Month: October 2014

Glasgow You’re Slipping Out Of My Reach

I’ve got a confession to make. I’ve felt terrible not saying anything on here about it but this morning I decided that the time has come… I’m leaving Glasgow!
By the end of the year I will no longer live in this amazing city and I’m feeling sad about it this morning. Being away from my friends & family up north finally pulled me back to Inverness when a job offer up there came about.

So that’s why things on here have been so quiet recently. Between painting and decluttering the flat, sorting out getting the flat on the market, working full-time & spending as much time with friends down here as possible, it’s been a busy month.
I have a bit of a backlog so I’ve still got some lovely meals to tell you about and the BBC Good Food Show Glasgow. To be honest I’m not sure how I’m going to live without Celino’s, La Lanterna and Tempo Tea (among others) so I’ll be up and down the road regularly for the first year at least to wean myself off these delicious addictions.

I intend to still blog on here whenever I’m down visiting folk so make sure you’re signed up for e-mail notifications. It will just mean relentless eating and drinking in a small space of time- I think I’ll manage!

Until then, keep reading what I’ve been up to recently and follow my second blog, Highland Foodie, as I begin this new journey.

I’m going to miss you more than words can say Glasgow.

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Thai Siam – My favourite Glasgow Thai?

Mum & Dad were staying a few months ago and we were deciding where to eat. My dad loves Thai restaurants – a result of a holiday in Thailand and the sharing nature of the meal. We have been to several Thai places in Glasgow with them, but I find it difficult to make a comparison between Thai restaurants so I don’t often write about them. Since then I’ve tried a few and this was my clear favourite so wanted to share it.

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We had a sharing starter between the four of us – it was huge! There was chicken satay, battered prawns, fish cakes, chicken spring rolls & my favourite chicken in pandan leaves. It arrived with spring onions and on a bed of crunchy, shredded vegetables – excellent for cutting through fried food. The dips were fresh & they accommodated Mr S and his nut allergy.

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We had beer and wine, and I couldn’t help mention the beer coolers. They certainly keep your beer cool until the end and were a hit with the beer drinkers.

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We all chose a main course each and shared them. My dads pick was Thai sweet and sour beef. This surprised me because my dad is such a foodie & when I think of sweet and sour I think of the luminous Uncle Bens variety.
How wrong could I be? It was perhaps my favourite main course with no luminous colours to be seen. Notes of tang with a delicate sweetness running through the dish, this was miles away from what I expected.

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We had stir fry with ginger, which was a fresh tasting dish with lots of spring onion and ginger shredded throughout. I particularly liked that the veg had a good bite to it.

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My pick – the red thai curry with chicken – was also lovely. Creamy and aromatic without spice overkill.

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We ordered a couple of rice and one ‘plain’ noodles to accompany the mains. I could have eaten the noodles as a main course by themselves because they were full of flavour.
The egg fried rice was also well executed. Then there was the sticky rice that arrived in this cute wicker thing that was stuck in a block and extremely difficult to get apart! We found it hilarious and we’d over ordered so it wasn’t a big deal but they’d taken sticky rice to a new level of stickiness – not one I’d order again.

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A trip to the toilet led to me finding the first restaurant bathroom I’ve been to in years that still has a cotton towel on a towel ring to dry your hands. Slightly outdated there.

Our waiter was joking with us throughout the meal and fancied himself as a bit of a comedian. We liked him even although most of the jokes were on us so he must have been doing something right.
The high standard of food and the waiter making us feel welcome meant that I enjoyed it more than other Glasgow Thai restaurants. Without a doubt one to try if you like Thai food.

McCune Smith

The blogosphere is a great place to find out about what is on in Glasgow and where to go. Twitter and Yelp are my top hits to find those in the know. McCune Smith Cafe is on my side of the city and it had intrigued me but I had never gone in. That was until I started hearing rave reviews from other bloggers.

Named after Dr James McCune Smith, the first African American to get a medical degree back in 1837, the owner seems passionate about history and books. The fact that this event took place nearby at Glasgow’s Old College on High Street makes it all the more meaningful.

I’ve got to admit, and I’m an East-ender, that the location is a strange choice. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see the strip of commercial units at the start of Duke Street (just after High Street) thriving and turned into places that I’d go to, it’s just unexpected. Logistically it makes sense with offices nearby, Merchant City custom nearby, High Street train station a minutes walk and being in the gateway to the ‘Stoun. I can only hope now that others will follow suit and the start of Dennistoun will be welcoming. There’s definitely been a marked difference in Dennistoun this year with new places opening that are geared to people who are enthusiastic about food and drink.

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McCune Smith Cafe are certainly enthusiastic about their food and drink. The whole decor from when you walk up to the place is stylish and understated. It has that quiet confidence about it that gives me a sense of calm. The menu is simple but we still couldn’t decide what to have. I had heard in the blogosphere that the specials are always lovely but there was nothing on the board the day we went in. It was a Saturday and I understand that most of their custom comes in during the week but I still think they had neglected a crucial part of the experience. We fancied a salad and the staff were happy to make one with the ingredients that they had but I think it is important to have ones made up on the board or on the menu.

The dreich day made me order a cup of tea and my friend had a hot chocolate. I was immediately jealous when I saw hers arrive – the stylish element isn’t limited to the decor.

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I chose the namesake sandwich – the words pastrami and gherkin sold it to me. It reminded me of the kind of sandwich that you make every so often when you spend ages buying quality ingredients from the bakery, deli and so on then lovingly put it together and it tastes heads & shoulders above any sandwich served in a cafe. The kind that you make once a year because it requires far too much effort! McCune Smith managed it – quality soft rye bread, peppery pastrami, thick sliced gouda wrapped in a creamy, crisp caper & gherkin relish. They served it with some dressed and seasoned rocket that showed attention to the small details.

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The ‘David Hume’ across the table looked equally delicious. They didn’t scrimp on the hot smoked roast salmon, and the pickled cucumbers made the bagel. seasoned cream cheese completed it, with more of that rocket on the side to stuff inside.

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The cake looked so good but I can’t stand bananas so I passed it up. It was rich with walnut and banana slices and was warmly received at the other side of the table.

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My scone was a solid effort and nicely toasted. My only negative is that there were no fruit scones and, in my opinion, the fruit makes a scone.

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Everything is done to a high standard in McCune Smith – from the decor to the sandwiches to the cakes. So many cafes serve bog standard offerings that it puts me off going in, but not this one. Job well done, I hope it is here to stay!

October In Glasgow

Wow – what a busy weekend this one is! I’m currently in Inverness to attend the wedding of two of my good friends but there is lots going on in Glasgow in my absence. Since I’m not there to write about them I thought I’d share some of the local events that are on this month in case you’re sitting at home bored…

Eats From The Streets
Glasgow Fort shopping park is hosting a street food weekender with a street food village outside of Argos. Each weekend will see 5 different vendors with an emphasis on local.
Shopping and eating-ok then!
My favourite Breaking Bread will be there cooking up a storm, as will Nusou, Scotland’s pick for the 2014 British Street Food Awards.
If you can’t make it to The Fort this weekend then they are also running it on the 1st & 2nd of November, the 29th & 30th of November & the 27th & 28th of December.

Furniture Pop-Up Shop
The first ‘furniture pop-up shop’ is set to take place in the West End of Glasgow on the 11th & 12th of October, basing itself in the quaint Willow Bank Bowling Club situated just off Byres Road. The FPU team are inviting the public who are interested in home ware, textiles & furniture to come to the inaugural event – there will be something for everyone’s taste.
The event is great for budding designers to use as a platform to showcase their work & I’m all for finding new pretty things!
If you can’t make it then the next one is scheduled for the 6th & 7th of December.

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The Soda Shop & Cocktail Emporium
I love a pop-up and this one is running from now until the 27th of November, 5pm until midnight every day.
With live entertainment every Friday & Saturday, I’m excited to try their extensive list of sodas, cocktails, milkshakes & hard shakes (booze & milkshake…yum!). The sodas are made from a fountain on-site at the point of consumption so they’ll be super fresh. 9 weeks to go as many times as I can, challenge accepted.

568 Dumbarton Road, Partick, G11 6RH

That’s all I’ve got for now but keep an eye out for updates if anything catches my eye… Have a great October.