There is an abundance of restaurants in Glasgow that I want to try & sometimes this list stops me going back to places that I’ve been to once… places like Cail Bruich. We had a delicious birthday lunch there for my husband over a year ago now and I’ve been wanting to go back ever since.
Well, last week I finally got to return to Cail Bruich but this time for dinner. Sometimes you want to go somewhere a bit more special and have a bit of foodie pampering so we thought of here. My budget doesn’t often allow for this at full price, but with all the deals around now it makes it more accessible. We got an offer from a website for 3 courses from the Market Menu & a glass of prosecco for £20. Having been before, I was confident that we were going to get our money’s worth and more.
Exterior (on another day when closed)
We arrived at 8pm to a full restaurant (albeit two tables, one being ours) and later found out that the hot weather has led to people eating later so most of their bookings were 8pm onwards. After being shown to our table at the window, our prosecco was brought over in chilled glasses. The prosecco was lovely – sometimes I find it too dry but this wasn’t and it had a delicious crispness to it. A wee note is that we were not given menus straight away – it did not bother us as we were enjoying the experience and the restaurant was busy but thought I should mention it for those speedy diners. We were then brought a few olives and some bread, which I suspect is homemade. I have to mention the butter dish that looks like a service bell because it was beautiful! Little details like this make the place feel special to me along with the classic decor.
We were then presented with menus and an amuse bouche (or hors d’oeuvre, I can never remember which is which) of a kind of blue cheese cream with sticks of crisp apple on top. I confess that I’m not too big on blue cheese but I tried it & enjoyed the texture and flavour. My friend, and a blue cheese lover, said that it was amazing.
We had a browse of the wine list and it was great to see that they serve some wines in a smaller 75ml glass so that you can try more. I wanted a red wine to go with my main course but the prosecco was too enjoyable to not have another glass so the smaller glass meant that I had both.
We both ordered flame grilled mackerel, pickled cucumber, apple, horseradish & rye crumbs to start but they only had one left so I changed my order. I had been swithering between the mackerel and the tomato & red pepper gazpacho, buttermilk & parmesan royale, black olive and basil so I immediately changed to the gazpacho.
After one mouthful I was actually very glad that there was only mackerel because my starter was scrumptious. It came to the table in a bowl & the gazpacho was then poured around the other ingredients from a little jug. The taste of the acidic gazpacho with the creamy buttermilk was one that I appreciated very much and the black olive gave it a nice salty edge. The mackerel was also of a high standard, with the freshness of the fruit interacting with the salty fish. My friend said that she would have liked a little more horseradish in the dish but that she loves horseradish so it was probably down to that.
After the starters being deceptively filling, I was hoping that the main would not come immediately so was glad of the ten minute gap in between courses. My friend opted for the herb & parmesan gnocchi, spring vegetables, artichoke & basil pesto. When it arrived it was visually impressive with lots of fresh colours and it tasted as good as it looked. She was going to order a side of vegetables but was recommended not to as lots came with the gnocchi, which turned out exactly right. It was nice to see that they care more about the experience and return custom than getting a few extra pennies in the till.
My choice of main course was the roast crown of wood pigeon with new season peas, grilled lettuce & roasted garlic emulsion. There was a three pound supplement on our menu for this dish but I am glad that I went for it because it was delicious. I normally would have ordered some potatoes to go with a dish like this but was determined to fit in 3 courses so decided against it. The wood pigeon was cooked exactly how I wanted it – red with a tiny bit of blood – and I would happily eat this dish every day.
By dessert I was pretty full but decided on the Valrhona Manjari chocolate pave, poached cherries & cherry sorbet because it’s not often that I see cherries on a menu and I love them. The cherry sorbet was my favourite part, it was so full of flavour. There was a few chocolate elements – one was like a rich chocolate cream, then there was a slightly bubbly rich chocolate and the other was like a light chocolate dough, almost like a doughnut. There were cherries dotted around the plate (I suspect that these were soaked in a tasty alcohol) and drops of basil gel. I felt that the chocolate and cherries went fantastically but I could have done without the basil. All in all, it was a first-class dessert.
My friend went for the George Mews cheese of the day, which arrived as a cheeseboard with three cheeses, three oatcakes, apricots and walnuts. Nice to see them using local, and one of my favourite, suppliers.
Chocolate Pave with Cheese in background
We were offered tea and coffee at the end so I had a wee macchiato to round the meal off. When the owner took this over he stopped to enquire about our meal and have a chat and we enjoyed listening to his enthusiasm about the restaurant.
My dining companion commented that it is the best meal she’s had in a long time and I can easily understand why they have won awards at Cail Bruich. This time I won’t be leaving it so long between visits.