finnieston

Tantrum Doughnuts Made My Day

 


I would class myself as a doughnut lover. When I was pregnant my sister, niece & I drove a five hour round trip to satisfy my pregnancy cravings of doughnuts and peri-peri chicken so I’m pretty sure that I qualify. 

Without sounding too like Nigella, there’s something about a warm filled doughnut that can’t be beaten – it’s so naughty and indulgent. 




The newest doughnut shop to hit my radar is in on of my favourite spots in the city, the hip without being polished Finnieston. So many foodie places have opened in the area in recent years that you don’t want to miss it. Tantrum Doughnuts is set a couple of minutes walk away from Kelvingrove Art Gallery where Cushion & Cake used to be. They appear to be primarily a takeaway but have some seats inside if you can’t wait until you get home to eat. Coffee, milkshakes and handmade doughnuts are the menu entirety and I was sure they’d do it well. 
Their Facebook page had been teasing me for weeks so I was determined to try them out. They make their own marshmallow for goodness sakes! 
 

some of their facebook photos that had been enticing me in

 

We were going to a friends house so we bought a selection of creme brulee, peanut butter & jelly and jam filled. In retrospect I should have bought a sneaky chocolate number for the next day. 
  

The doughnuts were divine! The creme brulee even cracked as you bit into it and the dough was light enough and tasty. 
  

I love their slightly unusual flavours and hope that they continue to rotate them to show their skills. The owners have a history cooking in top restaurants and it’s evident when you go in. Even the denim dresses worn by the staff go with the feel of the place, the attention to detail is incredible. 

Keep up the good work Tantrum, maybe one day in the future I’ll be back with more pregnancy cravings. 

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.

Fanny Trollopes

My big sister was down visiting me and we were going to a show at the Hydro. I was looking for a restaurant to book and chose Fanny Trollopes.The location was right and I have been a handful of times before and liked it. I had not been for a while after having a mediocre meal but every meal before that left with me raving about Fanny’s so this return visit was long overdue.

 

A bottle of red was ordered but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was. We both liked it though. The red wines are all priced between £14.95 and £19.95 – pretty decent prices.

We had a little pre-starter of salmon with salad, crème fraiche and capers. Not usually one for salmon, I tentatively put some on my fork but it was actually lovely. I’d have happily eaten it as a starter with a few more leaves and will keep an eye out for it next time.

 

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We both chose the pre-theatre menu, which is £12.95 for two courses. Our first starter was smoked salmon kedgeree with crème fraiche. It was delicately spiced so the salmon flavour still got a look in and had a slight smokiness. The crème fraiche was nice to bring some zingy creaminess into the dish.

 

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I chose spicy mince koftas with a cucumber and mint dressing as my starter. The cucumber and mint dressing was just like the tzatziki I was eating in Greece earlier in the year and I liked the aromatic koftas. The meat was a little more cooked than I would have done at home.

 

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I’ve had gammon here before and really enjoyed it so as soon as I spotted baked ham on the menu my main course was decided. My sister was convinced by the colcannon so we both had the same. It was good, in fact I’d say great. Comforting, tasty and meaty. The honey and mustard on the ham almost melted into the gravy and the ham itself was melt in the mouth.

 

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We still had a fair bit of wine in the bottle so thought we might as well share a dessert. The weather was rubbish so we stuck with the comfort food theme and ordered sticky toffee pudding. The sponge was soft and there was lots of sauce to scoop up with each mouthful. We struggled to finish it but that wasn’t a reflection on the food – eyes bigger than our bellies.

 

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Fanny Trollopes is another place in Glasgow that often flies under the radar and, as much as I want to keep it to myself, I also want to share it. Our waitress, Harriet, was friendly and accomodating. The pre-theatre menu is remarkably good value for money and they nail the neighbourhood bistro brief.

 

 
Fanny Trollopes on Urbanspoon

Cubatas – Brave Glasgow Tapas

Glasgow is awash with new places to eat and drink. I’m sure that I am not the only one that feels torn between being faithful to the old favourites and the buzz of something new. Trying to balance it is tricky so only the best will survive. It’s almost like restaurants are auditioning for the city in those first few months. I feel for new passionate restaurateurs that are trying to turn their dream into a stable day to day living. It’s brave. So to applaud the bravery I have to try every new place (I can’t be unfair now). I first heard about Cubatas through Yelp and other bloggers and it was all compliments so more than enough to convince me.

Cubatas tapas bar & restaurant is in Elderslie Street in the old Ashoka curry karaoke building, that is in the Finnieston/Charing Cross area of Glasgow. Argyle Street now has so many great restaurants, cafes and bars that it is starting to spill over into side streets like Elderslie Street. It also came with the bonus that we could park right outside.

Tapas always appeals to me because I always want to taste a bit of everything so the menu was always going to work in my mind. Cubatas did throw some non-Spanish curveballs in there like nachos, chicken curry, beer chicken and chilli con carne – I’m reserving judgement on them until I try them but another blogger did recommend the beer chicken.

When choosing our dishes we weren’t sure how many to pick because some of them are much cheaper than what you’d expect. For instance – their chicken skewers are priced at £3.50 when most place would charge £5-6. This is reflected in portion size in most of them and allows you to try one or two more.

We ordered pan de ajo (garlic bread) and olives to stop my tummy rumbling enough to make some food decisions. The size of the olive portion was far larger than we’d expected for £1.50 but we were not complaining. The garlic bread wasn’t too pungent and definitely home-made. Their draft beer is Kozel, a Czech lager that I’d never heard of but that was well suited to a mix of dishes.

Tortilla Espanola is usually what I use to suss out what I think of a tapas restaurant. Cubatas version looked small because it was cut up but I think if it had arrived whole I would not have noticed. This is clearly a well practiced dish with its well-seasoned, flavoursome characteristics. It is the best version that I’ve come across in Glasgow.

For indulgence we ordered bacon wraps with chicken and melting cheese. These were also served on cocktail sticks like a pincho is. Again, the flavour scale was impressive and we were impressed.

The menu has a whole rice section and, instead of the usual paella, we tried the spicy Mexican rice with onions and peppers. In retrospect I wish that we’d had paella because I think it suits a tapas meal better. The rice was pleasant but I wasn’t convinced that it held its own against the other dishes and I would have enjoyed it better with some jerk chicken or something similar.

The last dish to complete our first set was torpedos de chorizo – chorizo wrapped in pastry and oven baked. Quality chorizo warm from the oven with the slight crunch of pastry. This is such a simple idea and we thought they were great.

Tuna salad was next and we both felt it lacked a zingy dressing. I noticed that they have updated their menu recently so they might have changed this already.

Just to really make sure that we got our carb intake we had gone for patatas al graten. This translated into potato gratin and it is a dish that I choose often as its too indulgent for me to justify making at home. It arrived on the table and we were confused because it was not a gratin – it looked like potato skins. We gingerly tried it and it was really very tasty. Like the ingredients of a gratin had been shook up, modernised and put into some potato skins. A certain success but the menu could do with a description change.

A short gap and desserts were calling us. We ordered crema catalana and a mixed ice-cream. I’ll get the negative out of the way first – we felt that the vanilla ice-cream let the pack down. It was not as smooth and rich as the other flavours. On the other hand, the chocolate and strawberry ice-creams were a delight and I would happily order them again.

The crema catalana was the real star here. It was superior to most with notes of citrus and a delectable creaminess.

After that first visit I wanted to take my husband in to experience it too. We shared a cheese and meat platter (ridiculously good value for money), patatas bravas, pork skewers, mixed greens, calamari, gambas pil pil and mushrooms with black pudding. The only one that we weren’t bowled over by was the greens. The rest were delicious and proved to me that my first visit was not good by chance. We had planned to have a pint in the beer garden that the manager was building when I had visited the first time but it was bucketing down. If the sun stays out then we might get to do it soon.

Cubatas has some purse friendly lunch and pre-theatre menus that will entice me to return. It is a casual place and the staff made us feel very welcome. I was watching how the serving staff were interacting with other customers & they were always smiling. It looks like a good place to work and they seemed proud of it.

Glasgow is fierce in more ways than one. We protect what we like and don’t accept any rubbish. The eating out scene is multicultural and varied with Spanish food joining the pack. Personally I love tapas for an informal meal so I can graze on a piece of one food then nibble on another. Tapas may not be in fashion right now but it’ll never go far away in my thoughts. It’s a yes from me.

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I was invited to Cubatas for a complimentary meal. We paid for the second meal after enjoying the first. All of my opinions are honest as usual.

Cubatas Tapas Bar and restaurant on Urbanspoon

Fire Me Up Firebird

My in-laws are pretty good at choosing restaurants in Glasgow. They always seem to find gems that I’ve maybe thought about going to but never quite got round to it. A Finnieston favourite – Firebird – is one of these places. It fits in the crossover bar/food/bistro category and recently I went for lunch. And yes, I already want to go back for dinner.

 

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They have a very reasonable lunch deal on where it’s £7.50 a combo. The combo options are soup & a sandwich, soup & half a pizza, sandwich & chips or half a pizza & salad. Their pizzas came recommended so I knew that was going to be my choice, and the parsnip, carrot & kale soup on the board caught my eye.
My friend was also eyeing up the soup so she went for the soup & sandwich combo.

The soup was thick and had so much flavour. Kale never seems an appetizing option by itself but mixed with the carrot and parsnip it was diluted so it worked. It had the added bonus of making me feel healthy because kale is such a superfood. I love the soup along the road at Cushion & Cake, and this soup was on par with that. That’s a big compliment.

 

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My half pizza that I chose to go alongside the soup was n’duja and red onion. N’duja is a spicy Calabrian spreadable sausage. I’ve only ever had it in pasta before, and although I’m a bit of a wimp with spicy dishes, I enjoy the taste. So I asked for some water and ordered it. Boy was it hot! Enjoyably spicy though and it was one of those times when I was determined to finish it because I was fond of it.

 

Lindsey had a sandwich to go with her soup and all four sandwich options sounded interesting, even the veggie option. She decided on the Serrano ham, manchego cheese and sliced apple filling. Those three actually paired really successfully with the soup and showed that Firebird has promise.

 

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On our way out I noticed that they were selling their own organic, unfiltered extra virgin olive oil so I had to grab a bottle. They were selling it for £5 or £6 but it hasn’t been opened yet so I can’t comment on the flavour. Then we went for a walk in the nearby Kelvingrove Park, one of my favourite places in the city.

 

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Next time I go to Firebird would ideally be in a group so that we could share a pasta, pizza, meat dish and small plate because the menu options have such imagination and I want to try each one. Firebird is also a relaxed place to sit with a positive vibe. The sort of place that you can comfortably catch up on a busy week together. Plan created.

Firebird on Urbanspoon