Making a Splash

More and more arts venues are realising that food and culture make fine dining companions. Glasgow Royal Concert Hall leads the way.

Words: Jonathan Trew

One day soon, people are going to be able to look out of Splash, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall’s recently renovated restaurant, and look down upon Buchanan Street, one of the richest and most stylish streets in Europe. Armani, Boss, Versace and other prestige labels will have staked their claim and stamped their wealth on a street, which for now at least, is in desperate need of several pots of paint. Unlikely as it seems now, urban redevelopment is set to work miracles.

Until that sparkling new day dawns, diners in Splash might prefer to cast

eating &

drinking directory


The Basement 10a-12a Broughton Street. 557 0097.

Restaurant quality food at pub-grub prices, served 'till 10pm in lively, colourful surroundings.

Common Grounds 2/3 North Bank Street2261416. American style coffee 5. house on The Mound. '~ 3', D O " "“ Food served all day. Live music most evenings.

Creelers 3 Hunter Square. 220 4446. 'Scottish seafood at its best’. Bistro bar and a la carte restaurant. Game and vegetarian options.

Dial Restaurant/Cafe 44/46 George IV Bridge. 225 7179. 'Wears its style with a capital with food to match.’ -- Conrad


Wilson, Modern Scottish Cuisine.

Ercolano Bistro 1011 Drummond Street. 662 7722.

A charming Italian bistro within close proximity of the Festival Theatre.

Filmhouse 88 Lothian Road. 229 5932.

Relaxed, atmospheric cafe bar, serving great value snacks, salads, specials and brilliant cappucino's -- 103m till late.

94 THE usr 16—29 May 1997

their gaze inwards and lap up the zestfully douce interior. Like many arts venues, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall has decided that visitors would appreciate some good food in an eye- pleasing ambience. Buchanan's, the restaurant which previously occupied the space, was thought to be a little too staid and promptly went the way of the steam train, although possibly without the attendant nostalgia. Enter stage left executive chef Antony Worrall Thompson, talking toque on Ready Steady Cook, chef at de/I’Ugo in London, proprietor of Menage a trois in Knightsbridge (Lady Di's favourite restaurant, darling) and proud possessor of more awards than new Labour has seats.

Worrall Thompson’s stated aim is to make food fun; to sod po-faced worship at the altar of gastronomy and to embrace the Mediterranean ethos of plentiful portions, punchy flavours and hearty enjoyment. Rely on local Scottish produce, throw in a soupcon of influences from the Pacific Rim and faster than it takes to flambe a prawn,

Sod po-faced worship at the altar of gastronomy and embrace the Mediterranean.

there you have the Worrall Thompson recipe for success.

Following the current welcome trend for flexibility in menus, main courses from the a la carte are available in full or smaller portions, and there are a variety of set menus with the pre-

concert and lunch offering two courses from £9.50 while the set dinner offers two courses from £12.50. Open for lunch (noon—2.30pm) and dinner (5.30—9.30pm) seven days a week, Splash hopes to retain its former concert-going clientele as well as pulling in more non-concert visitors.

For your money, you can look forward to tucking into starters such as a hot tart of caramelised onions and herbed roast tomatoes or a salad of walnuts, croutons and lardons with hot roast tomatoes and melting goat's cheese. It's an intriguing menu that really goes into adjectival overdrive on the main courses, with the likes of tea- smoked cod on wilted spinach, tomato and cardamon sauce sitting next to double garlic chicken ’saltimbocca', overnight tomatoes (flighty little devils at the best of times) and melting leeks.

The surroundings give new meaning to the word spacious with the aforementioned windows stretching upwards 25 feet to meet the ceiling which is itself bedecked with rather snazzy lights. The voluminous theme is continued With the red wine glasses which are like goldfish bowls on stems.

Get there before the end of Mayfest (Saturday 31 May) and not only do all diners receive a complimentary Wallace single Malt liqueur but also a discount of 25 per cent off their total bill on production of a Mayfest ticket or one of the Splash flyers which are Sitting on the desk in

Antony Worrall Thompson: flash and turn

the main foyer. Come on in, the water’s lovely.

Splash, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Sauchiehall Street, 0141 332 3163.

Helios Fountain 7 Grassmarket. 229 7884.

A rather excellent fig vegetarian coffee house, , where friendly staff ygtalw" serve tasty food.

Helios Fountain at The Theatre Workshop 34 Hamilton Place. 225 8802. A rather excellent vegetarian coffee house, where friendly staff serve tasty food also a bar.

Howies 208 Bruntsfield Place. 221 1777.63 Dalry Road. 313 3334. 75 St Leonards Street. 668 2917.

Three popular Edinburgh restaurants serving excellent value Scottish/French cuisine in an informal atmosphere. Khublai Khans Mongolian BBQ 43 Assembly Street. 555 0005.

Lunch (Fri & Sun) £5.95, Dinner (seven days) £13.95. All you can eat DIY, BBQ. Unique and fun.

Ndebele 57 Home Street. 221 1141. A cafe and sandwich deli with an impressive range of culinary delights from Southern Africa.

Pancho Villas 240 Canongate. 557 4416.

Mexican-born owner Marya Junz says 'If you're going to eat Mexican, then don't be bland unbeatable value for lunchfl

La Piazza 97-99 Shandwick Place. 221 1 150.

Visit the most stylish Italian restaurant in town -- open Monday to Sunday. Smoke Stack 53-55 Broughton Street. 556 6032.

Much more than burgers and steaks at this stylish but friendly new chargrill restaurant.

36 36 Great King Street 556 3636. Demonstrates an

’1 / atmosphere in deSign, , 0 graphics lighting, and

eclectic ViSIon of importantly, its food and service.


Back Alley Restaurant 8 Ruthven Lane 334 7165

World Wide coisine, weekend breakfasts, Happy Hour, lunch menu, evening specials and Glasgow‘s best burgers'

Balbir’s 51 West Regent Street 331 1980.

Not big, not designer, not sexy, iust brilliant. High quality Indian cuisine at affordable DFICQS.

Grassroots 20 Woodlands Road. 353 3278.

Scare-free food, organic groceries, excellent bread, fine cheese, herbs and Spices, wholesome foods -- yum, yum.

Mama Miska1321 Arqyle Street 334 0594.

Lashings of paprika, pasta and pizza 'An Alpine grotto of delight, highly recommended -- The List

Mojo 158a Bath Street 331 2257 Much acclaimed stylish bar/restaurant ~ a unique blend of modern brasserie COOkllit] iii an intimate setting

Ocho 150 West Campbell Street 332. prOViding relaxed meals, 12-7pm,

1032 funky music, great

A Vibrant new bar, Vibes and daily drinks promotions

Ristorante La Fiorentina 2 Paisley Road West. 420 1585. Savour the flavour of Tuscan cooking With our extensive menu ~ including many vegetarian dishes

Stravaigin 28 Gibson Street. 334 2665.

Fresh Scottish ingredients, authentic and original recipes, award Winning cooking, lively and informal atmosphere.

The 13th Note 80 Glassford Street 553 1638. Bar/cafe/venue With a totally vegan


3 menu of wholesome food Within a

I relaxed atmosphere

3 Tron Theatre 63 Tronqate 552 8587.

'A whole lot more than great theatre'.

i Voted Glasgow's hest bar -- The List

Readers Poll. The Ubiquitous Chip 12 Ashton

Lane 334 , . 5007. Ubtqvglou/ (Lip One of ' ' ' "—

Glasgow's finest restaurants serving modern Scottish fayre.

Vino Vino 51a West Regent Street

332 7718.

'Good food -- prices right side of

7 modest'~ ,

Diner [0(' \llNO.\l I'IYIFRM ii. \\'l.\’l-' BAR

Live lTlUSlC Wed, Thur, Fri and Sat.

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