Month: September 2014

Enjoy Bistro

Ahh, remembering summer. So many days in the Botanic Gardens, BBQ’s on the balcony & al fresco dining. On one of these beautiful days I met a friend outside Enjoy Bistro on Great Western Road. The name kept cropping up and, after a bit of research, I thought it would be ideal food for a summer’s day.

IMG_5986.JPG

At lunch time they had their a la carte menu, a two/three course set menu or a small plates menu. We ended up having the two course option. The halloumi and aubergine sounded good but I ended up having the roasted butternut squash, caramelised red onion & pomegranate salad with dijon dressing to start. The flavours were bursting with freshness, it was well seasoned & had lots of herbs. This chef understands food. I’d happily have this as a main course and that’s saying a lot considering it has no meat or cheese!

IMG_5993.JPG

The baby aubergines baked with halloumi, tomato and pine nuts was another hit. It also came on a bed of dressed and herbed salad that lightened the dish.

IMG_5990.JPG

My main of baked fillet of hake, warm chard potato salad with caponata seared beet salad, balsamic & chilli dressing, baby gem & crusty bread was a description mouthful! I don’t remember there being bread but there was so much going on that it didn’t need it. This was the perfect choice for the sunny weather & I liked the dish very much. There was a slight over usage of dill that I scraped aside and I think I’d have preferred the potatoes hot but these things were minor on my enjoyment scale.

IMG_5998.JPG

The chicken across the table was grilled with rosemary and garlic and served with the same potatoes that I had. The Mediterranean veg was nicely roasted & it was another herby, summery number.

It has the advantage of being ten minutes walk from the Botanic Gardens, where I went to read in the sun afterwards.

IMG_6001.JPG

All in all, we were impressed with Enjoy Bistro. It’s a lovely local place with homemade food & I’m interested to try the more Wintery menu.

It’s Giveaway Time!

I have 3 pairs of tickets for the Glasgow BBC Good Food Show to giveaway! The tickets are valid on Friday the 17th or Sunday the 19th of October at the SECC in Glasgow.

To enter all you have to do is share the competition post (or RT on twitter) & like Girl Around Glasgow on Facebook/ follow me on twitter. Alternatively, you can comment below to be in the draw for free tickets.

Get me on Twitter @girlaroundglasg or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/girlaroundglasgow

IMG_7255.PNG

I missed the show last year & was gutted afterwards because so many people were raving about it.
This year there are over 130 exhibitors with tasters selling the best this country has to offer.
They have a producers village that can help with your discovery of speciality food and artisan produce alongside an eat well pavilion. This will be geared to teaching you cooking methods and foods that can be nutritional beneficial.
After your good behaviour, head to the bakes & cakes village for a treat.

In the supertheatre you could watch Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood, James Martin or Tom Kitchin cooking dishes live and sharing their best tips. Or if you’ve always wanted to ask your favourite chef a question then you can catch them at the interview stage.

There’s even a BBC Good Food Kitchen that will serve you up a delicious lunch using recipes from the magazine for a small fee.

I’m looking forward to eating my way around the SECC and coming home with some goodies!

Someone will take the crown of Glasgow’s Best Deli (c’mon Celinos) and win a free stand at the show – something that Billingtons of Lenzie had the honour of winning last year.

So remember that all you have to do to enter is share the competition post & follow me on Facebook or twitter. Alternatively, you can comment below to be in the draw for free tickets.

I’ll draw the winners on Wednesday the 1st of October.

Good luck!

UPDATE!!

And the winners of the giveaway (chosen by picking out of three hats, one for each of twitter/wordpress/Facebook) are…
Fie Heath (Coffee & Confetti) on wordpress
Dolly Roger on twitter
Myra Miller on Facebook

Please e-mail your names & addresses to girlaroundglasgow@gmail.com so I can send the tickets out!!

For those of you who haven’t won you can get 20% off if you book your tickets by Sunday quoting WW20

Sea-ing The Real Gannet

In February we visited The Gannet restaurant in Finnieston for the first time. Due to a ‘table back by’ issue we never had as relaxed a visit as we thought we would. When the owner heard about this he got in touch to find out details & invited us back to the restaurant. The customer service from him was exemplary and he made us feel valued and welcomed.

 

We arrived for lunch & were given a glass of pink fizz. A nice way to read the menu!

 

1-IMG_6082

 

A pre-starter of pickled herring, carrot, dill, crème fraiche and lettuce arrived soon after. We would never have chosen pickled herring as a starter but after this dish I would. The pickle wasn’t overbearing so the natural taste of the fish could come through and the accompaniments went well. I see that they’ve put it on the menu now and I want to go back for it.

 

 

1-IMG_6088

 

Then my Stornaway black pudding scotch duck egg arrived. By this point I was glad that I skipped breakfast – it was massive! The execution of this dish gets 10/10. The crumb was crispy, the ratio of egg to black pudding was spot on, the egg was totally runny, the sauce gribiche provided a slight creamy tang and the leaves were there for freshness. Our Cotes Du Rhone was full bodied enough to cope with the black pudding.

 

 

1-IMG_6094

 

It was so big that they gave us a break before the main course to get a second wind.

When we were ready our pork arrived. I had pork for my main course last time I visited The Gannet & it was something special so I chose it again. This time there was pork belly and loin, cooked exactly how I would want it to be. The pork comes from a farm in the borders and it is fantastically tasty. White onion purée was smooth & sweet, mashed potato was silky and spring greens were buttery. The jus made from the meat juices was rich and finished the plate perfectly. It slotted straight in to my top five favourite main courses this year.

 

 

1-IMG_6101

 

I like a refreshing lemon dessert so went for the lemon posset. It was exactly what I expected from a posset but I was jealous of the caramel fondant on the other side of the table!

 

 

1-IMG_6112

 

I really should have chosen the exciting option. The feedback from the other side of the table on the caramel fondant was ‘awesome’ – simple but I caught the drift. I can’t remember a time when I’ve seen Mr S so happy with a dessert, it bowled him over.

 

 

1-IMG_6108

 

We wandered into Kelvingrove Park in a food coma to lie in the sun. It was only a month ago but we have to recreate that soon. The Gannet does two courses for £15 or three for £19 on their lunch menu, which is spectacular value. I notice that they’ve started a small plates menu (£5 average) that is really appealing to me for lunch. I can’t praise them enough.

 

Gannet on Urbanspoon

Ox & Finch

The street and pop-up food scene in Scotland right now is worth raving about. No more 30% meat content greasy burgers and more pulled pork with pomegranate. Names like Breaking Bread, Three Sisters Bake and Scoop are constantly on my radar. The former just opened a permanent restaurant in Glasgow called Ox & Finch. I learnt from social media that they are all about contemporary small dishes.

IMG_5742-0.JPG

We phoned to book that morning and they only had 5pm tables left. Good sign. We took the early bird booking and first impressions were positive. The space is effortlessly cool, elegant but not pretentious.

They had run out of the wine that we ordered but our waiter was able to advise us on the other choices so we ended up with a quaffable white burgundy. White burgundy you say? The name doesn’t seem logical to me either but I’d never have chosen it myself so it was pleased.

We ordered bread with oil and, whilst we enjoyed the bread, wanted balsamic to go with it.

The scallops we ordered were presented beautifully, I love their crockery. They were smaller in size and Mr S thought a fourth wouldn’t have gone amiss as a reflection of that. The scallops and cauliflower puree had a nice flavour but the larda di colonnata didn’t add much. I wanted another dimension to the dish – something acidic maybe.

IMG_5759.JPG

Ham hock and cheddar croquettes had been perfected. Lots of ham and a lovely crunch on the outside.

IMG_5752.JPG

Another star dish was the hanger steak, mushrooms and onion rings. Each little element had been cooked with care & attention, and the hanger was flavourful.

IMG_5757.JPG

House sausage with smoked ham hock beans was much, much better than expected. It was Mr S that chose it & one of those times in marriage when you decide to compromise. How exciting can sausages & beans be? Actually my husband was right because it was a solid dish. The homemade sausage was meaty & herby, and the beans were certainly not humdrum.

IMG_5764.JPG

My favourite dish was crispy fried squid, chilli & orange salad. I have an affinity for squid anyway but the coating on this was extra crispy and the fresh orange cut through it. Slightly over seasoned in my opinion but I didn’t care. Saffron aioli was the perfect dip.

IMG_5749.JPG

By this point I was stuffed to the gunnels. But we had been lusting after having dinner in Ox & Finch for a while so I wasn’t going to waste it. Bring on the dessert.
On of the desserts had popcorn so I instantly chose it. The menu said ‘dark chocolate cremeux, popcorn, peanuts & banana ice-cream’. Having no idea what cremeux was didn’t put me off- the kitchen had gained my confidence. We both swapped the banana ice-cream for vanilla & Mr S had his sans nuts. It was so fantastic that I ate the whole thing before remembering how full I was.

IMG_5766.JPG

The restaurant changed their menu shortly after our visit so you won’t currently be able to get all of the above but I’m pretty sure that the dishes that you get will be made with skill. Their website writes that they are contemporary dining and I am happy to see a changing menu to fit the claim. They have used their wealth of experience to open a place that Glasgow should be proud of.