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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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 in Food – July (Part 1)

With July almost over, it’s time for me to give you an update of all the new places I’ve visited this month. We have some new spots in Glasgow’s food scene to discuss, as well as some spots that have been here for a while. Big theme this month is the trendy sushiritto (AKA sushi-burrito), which first appeared in Glasgow at Temaki (previously covered here and also featured in my Glasgow best of Lunch spots in town post), can now be found in the West End too at Wudon and Dai Pai. Continuing with the Japanese Theme, I also visited Koko’s Japanese Kitchen, currently residing at Nice N Sleazy. It wouldn’t be me if I don’t feature also some delicious brunch, so you can also read about my visit to Italian cafe North Star.

Koko’s Japanese Kitchen – City Centre – Japanese/Pop Up

Koko’s Japanese Kitchen has been residing at Nice N Sleazy for several months now and it has already received much praise. The menu features a good selection of Japanese home cooking dishes, that cater for the carnivores as well as for those favouring a plant based diet. In fact, I was impressed about the fantastic range of vegan/vegetarian dishes on offer.

The menu is made of small dishes and therefore is perfect for sharing. We went for the Chicken Karaage, kimchi topped fries (this should be a standard menu item EVERYWHERE) and the cheese filled dry wudon dumpling-crips. We weren’t that impressed by the latter of those, but the chicken karaage and the kimchi topped fries were delicious. I will be returning to sample more Japanese deliciousness from Koko’s menu!

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  • ££ – reasonable, ok value for money, but you need to order a couple of dishes to share for a good sized meal.
  • Good for: lunch, dinner, Japanese food, casual dining.

North Star Cafe – West End – Italian/Cafe

North Star has been around on Queen Margaret Drive for a while, and it’s one of the most loved cafes in the area. And there is a good reason for this. Owned by a charming couple from Italy, Ester and Maurizio (and possibly a couple of other friends/family?!), North Star has a real family feel to it. The owners and their staff are always absolutely lovely, chatty and incredibly friendly, and it’s always a delight to pay them a visit. They remember they loyal customers as well as those that pop in occasionally and really make an effort to make everyone feel welcome. That’s not always easy in a cafe quite as busy as this one, but they manage nontheless.

With an open kitchen at the back, the cafe is always filled with noise from the kitchen, background chatter (often in Italian) and smell of delicious food and coffee. Everything about this cafe is authentic – from the atmosphere, the people to the delicious food they make. Their menu features daily specials and regular Italian dishes (expect delicious pasta, risotto, stews…) as well as some non-Italian favourites – Full Scottish breakfast and other standard breakfast items, and French Toast with plenty of choice of toppings.

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On this particular visit, we went for the French Toast – mine topped with maple and berries, and my friend’s with pistachios, and of course, plenty of coffee to wash it down with. But on previous visits, I’ve tried a lot more of their breakfast menu and brought countless friends to get some solid breakfast which also does not cost an arm and a leg! They also offer a lot of freshly made cakes which are definitely worth a try too.

  • ££: Very good value for money, inexpensive;
  • Good for: Breakfast, brunch, lunch, coffee & cake, Italian food.

Wudon – West End – Japanese

Wudon is fairly local to me so I’ve visited it a couple of times over the past few years. When you want Japanese food, they are definitely a robust option. Over the summer, they have also started offering the trendy Sushiritto – a sushi burrito. Chances are, if you like sushi you will also like a sushi burrito. Usually, the only common thing a sushiritto would have with a burrito, is the fact it’s rolled up like one. It doesn’t actually have any ‘Mexican’ flavours, so it’s very much a ‘loaded’ temaki, if anything. AND I LOVE IT! Wudon offers four different flavours – salmon, chicken, beef and tofu, each coming with a unique range of toppings. I went for the Sake Salmon which came with crispy salad and cucumber, tempura flakes and kimchi mayo dressing. It was sublime and I would definitely recommend catching Wudon’s sushirittos before they go!

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  • ££: Moderately priced, sushirittos just under £8 (average price for Glasgow at the moment, slightly cheaper than Temaki)
  • Good for: Japanese food, casual dining.

Dai Pai – West End – Asian Street Food

Dai Pai is a very welcome addition to Byres Road in my opinion. Offering a good variety of Asian Street Food favourites (think ramen, sushi, dumplings, chicken karaage and so much more) in a stylish and relaxed setting. So far it’s been getting very positive reviews but I can’t really give a full ‘verdict’ yet as I’ve only tried their sushirittos. They offer 5 sushiritto flavours – salmon, salmon + tuna, chicken, beef and tofu – and they are all loaded with different toppings depending on what you want. I had the Salmon Chilli Bomb, which came with cucumber, avocado, spicy mayo and pickled ginger and it was also pretty good. I will be going back to Dai Pai to try more of their offering so I’ll update my short review in coming months to feature more about Dai Pai.

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  • ££: Moderately priced from what I saw of the menu. Sushirittos start at £6.95, slightly cheaper than Wudon and Temaki.
  • Good for: Asian street food, casual dining.

NB: I liked Wudon’s sushiritto slightly better than Dai Pai’s in terms of taste, but Dai Pai’s are the best in terms of how well filled they are! But it’s a very narrow margin and they are both amazing. You won’t be disappointed whichever one you choose!


That’s all for Part 1. In Part 2, expect to read about Glasgow new comer Absurd Bird, west end’s Kelbourn Saint, Cafe Zique, Finnieston’s The Grunting Growler and Partick’s Six Degrees North.

 

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 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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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