Flames. Is it a bar? Is it a cafe’? Is it a restaurant? All three actually as Jonathan Trew finds out.
There's little chance of overlooking Flames on Edinburgh's Mon'ison Street. While the rest of the street couldn't be called neglected. it's certainly ripe for development and at night the brightly lit glass facade ofthe premises stands out from the closed darkness of almost every other place on the street.
Flames is part ofthe growing trend to amalgamate bar. cafe and restaurant facilities under one roof and provide customers with all their food and drink requirements from opening to closing time. From cappuccinos and croissants at lOam via lunch to cocktails and a meal in the evening. Flames has got the lot. Needless to say. the traditional boozer will continue to trundle along but the new breed of licensed premises offer so much more that it‘s bound to have an impact on the trade.
One of the aims of Flames was to make it more attractive to female customers than the common or garden bar; to create a space that isn‘t as exclusively male—orientated as a dark. brass and wood style pub. To this end. the ﬁrst impression of Flames as you walk into the bar area is of a bright. open space. Primary colours abound and a large mural and wall-sized mirror add to the feeling of spaciousness. Further back. in the mezzanine dining area. this leads into more muted. warmer colours with the walls decorated with Jack Vettriano pictures. The further into the place you go. the more you realise just how large it is and then you see the tree sprouting up through the middle of the mezzanine and the realisation finally dawns that Flames is not large but enormous. with a separate dining area and bar underneath the ground floor.
Anyway. enough of design. it's the food and drink that win hearts and minds. Although the name might suggest lots of charcoal grilled dishes. Flames's menu has. in fact. cherry- picked some of the best bits from all over the globe. mixed them all up and
created their own interpretations with nary a charcoal briquette in sight. The Paciﬁc Rim turns up in Thai-style stir- fries. the Americans contribute clam chowder and the Continent proffers the
FOOD 8r. DRINK
likes of IurIel/ini (tit.\'_li‘ontuge and grilled sardines with oregano. The UK keeps its end up with grilled venison sausage. seafood Mornay and warm smoked breast of duck among others. Most of the starters are in the £3414 price range while the main courses hover between £7.5()~£l l.
Flames. l‘)2~/ 94 Morrismt Street. [ithllbllt'tf/l. 22/ 0499.
A thumbnail guide to the eating habits of the famous, nearly famous and would-be famous.
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Having first informed us that he is not ‘l)elia fucking Smith‘. Robert Carlyle. seen here in the role of dope-loving Hamish Macbeth frae the hielands. had this to say on his favourite refuelling stop:
‘I go to the Loon Fung on Sauchiehall
Street. It‘s the best Chinese in Glasgow.
the food is excellent. Any time that I'm in there it‘s always full ofthe local Chinese community which is the best recommendation that you can get.‘
The Loon I’img. 4/ 7 .S'rtm'ltt'e/tull Street. Glasgow: 332 I477.
I Great British Winter Beer Festival Multiple pint pots are looming on the horizon again. this time in the form of the first ever national CAMRA Winter Ale festival. Those who love their beer will know that CAMRA stands for the Campaign For Real Ale and that CAM RA have been responsible for many a healthy sampling session over the years.
Tipplers can look forward to a wide selection of horters. stouts. old ales and barley wines as well as a range of lighter beers. Winter beers are traditionally darker and heavier than other ales. and they tend to be brewed to contain a higher than average proportion of alcohol. making them perfect for creating a warm glow in the drinker. Naturally. there will be an emphasis on Scottish brews.
The festival will also include the judging of the first ever Champion Winter Beer of Britain. an arduous task that requires years of specialist training
and a dedication to the cause that is rare these days. Live entertainment is being laid on and a good time will be had by all.
()Irl l-‘ruitmarkel. ('itv Hull. C‘um/leriggs; Thurs 3/ Feb, 5--l / pm, Fri 22/
So! 23 Feb, norm—11pm. £3.
I Grassroots The ever popular health food delicatessen and environmentally friendly grocery shop has moved to new. bigger and better premisesjust down the road from their old ones. The shop is a grade one listed building from the turn of the century and features the original facade.
Most striking of all is the huge bread counter which greets you as walk
The all-new Grassroots
in the door. It bears more than a passing resemblance to the helm of a ship and. apparently. bread is shifting faster than water off a duck's back. On top of this. the all new. 18ft long deli counter allows even more goodies than before to be paraded before your eyes. The organic food section. which was always a big Grassroots plus point. has also been expanded. Plans for a juice and organic wine bar are still at the drawing board stage but hopefully it won‘t be long before you can have a glass or two of organic hooch while doing the shopping. The new address is 20 Woodlands Road. 0141 353 3278. (Jonathan Trew)
over a million eaters and drinkers. over 700 premises. one eating and drinking guide.
The List Eating & Drinking Guide for 1997.
16,000 copies distributed FREE with The List magazine
on 17 April.
16,000 copies on sale through newsagents and
bookshops from May.
An authoritative guide that eaters and drinkers in Edinburgh and Glasgow will refer to all year.
[NIKKI]? I: III '.'..'. "I Make a meal of it
To place an advertisement contact Lesley, Nicky or Claire on 0] 3i 558 l l9l
[Win a meal out for two! Fill out our Eating 8. Drinking Guide survey, pagefl
7 Old Fishmarket Close Edinburgh Lunch and dinner Monday to Thursday all day
Friday and Saturday Sundays dinner only
telephone 0131 225 5428
Proéaély t/w m: at
I‘ /'/t $30554!!!
The List 7-20 Feb I997 97