40 High Street GLASGOW GI
Tel: 041-552 0707
From the Mana ement of The Baby rand
E/mbank Gardens Charing Cross GLASGOW G2
Tel: 04 l-248 4942
A 8 o/-—-.\’ '1
‘It was my intention to open a Spanish restaurant, but it proved difficult to find real Spanish chefs' reveals Ignacio Campos, namesake and owner of lggs Restaurant, which opened three months ago. Instead he is serving classic. French-influenced cuisine based on Scottish ingredients. from a tastefully furnished, red and gold restaurant. Heavy chairs and starched table cloths complement a flamboyant menu, with such mouth-watering descriptions as, breast ofduck, glazed with honey andcserved with a redcurrant and raspberry coulis or delice of Scotch salmon, poached and napped with a light cream and white wine sauce, ﬂavoured with chervil and garnished with fresh mussels.
Arriving from Spain in 1975 Ignacio found that people were only interested in prawn cocktails, Scotch broth and steak. ‘You have learned a lot since then. having been inﬂuenced by Europeans who have come here and from travelling
abroad more.‘ he maintains. I can forgive his impudence because what he says is probably true. and because he tells a funny story about it.
‘About eight years ago I was working in Scotland‘s second Spanish restaurant. A couple came in for lunch and ordered prawns. which were not very common at the time. The restaurant manager gave them finger bowls at the beginning of the meal. where-upon they drank the water. We were too embarrassed to say anything but at the end of the meal I asked ifthey had enjoyed the lunch. “Yes‘ they said, ‘but in your country. don't you use soup spoons‘."
()fcourse things have changed; now everybody knows what a finger bowl is. With shops like M & S
\ . s. .
presenting such beautiful dishes. people expect at least the quality of something you can buy over the counter.‘
A three course meal for two. with wine averages between £28 and £32 and the set lunch menu is £6.50 a
head. There is also a three course Christmas menu. with five starters and main courses at £12.50.
I lggs 15 Jeffrey Street. Edinburgh, 5578184. Mon—Sat 11.3(lam—2pm, bpm—l().3()pm.
TO CATALAN STORY SHORT
Ifyour idea of Spanish food is a jaundiced-looking bowl of rice purporting to be paella, Barcelona may make you think again. Not only is it the first Spanish restaurant in Glasgow, it also claims to be the first Catalan restaurant in Britain.
‘As far as we know we are the first‘
‘Says Carol Forest, who for 17 years worked in just about every post imaginable at the Ubiquitous Chip. ‘We aim to create a very relaxed, intimate atmosphere — based on some of the upmarket restaurants in Barcelona itself. but much smaller than they tend to be: we have just six tables, and the most we can fit in at any one time is 22 people.‘
It won‘t take much for it to be crowded. then, and with the amount of publicity it has already received — the restaurant was named following
a competition in Tom Shields‘ diary in The Glasgow Herald — booking is likely to be not so much advisable as mandatory. Thankfully. though. there will be no pushing people out the door the minute they‘ve finished their food. ‘We won‘t rebook tables. and we won‘t hurry people up‘. Forest promises. '
She and Allan Mawn, who continues to run a seafood restaurant near Oban, toured Spain, and Catalonia in particular, for two years, not so much with the conscious intention ofestablishing a place here, more because they loved the place, and wanted to learn as much as possible about the cooking. 80 does the Byres Road Barcelona mean that visits to the real Barcelona are a thing ofthe past? ‘No, we‘ll still go to Spain for at least a few weeks every year, and close down while we’re away.‘
The menu changes daily, and new dishes - from the other regions of Spain as well as from Catalonia itself
— will be introduced as the two, who cook as well as manage the restaurant. experiment further.
Seafood looms large both on the tapas menu. available at lunchtime, and on the main dinner menu. For anyone wishing to experience the essence ofCatalan cuisine in a three-course meal. Forest recommends squid in its own ink as a starter. followed by sarsuela — mixed seafood in a rich tomato and sherry sauce — and then. as dessert, meli mato — cream cheese with walnuts and honey. The approximate cost of a three-course meal for one is£l9. Any nervousness the owners might have had about the place were surely dispelled three days after opening, when two real. live Catalans dined there. and enjoyed it so much they returned the next evening. (Stuart Bathgate) I Barcelona 16 Byres Road, 357 0994. Tapas noon—2.30pm. dinner from 7pm (last orders 10.30pm). Closed Sunday lunchtime and all day Monday.
86 The List 24 November— 7 December 1989