burger each, shared sides and few drinks each. Good value for money. Will we be back? Oh, yes!!!

Have you been to Six by Nico, TriBeCa or Bread Meats Bread? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Six by Nico

I was a fan of Nico Simone’s first restaurant, 111 by Nico, and I am definitely a big fan of his second venture – Six by Nico.  Nico Simone is a Glasgow based chef from Italian heritage who has his fair share of experience of working in restaurants such as the acclaimed Chardon d’Or by Brian Maule, and Edinburgh’s Michelin starred Number One, where he won Scottish Seafood Chef of the Year when he was aged just 20. So it’s no surprise that both his restaurants have enjoyed great success over the past few years. Both 111 by Nico and Six by Nico offer fine dining experience at a reasonable price – delicious food, fantastic service and great atmosphere is what you can expect in both restaurants.

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“Steak Pie” – Chippie

However, Six by Nico offers something else to the table. With a six-course set menu that changes every six weeks, you can find your taste buds being constantly excited by new flavours, combinations and styles in the same restaurant. The restaurant opened in 2017 with its first menu Chippie which offered a new and fresh take on our fish & chips shop favourites. They continued with another interesting menu called Childhood which aimed to make us nostalgic about the food we enjoyed as children. They continued with the summer-appropriate Picnic menu, all-American Route 66, the fantastic and inspiring Illusion, the autumn Forrest, and the winter charmer Disney. I have had the pleasure of trying three of the menus last year and have been charmed every time. So this year, when they started the year with “Best of 2017”, I thought it’s a great opportunity to try some of the dishes I missed last year.  Even better, I took the opportunity to introduce my family to Six by Nico with a chance to try some of the best Six by Nico has to offer.

 

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“Sea Bream Taco” – Route 66

 

We headed to Six by Nico for 7pm on a Thursday night and, as always, the restaurant was buzzing with people, chatter and staff running around the place. I love the atmosphere of the place and how, though a busy restaurant, you can still have a lovely and relaxing experience. We were seated a bit after we arrived and the staff were very courteous and helpful in their service.  Though there was a bit of delay in getting our table ready, they managed it well and made us feel welcome. I always watch out how restaurants treat their customers when issues arise because it shows the real ‘soul’ of a place.

 

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‘Duck’ – Illusion

 

Once on the table, our courses started arriving one by one. Each dish was explained expertly by the waiters. We started off with a variation of chips, cheese and curry “Chips  & Cheese”, which offered a delicate parmesan foam (espuma) with finely cut chips and just a hint of curry oil. Certainly, this was a dish for the cheese lovers… The second dish to follow was a sublime ‘steak pie’ which included beef shin, which just melted in my mouth, with three different types of cooked onions and served with delicious brioche croutons. This probably one of my most favourite Six by Nico dishes so far! Our third dish was a take on Mac & Cheese from the Childhood menu which had a chicken wing, paired with cauliflower and truffle. I don’t usually like cauliflower or truffle, but I had every last bit of the dish. Our fourth dish was the delicate Sea Bream Taco from Route 66 which was probably my favourite dish from that menu. It came with guacamole and a special lime and red onion salsa. The flavours worked so well together!

 

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‘White chocolate’ – Illusion

 

Our fifth and sixth courses came from my favourite Six by Nico menu so far – Illusion. I loved that menu because of how inventive it was with the way the food was served and made. The fifth dish was ‘Duck’ which came with wild mushrooms, blueberries, on a bed of cocoa and hazelnuts. The cocoa just exaggerated the flavours in the dish, while the blueberries, mushrooms and hazelnuts paired beautifully with the rare duck breasts. Finally, we finished with ‘White chocolate’ – a delicious white chocolate mousse, with passionfruit puree, lime curd and shavings of coconut. A truly delicious way to finish off our dinner. I have to confess that white chocolate and passionfruit is certainly one of my favourite combinations in a pudding, so of course, I was charmed by this dish. Not least by its presentation which certainly resembled a boiled egg! We washed our food down with a few of the delicious cocktails on offer. However, the menu also comes with an offer to pair each dish with a drink. I am yet to try a menu with the pairings, so perhaps I will be visiting again quite soon.

The whole menu was very reasonably priced at £25 per person. The quality of the food and the sophistication of dishes are definitely worth it so I would encourage everyone to visit Six by Nico at least once. Perhaps, like me, you will be charmed and will continue coming back again and again.

~Em