Sunday, September 11, 2005

Glasgow restaurants

We headed out to the restaurant, the Two Fat Ladies, for what turned out to be a spectacular dinner. The guide said that it was amazing seafood in the humblest of surroundings, and although this brought to mind some pretty humble surroundings, it was in fact a nice middle of the road resto, decor wise. The kitchen is at the frot facing the street, so that immediately throws you off guard. The wait staff, two of which were Irish and one of which was from Orkney, were young and charming. We had a bit of a chat and picked our way through the seafood heavy menu. We decided on a 2004 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc to start, a choice that we continued with throughout the meal.
Barbara had a fish soup that turned out to be tomato based and that she said was quite tasty, but we didn’t get to try any. Pat and Robin each had the mussels to start, which was quite a sizeable portion of extremely plump and sweet mussles, some the best I had ever tasted, in a lightl creaamed white wine broth with two big lemon halves for squeezing. I could have done without the lemon as the molluscs were so terribly delicious by themselves, but both Robin and Pat seemed to relish squeezing each portion before popping it into their mouths. The broth was light, creamy and sea sweet although no spoon was provided.
I settled on the prawns with coriander pasta, which turned out to be four beautiful prawns, tender almost to a fault, with a few strands of spaghetti and a pool of clarified butter. The promised coriander was nowhere in sight and the chilies spoken of on the menu were either the blandest chilies I have ever run across or bell pepppers. Some freshly ground black pepper or a squeeze of lemon would not have been amiss here but it was bloody good anyhow. I should mention that throughout the meal we were offered some thickly sliced brown bread, of the type that should be served in Scotland, ie propper bread.
For the mains, both Pat and I had the diver scallops with stornoway black pudding on a leek and bacon cream, She had the apps portion and I had the main size. The scallops were well seared and perfectly cooked, The black pudding was the same size as the scallops and seared as well, leaving a bit of a crust with a tender center. Alternated in a pile this was a tasty game if ever there was one. The whole was placed on top a little pile of leek and smokey bacon which had been stewed up in a thickened cream sauce. The sauce was reduced to a perfectly unctuous consistency and had picked up the smoky flavour or the bacon. This was to me an absolute winner of a dish as the black pudding was really delicious although Pat swore she had had better in Ireland. The rest was flawless, beautifully fresh scallops, sauce rich but again not overpowering.
Robin and Barb opted for the whole baked sole which came with simply a half lemon and some browned butter. Barb picked her way through most of hers and seemed to enjoy it. Robin complained a bit about the texture and when I tried it I had to agree. The flavour was nice and slightly meaty but the texture was a wee bit tough. Not that this could necessarily have been helped. We got complementary sides of beautiful grelot potatoes, small courgette rounds, and carrot wedges, the last being a might bit toothsome.
Heading for dessert I could not turn up a sticky toffee pudding, and glory it was, although not as dense as some would have liked it to be. Fresh raspberries and black curants along with a big pool of creme anglasie finished off the job and I was beyond satisfied. Robin opted for the bailieys and chocolate pot which turned out to be simply a ganache of baileys and chocolate. The texture was a bit strange to me, slightly chewy where I would have preferred creamy, but it in no way hindered the enjoyment of the dish.
The ladies had coffee and then we made as quick an exit as conversaton would allow, hoping that the staff didn’t begrudge us a few more chatty minutes. Definitly one of the highlights of our stay in Glasgow. A pleasure of a restaurant in suitably relaxed surroundings.
(as a note, this review is for Denise who lamented the lack of posts from the UK, thank you for motivating me to write more!)

1 Comments:

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