For those of you who don’t know Glasgow well, Finnieston is located at the bottom of the west end & runs along Argyle Street until you meet the city centre. I can remember reading a newspaper seven or eight years ago about which areas in Glasgow are up & coming to spend your money on property and they had said Dennistoun & Finnieston. Two accurate predictions really as both areas have improved since then. Finnieston has become an extension to the west end with lots of nice bars & restaurants but with less tourists.
I first started going there after hearing about Fanny Trollopes but the list of restaurants is now extensive with Crabshakk, Mother India’s Cafe and The Butchershop leading the way. New places are popping up all the time – Kelvingrove Cafe & Old Salty’s are currently on my to visit list. There are also some nice cafés like Cushion & Cake and The Hidden Lane Tearoom if you are visiting Kelvingrove Art Gallery and want a cuppa.
In Finnieston there is a bar & restaurant called The Finnieston, which is located on Argyle Street. I heard good things about it so it’s been on my list for a while. It is owned by the same people that own Lebowskis & I think they own LUAC (Little Urban Achievers Club) too. In January I finally got round to booking a table to check the place out.
First impressions were positive – nice exterior, friendly looking staff & a serious drinks list. I sat at the bar and ordered a glass of Prosecco that caught my eye because I was early. The front of the place seems to be a bar with the restaurant in the back but I think they’ll use some of the seating at the front for diner overspill. It’s a nice environment to sit in & I’ll definitely keep the bar in mind in the future.
Now to the menu. It’s a fish restaurant so most of it was fish based but with enough other options to satisfy the non-fish eaters. This is not me however, so I chose mussels followed by fish of the day.
My blue shell Shetland mussels in mulled cider broth arrived in a big pot but I managed to clear this soon enough. The mussels tasted lovely and the bread was clearly homemade. When I was eating them I kept thinking that the broth had a strange flavour to it and it wasn’t until I reached the bottom that I saw orange slices. I liked the cider flavour with the mussels but I did not like the orange at all so I left all of the broth – not a combination that worked for me.
The chargrilled halloumi, chilli & mint infused courgette and aubergine with pomegranate molasses was a much better dish. It was presented well and the chargrill gave a pleasant caramel-ly flavour to the salty halloumi and veg.
Our mains of steak and fish of the day arrived quickly after the starters. The steak had been ordered to come rare but it arrived cooked medium. As we were aware that we had limited time to dine my friend ate it not wanting to cause a fuss (we booked last minute and were told that we had to give the table back in an hour and a quarter). Thinking back now we really should have asked for another one as it was clearly overcooked and we never gave them a chance to redeem themselves on the steak front.
My fish of the day came with two sides and a finish so I chose mixed greens, fries and sauce vierge to go with my red mullet. You can also choose how you want it cooked so I asked for it to be pan fried. The fish itself was fresh but slightly overcooked and the fries were crispy. I would have preferred a plate instead of a bowl and a bucket of fries but restaurants seem to do this often so maybe it is just me that enjoys my meal better on a plate!
We swiftly ordered a christmas pudding creme brulee and a date sponge along with some coffees. The creme brulee got the thumbs up – some Christmas nostalgia in January is always good.
The date sponge itself was a little dry but the accompanying toffee sauce and vanilla ice-cream were lovely.
We vacated our table and finished our drinks at the bar before heading off into the cold. The next day we did a quick debrief and both said that we couldn’t decide what to make of the place. The staff, decor, menu and drinks were all positives but there were a few food letdowns. I am reasonably sure that I won’t be the only diner that doesn’t enjoy mussels with oranges and I think the execution of some dishes need improvement. The lunch menu sounds good value for money so I might try that next time and see how I get on before going back and paying a la carte prices again.