Dishes from the Deck
Scintillating dishes, tear-jerking songs and nostalgic surroundings. Beatrice Colin strolled into The Cabin and discovered the best kept secret in Glasgow.
‘l‘m a plumber by trade.‘ says Denis. cook and partner in The Cabin restaurant. as he shakes his famous home-made brown soda bread out of its tin. ‘but I‘ve always loved entertaining.‘ He may be a wizard with pipes. but Denis‘s true vocation is most deﬁnitely food. ()n the wrong side of the Clydeside expressway. this little establishment features some of the most exciting menus and eccentric surroundings in town. Together with ex-opto-electronics researcher. Mo. they have established a devoted but secretive following among top chefs. media-ites and confirmed food-ies and all in under a year. Untrained. unconventional and unpretentious. their approach is one of pure enthusiasm. ‘I love food. and travelled quite a bit. to America. India and all over Europe.‘
tilts Denis in a soft lrrsh accent. ‘We used to eat out a lot in Glasgow and thought we could do better.‘
()pen for dinner six nights a week for up to 30 people. you book. arrive by 8pm and choose from a menu which changes daily to accommodate the most interesting produce available at the morning market. Starters have included deep fried sparlings ~ a small. fresh water fish. warm cucumber and lettuce soup. and duck breast terrine with fresh blueberries. Main courses come served with a selection of unusual vegetables like Japanese radish and boc chi. and often feature Scottish produce like stir- fried seafood. grass carp or venison stuffed with homemade haggis. Puddings are Denis‘s pride and joy and are all homemade and prepared to order. The rhubarb fool comes in a pure almond tanlet and the orange roulade is light. zesty and delicious.
A h ' Denis preparing a scuffle While Denis cooks. Mo and Wilma.
the establishment‘s hostess. serve the food. With linen tablecloths. flowers in an deco vases, heavy. mismatched antique cutlery and candles. the atmosphere is decorative. informal and sociable. But there is more to this restaurant than simply an eating experience. ‘We aim to provide a whole night‘s entertainment.‘ Mo points out. To aid and abet. Wilma sings. Although she is a self-confessed Meatloaf fan. her repertoire is Doris Day numbers. Rodgers and Hammerstein classics and songs from films ofthe 40s. 50s and ()(ls. ‘James MacMillan came in one night and said she had perfect pitch.‘ points out Mo. Expect to pay £18 for a four-course meal plus £l corkage charge for wine.
The ('ubin. 996 Drmzburlrm Road. Glasgow. 954 7/02.
_ That Friday Feeﬂng
This week sees the opening of Scotland’s first (and Britain’s twelfth, and the world’s 28030methingth)
T. G. I. Friday’s - short for Thank God It’s Friday - which, after a rigorous promotional week in which over 3000 invited guests were treated to complimentary meals and drinks, hopes to seduce the Glaswegian palate with its range of 200 American, Mexican, Caiun and Italian dishes, 500 imaginatively-titled cocktails and a few, ‘lt’s that Friday feeling’-sty|e slogans.
The burgeoning bistro chain has been on the go Stateside since 1965, when the first restaurant opened in New York. Nearly 30 years on, there are T. G. l. Fridays opening in Australia, Spain, Singapore and Kor.
Each branch is gaudin decorated by Friday’s own special designer, who uses genuine 0S memorabilia from the 30s to replicate as genuine a bistro atmosphere as possible. The food itself sticks stringently to the American recipes, avoiding watered- down Anglified versions of the
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menu,and the cocktail-making is a central entertaining feature - celluloid cocktail-shaker extraordinaire, Tom Cruise was trained by Friday’s staff in America for his role in ‘Cocktail’.
‘The original concept was based on a Barnum/Bailey’s circus in America,’ explains Glasgow branch manager Tim Moss. ‘When you open the doors and come inside, the bartenders are doing their routines while they’re making the cocktails up in a raised bar in the middle. It’s all red and white stripes around the place, and a lot of the clutter comes from fairgrounds and circuses so it gives you an adult fairground-type feel.’
Scotland may have a plethora of bars and restaurants with American diner
aspirations, but Moss is convinced that T. G. I. Friday’s will still be able to make its mark. ‘The unique selling point is the personality of the 1000 people who work for us and the experience that someone can have coming in for an evening at the restaurant. When people come to us we tend to treat them more as guests at a party than customers in a restaurant. It’s all about making people feel at home.’ (Fiona Shepherd) T. G. I. Friday’s, 113 Buchanan Street, Glasgow, 041 221 6996, open seven days a week.
FLAVOUR OF THE FORTNIGHT
Caramel Soutflé with an Almond Praline (serves 6).
One of 0enis’s favourite creations - a light, delicate pudding with a crunchy exterior.
half a cup of brown sugar a cup of double cream halt a cup of golden syrup a sachet of gelatine
Separate the eggs and put the yolks and the sugar into a double saucepan. Whisk gently and melt the sugar Whip the cream. Dissolve the gelatine in a quarter cup of cold water. Place the yolks and sugar mixture into a mixing bowl and add the gelatine and golden syrup. Mix, then fold in the whipped cream. Beat the egg whites until they form peaks and fold in. Wrap two inches of tin foil around six ramekin dishes and secure with sellotape. Pour in mixture and leave to set in fridge.
To make the praline melt half a cup of brown sugar in a heavy saucepan and add a handful of blanched almonds. Pour onto greaseproof paper and when cool smash up in a blender.
To serve, remove the toil and encrust the pudding with the praline. Decorate with a dollop of cream and a fanned strawberry.
Buffet Nights Tandoori Restaurant
Mon (vegetarian only) £6.95 Tues, Wed £7.95
Commencing opm til late Booking recommended
27 Jack's Lodge, Edinburgh 031:661 0202
fr "‘.\ -—_//\\\ \ l U U l3 D n g... ” " f / I __ a, ,, ssa ,,., Ubiquitor .9) Chip ,‘ GLASGOW, SCOTLAND K “ MACALLAN RESTAURANT -‘ y. _ or THE YEAR 1f "ﬂy ,-}«\\. new; ‘_ SCOTT/SH W/NE MERCHANT OF THE YEAR TEL: 041-334 5007
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