My Month In Food – July (Part 2)

Hello and welcome to my second post for July. Last month was all about trying new places popping up in Glasgow and revisiting some of my old favourites that I haven’t yet written about. This post is a bit of a mixed bag of good and not so good… I always love writing about the places that have made an impression on me and I have loved (part of the reason I opened this blog), but I have to remind myself that another reason why I blog is to also share news, impressions and thoughts on all the food I eat – good or bad. So while I don’t enjoy when I have to write a poor ‘review’ it’s part of the reason why I created this whole thing. And, unfortunately, we have a couple of those today…

In Part 2 there is a whole lot more beer featured to my usual food rantings, and you can read about notable beer places Grunting Growler and Six°North. I also popped in to brand new Glasgow restaurant Absurd Bird. And finally, we have two West End spots that have been with us for a while: Kelbourne Saint and Cafe Zique. I’ll start with the good.

Grunting Growler – Finnieston – Craft Beer Shop/Bar

No food to be found in this section, however, very much worth a mention for beer lovers. I’m not particularly crazy about beer and don’t know a thing about craft beers, but I do enjoy drinking them occasionally! I’ve been meaning to stop in this very hipster looking little place for a while and finally did so last month. They offer a really large selection of beers on tap and their fridges are well stocked with a variety of craft beers from around the world. I very much enjoyed giving a few beers a try and also ended up bringing a fair few cans back home. It’s the Grunting Growler where I discovered that I do have a favourite type of beer and that’s a sour. To add to this, the staff are so nice, very helpful and good at offering advice about beer. I’d definitely recommending stopping by this little shop/bar!

20180805_1211414924116694415536599.jpg
Delicious Cloudwater sour over at Grunting Growler.
  • Good for: Craft beer;
  • ££: Prices of various beers will range, it’s moderately expensive.

Six°North – Partick – Beer & Modern pub food

Six°North is situated in the cusp of Partick and it was very much recommended by friends of mine. We headed there for an impromptu dinner one night and I was very pleasantly surprised by this bar. Offering a modern atmosphere, pleasant ambiance, plenty of beer choice and an extensive food menu – it’s actually a really good spot. While my friends had the fish and chips and cheese croquettes, I opted for the baked Camembert and a side portion of chorizo. The chorizo is really made for sharing and was a bit much for me just on it’s own – quite heavy and salty (as it should be, just not in such quantities for one!). However… the baked Camembert was divine. It was  topped with garlic and parsley and served with crusty bread. I would have preferred a different style bread with the dish, but I can’t fault the baked Camembert itself! I’ll definitely be back to try more of their menu, but so far, I can say it’s definitely worth a visit!

20180805_1215082937171727728518758.jpg
Baked Camembert at Six°North
  • Good for: Beer & pub food, bigger crowds, casual dining.
  • ££: Starters range from £5-7, Mains – £6-£13.

Cafe Zique – Partick – Brunch & Coffee

I’ve been a fan of Cafe Zique ever since my partner’s sister suggested it for brunch a few years back. I’ve come back plenty of times with family and friends, mostly for brunch, and occasionally for dinner. It’s a popular west end spot and the restaurant is always buzzing when I visit. The food is good and plentiful and the coffee – delicious. They also change and experiment with their menu regularly enough and therefore keep things interesting for regulars. You can find a very decent full breakfast, plenty of choice for poached eggs and various toppings and french toast. I’m usually a big fan of this buzzing restaurant, but my last visit was a bit disappointing. I met a friend for brunch there and while he devoured a delicious looking full breakfast, I had the french toast with berries. Plenty of french toast, with the smallest handful of berries I’ve been served… Maple syrup had to be ordered as an extra too (at the ‘modest’ price of £2!) which also left me with a bitter (ah the irony) taste at the end. Saying that, Cafe Zique have an impressive track record of cooking and serving delicious food, so at the moment I’m considering this to be a fluke!  And, as a side note, their bakery is amazing – you can get fresh bread, pastries and cakes and they are truly delicious!

20180805_1213086586838322165646972.jpg
Plenty of french toast, sadly not much from any of the toppings at Cafe Zique
  • Good for: Brunch, lunch, dinner, coffee, cocktails and a fantastic in store bakery.
  • ££: Moderately priced.

Kelbourne Saint – West End – Gourmet Pub

This is my local pub and I’ve seen it change a few times since I moved in the area. It’s famous for being the pub which appears in a certain pint smashing scene in Trainspotting and I’ve also spotted in British sitcom Lovesick. Though it’s changed much since it’s appearance on Trainspotting, it still reserves a certain charm when you visit. It’s now a posh pub, serving gourmet food and rotisserie chicken. Ever since it re-opened under the new management and new name, new look, new everything, I really wanted to like it. And I do like it – I like the atmosphere, I like the outdoor garden, I like the people who work there and I like the drinks. But.. when it comes to the food, it’s an entirely different story.

You’d hope that if a place specialises in something, in this case rotisserie chicken, they would do it well so you might forgive other things on the menu. However, their chicken is really quite average and not all that tasty. The sides, even worse – over roasted dry potatoes, overcooked greens and other veg… overall quite unsatisfying. Over the last year or so, we’ve tried different items on the menu and nothing has ever been quite right. On our last visit in particular, our friends had the burgers which they didn’t enjoy either, and every option my partner and I had initially selected from the menu was actually unavailable – so we had to give the chicken another go, knowing it’s not that great. However, I still visit the Kelbourne Saint, and I will continue to do so, because though the food is no good, the bar is lovely and it’s a nice spot to hang out in!

20180805_1209398855975832534918969.jpg
Roast chicken with all the trimmings at Kelbourne Saint
  • Good for: drinks and ambiance, but I don’t recommend the food.
  • ££: On the expensive side for a pub.

Absurd Bird – City Centre – All things chicken

Absurd Bird is a chain restaurant which specialises in everything chicken – wings, fried chicken, burgers etc. They have a cool vibe, moonshine cocktails and love to make dirty jokes about chickens. They LOOK really good. So a couple of weeks we headed over for some finger lickin’ good chicken. The menu is really extensive and there is lot’s of choice. I enjoyed the cocktails too, but that’s about as far as I enjoyed this visit. The wings were very mediocre, and the hottest ones on the menu were not hot at all. We also ordered the chicken fondue, which looked impressive but tasted pretty bad. The cheese sauce was not good, however the various additions to the fondue were interesting – notable was the chicken slider and the deep fried baby bell. However, a lot of the dish didn’t make much sense to me – the cheese crumbs didn’t really add anything and the fondue was actually quite difficult to eat, having been served in a rather deep jar. Everything about Absurd Bird, including the chicken fondue, says “style over substance” and it feels that everything is created to be ‘instragramable’ rather than tasty. I’ll take my food in a non-pretty serving but delicious in taste, thank you very much. Overall, not great first impression and not sure it will warrant a second visit.

20180805_1210514102190244305375228.jpg
Absurd Bird’s very insta-friendly Chicken Fondue, which sadly doesn’t deliver on flavour.
  • Good for: They specialise in chicken and moonshine cocktails, but I wouldn’t say the food is good.
  • ££: Moderately priced.

This is it for July! If you missed part 1, you can go back and read it here. Look out for the August edition in a few weeks time.

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.

20180610_1435342877955486865202650.jpg

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.

My Month in Food – May (Part 2)

In the second part of May, I visited one of my favourite cafes which somehow I haven’t written about before – Kelvin Pocket. I also went along to SmashBurger to try some of their new menu items. I went back to Babs for my third visit (and probably last, but you can read more on that below). I also went along to Dixie Chick, a fairly new chicken joint on Ashton Lane, which turned out to be not as exciting as I had hoped. Read on below to get the full details!

Kelvin Pocket – Kelvinbridge – Breakfast & Coffee

Kelvin Pocket is a small cafe situated by the entrance of Kelvinbridge Subway Station. It’s long been a favourite of mine, pretty much since it opened and with good reason – their delicious, smooth coffee. They also have a selection of cake on offer, some light food – soups, salads and sandwiches for breakfast and lunch. As for the interior, it’s calm, friendly and also has a good number of plants you can also buy! I love going there to work and you’d often find me going there for a coffee.

20180607_1323433840330979194547830.jpg
Avocado and sriracha on cashew butter toast
  • ££: Inexpensive, breakfast dishes around £5, lunch dishes around £5-8.
  • Good for: coffee, cake, breakfast and lunch.

Smashburger – City Centre – Burgers

You might recall that I’ve already covered Smashburger in a previous post. I liked their burgers and they are certainly better than a lot of chain restaurants in Glasgow. On the back of that, Smashburger approached me and gave me a voucher to try some of their new menu options: The Triple Double Bloomer, BLT Crispy Chicken Bloomer, Mac & Cheese bites, new shakes (I had the Salted Caramel Popcorn and popping candy shake) and new drinks range, including Long Flint – think Hibiscus Gin & Tonic, Ginger & Rum Fuego and Rhubarb & Vodka Seltzer).

20180607_1324342743736802507669514.jpg
The Triple Double Bloomer

I’m surprised to say this, but I actually liked their Bloomers even more than their burgers. I think the Triple Double Bloomer is my new favourite thing on their menu! It was really full of flavour and the bread (which I believe they make themselves) was very good. I also really liked the Mac & Cheese bites which I had with my burger. Finally, I should say, that the Salted Caramel Milkshake with Popcorn & Popping Candy is the first milkshake I’ve had in years and since I don’t really like milkshakes that much I didn’t think I would enjoy it. But I did and would definitely have again.

20180607_1326107556386087218973478.jpg
Salted Caramel Milkshake with popcorn and popping candy

Note: Smashburger sent me a voucher to try the new menu items, so I didn’t pay for any of the food, however, all views and opinions are my own.

  • ££: Bill came to just over £30 for 2 Bloomers, 2 sides, and 2 drinks. Reasonable but slightly on the pricey side for a casual burger restaurant.
  • Good for: burgers, shakes, large groups, casual dining & for when you want something quick!

‘Babs  – City Centre –  Dinner

‘Babs is a Middle Eastern food restaurant from the crew who brought us the very much loved Bread Meats Bread. Their tag line is “Kebabs done right” and indeed they offer a wide range of posh kebabs, along fusion dishes with a middle eastern style (like their thin fries with feta for example). The restaurant is nice, staff are usually friendly but there is nothing memorable about the place, food included. I’ve been to ‘Babs three times now and really wanted to love it. However, when it comes to Middle Eastern food their offer is overpriced and just okay. The stars of the menu, the Kebabs, are really overpriced in my opinion and often come with curious combinations of middle eastern flavours which are nice in their own right, but not quite right together in some cases. On the other hand, some of the food they just didn’t get right. Like the Greek Salad, for example, which had a considerable lack of olives (there were none in mine, though they are mentioned on the menu). So far I’ve tried the lamb kebab, which is probably my favourite, and on this visit I tried the squid iskender which was also nice. What was nice about them was the quality of the meat which was cooked to perfection. However, still not worth the £10+ price tag. This perhaps reflected in the fact I’ve never seen ‘Babs full and every-time I’ve been there it has been fairly empty.

20180607_1330352264906630534297209.jpg
The Squid Iskender

I think this will be my last visit to ‘Babs for a while. It’s underwhelming and it lacks the simplicity and fantastic flavours which Bread Meets Bread brought.

  • ££: Kebabs range from £9 to £15, nibbles and sides £3 – £5, and mezzes (starters) – £7 – £15. Very overpriced.
  • Good for: Large groups, specialises in middle eastern food.

Dixie Chick – Ashton Lane, West End – Dinner

Dixie Chick is a fairly new addition to Ashton Lane. and I was quite excited about it’s opening because Glasgow needs more restaurants doing chicken wings well. I’m very jealous of the people of Edinburgh because they have Wings which is one of my favourite spots in Scotland. There aren’t that many restaurants which specialise on chicken and chicken wings in Glasgow, and even less good ones… So you can see why I was excited.

Dixie Chick looked to be the part. Simple menu, good number of toppings/sauces, selection of wings, chicken strips, halloumi bites and burgers and a more interesting selection of sides and loaded fries. However, the disappointments started rolling shortly after we had ordered our drinks. When we went to give our order, the waiter informed us they were out of chicken wings. What?! One of the main things you offer is not available? And you didn’t think you should mention this to the customers as we sat down? All four of us thought this was very poor. We settled on ordering chicken strips + halloumi bites and a couple of loaded fries to share. We chose a good number flavours to go with them. When they arrived the sauce was served separately to everything which surprised us. Instead of having a pleasant and appealing golden colour, both the halloumi bites and chicken strips had a slightly burned brown batter all over them. And the taste, well, very underwhelming. The halloumi was marginally better than the chicken which was quite dry. The loaded fries, on the other hand, were quite tasty and I did like the good choice of toppings. We went for the chilli & chorizo and the beetroot blue chips.

20180529_1954245886056233155229303.jpg
Beetroot blue fries, halloumi bites, chicken strips.

I don’t think I’ll be coming back any time soon. Both because we all thought the service was pretty poor – mostly because you’d expect to be told that the kitchen has ran out of stuff before you start ordering. We would have left if it wasn’t for the fact our drinks had been served. And to be honest, I probably would have come back at a later time. But because they didn’t handle this so well and because the food was quite underwhelming, I’m not sure it’s worth going back to try the chicken wings either.

  • ££: Dishes range from £4 – £12, so fairly cheap.
  • Good for: quick food, casual dining, specialises in all things chicken.

I can’t wait to share Part 1 of June which should be coming out fairly soon. In the mean time, be sure to check out the first part of my May food summary.

My Month in Food – May (Part 1)

So the past few months have been exciting. Singl-end have opened their second Glasgow restaurant and you can now find their delicious cakes and plentiful brunches in Merchant City as well. In addition to that, El Perro Negro, have moved from being a pop up to having their own place in Finnieston. Obviously, I couldn’t wait to finally go in and have their fantastic burgers again…

As for the other two on the list, well, I’ve been making a point of visiting all the amazing cafes and brunch spots in the south side and being healthy by cycling to them (calories don’t count that way, right?). So I beat the crowds, and headed down to the uber popular Cafe Strange Brew on a Tuesday. Finally, we have Brel for some cheesy goodness.

Singl-end Merchant City – Brunch – Merchant City

Freshly opened just a couple of months ago, the new Singl-end is already popular with the Glasgow crowds. They have a really good breakfast and lunch menu, with a lot of options ranging from baked eggs, to toast, sandwiches, salads… They also bake their own bread (delicious!) and have vegan options too. Finally, they have a tasty selection of fresh bakes and cakes, and serve alcohol, so if you are like me and enjoy a boozy brunch then you will be in the right spot. It’s quite big inside, much like Singl-end Garneth Hill, however it’s also usually full so you might be safer with a reservation (though we managed to grab a table without one). On a sunny day you can also sit outside and soak up all the sun Glasgow can offer.

20180527_0936141006315655351309639.jpg
Meaty Baked Eggs with Mozzarella at Singl-End

A friend and I went there for a late brunch/early lunch a few weekends ago. I ordered a portion of the baked meaty eggs with mozzarella and my friend went for one of the daily salads. The eggs were delicious and I struggled to finish a full portion – there was a lot to get through! My friend also enjoyed her salad of the day. You can find a fresh seasonal salad and sandwich options in both restaurants. Overall, it’s definitely a fantastic addition to the restaurant scene in the city centre and I will be back soon!

  • ££: Dishes around £6 – £10. Well priced and the portions are HUGE!
  • Good for: Breakfast, brunch, lunch, coffee & cake. Also quite big so perfect for big crowds too (though you probably want to book first).

Cafe Strange Brew – Brunch – Strathbungo

Cafe Strange Brew is one of these places which has taken Instagram by storm. Their stacked pancakes are very popular and look delicious. It’s such a popular brunch spots that some weekends people might wake for an hour for a table. Now, I’m one of these people who regardless of how much I want a solid brunch, I won’t wait more than 20ish minutes for a table, so I headed to the popular spot on a midweek day off and got a table instantly. Always a win!

20180527_0938376882358626016601927.jpg
Chorizo and Potato Hash at Cafe Strange Brew

I went for a slightly different option and had the chorizo hash while my friends also had other savoury options. We were all very satisfied with our food though I felt that my hash was 90% potato and only 10% chorizo (slightly disappointing). Regardless, it was really tasty and I woofed it down with two nice cups of coffee. It does indeed live up to it’s reputation and I will be back to try those delicious looking pancake stacks…

  • ££: About £10 for a breakfast dish and coffee. Well priced.
  • Good for: Breakfast, brunch, lunch. Also, look out for pop up events held there!

El Perro Negro – Burgers – Finnieston

I first tried El Perro Negro back in 2017 when they were doing a pop up in the Hippo Taproom, which sadly has closed since. They are often associated with praise like “best burger” so I had to see for myself. Since then, they have now opened a little burger joint in Finnieston and are doing their finest burgers, along some tasty wings and sides, every day. I was very excited for their opening, even though I often say that Glasgow’s burger scene is overcrowded. However, I also think there is always space for restaurants who care about a decent burger and using the best quality beef. You can absolutely taste the difference.

20180510_204919154671056521598868.jpg
The NYC Burger at El Perro Negro

This is the case with El Perro Negro. The restaurant itself is small, with limited seating space, yet cosy. They also offer takeaway, and have a nice deal going with The Brass Monkey – you can buy your burger and sit in in the close by pub for a few drinks too – so there, the limited seating space ‘issue’ sorted. As for the burgers, I had the NYC while my other half went for the Top Dog. They were both juicy, with a good amount of delicious toppings, but the meat was the star of the show. The patty had so much flavour and was probably the best burger patty I’ve had. El Perro Negro state that they use beef from small local farms and you can definitely taste the quality of it. We also had a portion of Korean Gochujang Wings to share which were also very juice, hot and delicious. I would definitely encourage everyone to go give them a try!

20180527_0934147441994479102994763.jpg
Top Dog Burger (left), NYC burger and Gochujang Chicken Wings at El Perro Negro.
  • ££: Burgers from £7 – £10.50, sides from £3. Not the cheapest burgers in town, but definitely worth it for the quality you get.
  • Good for: when you want a really tasty burger! Great for a quick, tasty meal. Also close to The Hydro and SEC so perfect for a pre-gig burger and drinks (if you take your burger to The Brass Monkey).

Brel – Dinner – West End

Brel is here to make all your cheese dreams come true, as they have, I believe the only, Fondue and Raclette on offer in the West End. That’s what we went for,  but beyond that they are also often praised for their Frites (chose from Moules, Langostine, Steak…) and quite an extensive menu beyond that. They also offer a good selection of drinks, cocktails… and now that summer is here… Pimm’s on tap!

We went there to try the Raclette which I’ve never had before. We had a choice of 8 different ‘toppings’ and we chose the venison sausage (delicious!), chorizo, broccoli and parma ham, along with plenty of bread. The Raclette itself is kind of like a small grill (see picture) on which you melt chunky slices of Gruyere cheese which you can then spread over your choice meats and veg. This is what the dreams of cheese lovers like me are made of. I’d definitely recommend trying this when you are in Brel next, though I still prefer a Fondue myself.

20180527_0933042367783855177449572.jpg
Our Raclette all ready to go at Brel

Couple of important things to note. Brel have a Fondue and Raclette night on a Tuesday where you can get a fantastic deal on both (£15 for 2 people for a Fondue and slightly more for the Raclette). They also offer Gluten-Free options too which is fantastic news for some of my friends!

  • ££: If you go on a Tuesday it’s an absolute bargain for the Fondue/Raclette sets. Otherwise the restaurant is medium priced so a meal with drinks would be around £20 pp.
  • Good for: dinner, big groups, cheese nights, drinks – they also have a lovely garden outside for when the sun is out!

I’ll be posting Part 2 towards the end of next week, where you can read about my visits to one of my favourite cafes, Kelvin Pocket, trying new menu options at Smashburger, attending the Scottish Street Food Festival and also a return visit to Babs.

~Em

My Month in Food – April (Part 2)

The first half of April featured my thoughts on three city centre restaurants: Revolution de Cuba, Tuk Tuk Indian Street Food and Smashburger (If you haven’t read it yet, it’s available here). Last month, I also visited FF Finsbay, the new steak restaurant in Woodlands rd, Gnom – new cafe/restaurant in Strathbungo, and tried the new pop up Undercover Dinner Society, which was held in Finnieston. Have a read below to see what I thought of these three new Glasgow restaurants.

Gnom – Brunch – Strathbungo

Gnom is a new cafe created by the brain behind Chompsky, one of my favourite street food vendors in Glasgow.  Though I’m missing Chompsky’s presence in Glasgow’s street food scene, I have to say I’m very impressed with what they have created in Gnom. Brunch seems to be the trend of the year right now, and Gnom is definitely one of the places to visit if you are looking for tasty and more interesting breakfast scran. It certainly ticks all the boxes for me. Delicious coffee – check. Good choice of breakfast dishes – check. Add to that, more interesting options – check check check! I had the famous Chompsky (breakfast) bao which was so good. Tasty pulled pork filled baos and topped with a fried egg, makes for a really nice breakfast, apparently! They also have other interesting sweet and savoury options inspired by different world flavours (Middle Eastern food another popular food trend by the looks of it). Overall, it’s a fantastic addition to the amazing food scene over at Strathbungo and I will be returning frequently,

20180519_1534046436038704430981985.jpg

  • ££: Breakfast options are around £7-9, and coffee is around £2-3 quid. Fairly standard for brunch in the area, and definitely worth it!
  • Good for: breakfast, brunch, lunch, coffee and cake! Also slightly larger than some of the other popular spots in the area so maybe you will find it easier to grab a table.

Undercover Dinner Society – Tasting Menu – Yorkhill

Glasgow’s food scene right now is on fire with amazing street food, brunch, pop ups and tasting menus. This year, chef John Traynor, who has done a number of pop ups in Glasgow already (Flock Pop up) and has worked at Porter & Rye, launched Undercover Dinner Society which was held in the Drugstore Social. The menu featured the best of seasonal Scottish produce mixed in pan-Asian flavours to create six delicious courses. We also had an option to pair our food with cocktails or wine. Both me and my friend chose to go for the cocktails as we wanted to try something new and interesting.

20180519_1532129051511222843376486.jpg
Goat’s cheese mouse in charcoal crackers

The food was definitely interesting and very creative. Some of the flavour combinations were unusual but are ones that I still talk about, almost a month after I’ve been there. There were two dishes that really stood out in my opinion. The first course which featured delicious Goat’s cheese mouse in a charcoal cracker, which melted in the mouth in a symphony of fantastic and subtle flavours. It was served with a vodka based watermelon cocktail which was absolutely yum! And the third course, which was a seaweed cured trout in kimchee consume with korean noodles. I was really impressed at how well the flavours balanced each other – a very salty fish with a subtle consume and noodles, which worked together extremely well. Bonus point for the wee fortune cookies that came with it!

20180519_1533233921261346882499488.jpg
Course 6: Unicorn meringues with raspberries, passion fruit curd & matcha

The cocktail pairing was a bit hit and miss for me, but that’s more because I’m very fussy with my spirits (i.e. not a fan of gin and really dislike whisky). Since more than half of the cocktails featured quite strong on the gin and whisky I couldn’t really drink them, but it’s my fault for not really looking at the ingredients properly. My friend thought they were delicious. The menu also featured two desserts, which I was initially slightly worried about as I’m not really a dessert person. However, I have to say that the Mango, coconut & Yogurt sorbet (Course No 5) was so light and sweet, and very balanced in it’s flavours. The second dessert was slightly sweeter but delicious and once again, featured and balanced delicious flavours. Also.. who can say no to rainbow meringues?!

  • ££: £30 for a six course menu, £20 for cocktail/wine pairings.
  • Good for: those who like to eat interesting food and flavours and fusion food.

FF Finsbay – Dinner – West End

FF Finsbay opened in the West End only a couple of months ago, and since, it has gained huge popularity with Glasgow foodies. They specialise in flatiron steaks and have a banging deal during the week – £8 for a flatiron steak between Sun-Thurs, £10 Fri-Sat. It’s great price for a steak in any case, and they also have a really good selection of interesting sides (Parmesan and Hollandaise Sauce topped chunky chips, black pudding bon bons and more).

20180519_1530518722510063406299292.jpg

A few weeks ago, a friend and I headed there for some steaks and cocktails. We both had the flatiron steak, medium rare as recommended by FF’s team,  with garlic butter and had some chips and black pudding bon bons to share. First things first, the staff are nice and friendly and explained the menu options and steaks well (there are sometimes other steaks on offer as specials). The cocktails were also really tasty. However, when it came to the steak… it wasn’t so great. The steaks arrived and looked absolutely delicious, however when I dug in I was disappointed to discover a well-done, chewy steak. When you have a steak restaurant which doesn’t cook it’s steak right, it’s always disappointing. Even more so when they specialise in one particular cut AND recommend it medium rare. When I highlighted this to the staff they took it away and served another steak a little while later which was on the rare side – so still not quite right, but an improvement.

The restaurant is only opened at the end of February so still quite new, and perhaps the chef had a bad night that night. But even so – it was a Friday night (so perhaps a busy night for them) and not doing well what they specialise in was disappointing. Everything else was pretty good, so I might pop in again for another try.

  • ££: Our bill came to just over £40 for the two steaks, sides and drinks.
  • Good for: midweek dinner, cocktails. Specialises in steak.

I hope you will go and try some of these places, and if you do, please pop your thoughts in the comments below!

~Em