Food&_ Drink

Eat out, drink up

REVIEW QUIGLEY’S 158-164 Bath Street, Glasgow, 0141 331 4060. 0...

Who honestly knows what’s going to happen next when the US declares she’s at war and the PM says America has our support? So, it only seemed appropriate to go out for an end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it meal. Our worries may well be apocryphal; let’s hope so. But the fateful dinner fell to Quigley’s, an honour that the accomplished chef/proprietor John Quigley might rather have done without. But the choice is appropriate enough, given the NYC feel of his restaurant. Consider it a bit of solidarity with mates in Manhattan.

This recently opened eponymous enterprise in Bath Street, Glasgow, has taken over the one-time Christie’s showroom. With the design of Zoo Architects, the deep space is roomy, a sensation enhanced by mirrored walls above the banquette seating. The predominant feel is monochromatic: ivory walls, tables of black mahogany on steel pedestals, dense clusters of clear globe lights hang from the ceiling. The strongest hue comes from a red carpet, which runs down the central aisle over polished hard-wood flooring.

Colour and nuance certainly are seen - and tasted on the plates. Anyone who has eaten Quigley’s creations,

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Ocean Terminal > Leith > Edinburgh

whether at the Arthouse or in Mojo’s early days, will recognise the global influences, fresh ingredients (whether asparagus or lamb), and artful but not OTT presentation.

Starters of scallops (with pea puree and watercress salad) and ‘rare cut tuna’ certainly lived up to any final meal expectations. The latter dish, in case you’re wondering, offered succulent slices of tuna that had been rolled in sesame seeds and briefly seared, sashimi-like with an accompanying side of guacamole.

With the exception of one lobster dish, mains are in the 29—5214 range, including a medley of fish poached in coconut milk and sirloin with rosemary stacked potatoes. Five-spice Gressingham duck (with caramelised sweet potato, choi sum and soy jus) arrived properly crisped but still pink (as ordered) inside. The slightly bitter Chinese greens played yin to the yang of sugary yams, while the salty soy base held everything together. In comparison, confit of salmon with crab and rice, while excellently cooked, seemed rather bland. Yet, maybe our taste buds were temporarily dulled by thoughts of G.W. Bush.

Facing the possibility of life during wartime, there was little choice but to opt for puddings. Quigley again plays sweet against sour, both in a chocolate and Chartreuse pot topped with tart Greek yoghurt or with Chantilly crepe with poached damson, greengage fruits and creme Anglaise. Final bill for two, including a fine fruity bottle of Washington State Chenin Blanc and sparkling water, was just ' over £60.

With an efficient, friendly front-house operation, plentiful staff hustling meals up from the basement kitchen, a gentle soundtrack offering everything from James Taylor’s greatest hits to Travis to Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the horrors of the previous few days were softened. So were the fears of future. We nearly, very nearly, felt fine. (Barry Shelby)


The complete transformation of the Scotsman building will climax next month when its fine-dining restaurant. the Club Boom. opens. Although that 50-max space WI” be intimate. it may have difficulty competing with the Success of the stylish North Bridge Brasserie. which opened last month.

North Bridge has seemingly captured the best public area in the old newspaper building. The former reception once known as Marble Hall has been renovated. with original detailing ably highlighted. Pillars of marble have been restored. while discreet spots of light are directed at design features 0n the balustrade

It has also been modernised with the addition of a steel and glass central island bar and open-plan stair. Only one modern element sits slightly less comfortably amid the oak panelling and polished stone: the bright primary coloured upholstery of the dining chairs

The menu of competently prepared and reasonably priced fare offers the kind of scope that one increasingly comes to expect from modern brasseries.

The more European side of things includes starters such as Crab cakes and oysters. Salads come under heading such as CIasSIc (10 Waldorf or Caesar)


108 THE LIST 2 “mi .1

Side dishes

An extra helping of news. . .

KELLY’S, THE TRADITIONAL Scottish restaurant in Edinburgh’s southside, has been converted into a Japanese bar/bistro called Bonsai. Chef/proprietor Andrew Ramage has essentially changed places with his wife Noriko. She has moved into the kitchen while he now handles front- of-house roles at the West Richmond Street business. Bonsai bar/bistro is open daily until 10pm. 46 West Richmond Street, Edinburgh, 0131 668 3847; EXPECT SANTINI'S

Restaurant to be launched soon in the West End of the capital. Begun in London. the Edinburgh branch located in the Sheraton Grand Hotel will be the third to feature the middle and upper market Italian cooking of Gino Santini. GRAVITY GROUP, WHICH owns the Beanscene cafes in Glasgow and Edinburgh, is preparing to open a restaurant on Ingram Street, Glasgow. Gumbo, situated in the former Fire Station premises, will feature Cajun 5 cooking and entertainment. '

and New Wave (eg corn-fed chicken and orange). The ample selections from the grill offers both fish and meat. whether wild salmon. scallops. sirloin or lamb fillet. Vegetarian options include lemon grass vegetables with herb risotto. A Japanese chef (variously named Yamishita and Yamashan on different pages of the menu) produces sushi. sashimi and tempura dishes (SSS—£8.50). Soon North Bridges oval bar. which has drawn its own fans. plans to launch a cocktail menu. And if you prefer a retreat in the evening. the Room 399. so named for the number of single malt whiskies displayed in back-lit cabinets. provides a comfortable place to lounge after a meal. (Barry Shelby) I North Bridge. Scotsman Hotel. Edinburgh. 0737 557 0585.