Food & Drin

Eat out, drink up



The farmers’ markets have thankfully returned to Scotland after the foot and mouth interregnum. And this month, both Glasgow and Edinburgh will inaugurate additional dates. At Mansefield Park in Partick, Glasgow, a new market opens on Saturday 9 June - in addition to the usual Barras venue on the last Saturday of every month. Edinburgh’s traditional first Saturday of the month will be augmented with a second market every third Saturday beginning 16 June - both at the same location of Castle Terrace.

Edinburgh and West End Glasgow markets will feature more than 40 stall holders with a variety of goods (some twenty product lines) from fresh, locally grown vegetables and free range eggs to organic (and properly aged) meats and seafood to vegan bakery items. Lest you think it expensive, prices are competitive with quality goods on the high street.

And in practically every instance the sellers are the same people who raise or produce the goods. That is key, says Margaret Matthew, project co-ordinator for the capital’s farmers’ market: ‘We have meat producers

whose animals never left the farm.’ Until they got the chop, that is. But considering public health concerns

with trace-ability, you cannot find any meat whose history is easier to record than these. ‘We bring the country to the city centre,’ Matthew says. ‘People can ask questions, get a real feel about the products they’re buying and get to know the producers. They absolutely

love it.’

Across Scotland, the number of farmers’ markets is expanding in 2001. Nevertheless, such direct sales to the consumer represent only about 0.75% of all fresh food sold, according to Howard Wilkinson, vice-chair of



Competitive prices direct from the growers

antidote to corporate farming. It is a shame that these local producers have suffered what some estimate has been a 60% loss in income thanks to food and mouth, although most themselves employ progressive farming practises. (Barry Shelby)

the Ayrshire Farmers’ Market Co-operative. So we Angus shouldn‘t fool ourselves about the continuing Stirling domination of the market by traditional retailers. In/ine ‘What's exciting,’ says perennial optimist Wilkinson, ‘is Dalkeith

that if not for foot and mouth, farmers’ markets’ turnover could have doubled in 2001.’

For all the Sturm und Drang during the countryside crisis, it is remarkable how quickly foot and mouth has


receded (North Yorkshire notwithstanding) from public Elgin

consciousness. You get the feeling that the intensive farming habits - at least partially to blame for the UK epidemic - will continue as ever before. Which is why the farmers’ markets are so important: they offer an


Once. the more thought of sushi cold rice. raw fish and the occasional

vegetable usually wrapped in seaweed made many squeamish. But since its

Hamilton Kirkcaldy Kilmarnock

Saturday - 9 June GlasgowMansefield Park

Saturday - 16 June Edinburgh, Castle Terrace


Saturday 23 June Stornoway lain

Sunday - 24 June l ochwuinoch

Saturday - 30 June Glasgow Barras Market Haddington


retail introduction in the high street (wrth YolSushi enjoying an excluswe distribution deal with Sainsbury's and Marks and Sparks peddling its own line). we have become acoustomed to nigiri rolls next to BLTs and tuna rnayos. OKO. the locally owned sushi restaurant which opened last year in Glasgow. has succeeded. And wrth this summer‘s launch of a YofSushi restaurant and Yo!Below bar in Edinburgh's Rose Street. the London- based chain hopes to make further inroads in how we perceive and consume Japanese food.

In 1997. the first Yo!Sushi opened in Soho. ‘A friend suggested a conveyor— belt bar With girls in PVC mini skirts w0uld be a lucrative business venture.‘ explains founder Simon Woodroffe. ‘We lost the PVC but kept the belt idea that has made us the most popular Sushi restaurant chain in London.’ Yo! offers over 150 different dishes and 40% are hot soups. grilled meat and tempura complementing the seafood and vegetable wraps. Little wheeled

robots travel round the restaurants serving drinks while customers pick the colow-coded plates from a conveyor that snakes around the room. The concept imitates Japan's hugely popular conveyor-belt cafes: the equivalent of a quality chippy here.

YolBelow. the downstairs bar. is posSibly the most adventurous aspect of the project. Karoke-singing bar staff. a rnasseur. tarot card readers and DJs (to provrde a club danceroOr setindtrack) are all part of the equation. Full meals like bowls of chilli chicken with udon noodles or dipping snack food should sustain Visitors for the evening. while a self-servrce beer tap at every sunken table guenches their thirst. Much of this may sound like girnrnickry. yet it works in practice. Instead of heading for a club or a restaurant after a few drinks. punters often stay put for the whole night at YolBelow. This may not be authentically Japanese but a healthy bastardisation of East. West. old and new. (Mark Robertsoni

Side dishes

An extra helping of news . . .

ALAS. OUR BEST-SELLING Eating and Drinking Guide has been clocked for another wee boo-boo. Yumi of Edinburgh is not open on Sundays. We apologise unreservedly.

ASl l it )N l ANl Rl‘S l/\Ul MN I S and pubs will again play an active part in the Glasgow's West l nd l estival (when all have the option of staying open an hour later than normal). Brel where former Bar 91 maestro

l aurre Keith has become manager iTi has a range of free entertainrrient daily. such as live Ja/x WITH l ol ()oxliill and others on the Saturday lb (2 8pm), as well as VIV (Tree's hosting of Monday Rhymes evenings of music and spoken word on Monday 11 and Monday 18 ifrom 8pm). At .Jinty McCuinty. a Celtic folk session wrth the hand Hunt of the litter starts at (5pm on the Sunday 17.

DAVID RAMSDEN’S restaurant, Rogue, is on schedule for a mid-June opening in Morrison Street, Edinburgh. The menu will feature dishes such as wild boar and herb sausages with mash and onion gravy; Thai chicken with noodles and mange tout; and pan fried calves liver with white haricot bean puree, crispy bacon and port wine jus. Visit for more details on this new venture from the creator of (fitz)l-lenry.

lARGELY AVOIDING THE DUDllClly game has been the Lab. a bar in a neat cul de sac Off Buchanan Street. In keeping wrth its pseudo-serentific. tongue-irrcheek theme you can get cocktails sen/ed in test tubes from a bar that also stocks a host of Kentucky bourbon from Jim Beam to Knob Creek. Food 'megabrtes'— Such as tuna and red Onion melt sarnies or chicken Caesar salad is served daily until 7.30pm (5.30pm on Sunday) and nothing is over a fiver. The Lab, 26 Springfield C0urt. G/asgow, 0747 222 2/ 76.


7—21 Jun 2001 THE LIST 121