Food & Drink

Eat out, drink up


One of the first things that strikes you about VEG is the utter lack of photographs. Surely an anachronism in a modern recipe book, but why not? Given the lavish illustrations of most foodie tomes published today, one might suspect their raison d’étre is the wonderful photography: they’re meant for the coffee table, not the kitchen.

With VEG - because there is not so much as a blurry snapshot - you’re likely to take the contents more seriously. Catherine Mason, author of The Ornamental Herb Garden, is not messing about with her latest book, subtitled ‘simple, stylish and seasonal vegetarian cooking.’ Her ethos is clear. ‘The recipes in this book are for people who enjoy food and cooking but rarely want to spend hours in the kitchen,’ she writes. ‘They are inspired by what is seasonally available.’

As well as main courses, VEG has recipes for soups, salads, side dishes and desserts; breakfasts, baking and sauces. Many are denoted vegan, low-fat or both. Examples of inventive seasonal creations include a courgette and potato frittata or spiced red cabbage with marsala and apples. Sweet potato pie with puy lentils in a wine sauce is her vegetarian version of Shepherd’s Pie, while roasted

Mediterranean vegetables with herb and goat’s cheese involves very little preparation.

Mason’s inspiration also comes from her vegetable plot. She offers passing advice on how to raise your own produce, but the more salient point is this: fruit and veg selections are improving at many supermarkets while, as she writes, ‘organic box schemes and farmers’ markets are springing up

Last Good Meal

MATTHEW LENTON, the artistic director of the acclaimed touring theatre company Vanishing Point, whose latest productions Feast and The Sight/ess, are soon to be playing at the Tron in Glasgow takes the taste test.

Matthew Lenton: Viking fan

Where did you eat your last good meal? At a place called ltto in Stoke Newington, north London. It was a flying

(Barry Shelby)

A clear and tasty ethos

everywhere.’ The goods are increasingly there and Mason purveys timely ideas on what to do with them.

I Reader offer: You can get VEG for 23% off the cover price. Send £3 7 0.99 in cheque or money order to Paunt/ey Press, Compton House, Remar/ey, Gloucestershire, GL79 3J8 - quoting 'List offer' or phone 07537 829907 or visit www. pauntley-press. co. uk/offers/list.

visit. staying over with my brother who took me to this amazing place on the busy. bustling, brightly lit and cosmopolitan High Street. It does great Chinese food at ridiculous prices. I ate excellent hot and sour soup to start. followed by barbecue pork and duck washed down with a bottle of house red. for about nine quid a head. We sat and ate and talked and felt very happy. The brevity of the visit and the Quality of the food made it a memorable night.

What are your favourite restaurants and bars in Scotland? I prefer warm places rather than cold. chrome. trendy nonsense. I am a total sucker for an open fire. In Glasgow. I have always eaten and drunk well at the Tron (which is also the home of some excellent theatre!). I like Stravaigin because it's friendly. the food is inventive and Bloody Marys (short only of a stick of celery) are brilliant. I appreciate the way they let you run a tab without getting neurotic. Uisge Beatha is good for a night out with a bunch of friends and I love eating curries at Mother India. I'm neither educated nor

financially equipped enough to have explored any restaurants further afield than Glasgow or Edinburgh.

OK, where would you like to go if someone else was picking up the bill? Next on my list is The Buttery. It sounds unusual. but I'm told it's quite expensive. so maybe I'd go there. I'd avoid the really expensive places and you'd have to drag me to a restaurant run by a celebrity chef: I'd only be disappointed.

Finally, where you would like to go for your last supper? It would be a cottage on the coast of Devon or Cornwall. The food would be a giant roast dinner cooked by me: crispy roast potatoes. parsnips. Yorkshire puddings. meat. and every veg; and eaten at a table like the ones the Vikings ate at. All my friends would be there and there'd be fine wine. plenty of bottles of Talisker and fireworks over the sea an hour before dawn. (Interviewed by Barry Shelby)

I Feast/T he Sight/e33 are at the Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Thu 77—Sat 20 Oct. See preview in Theatre section.

118 THE LIST 4-18 Oct 2001


Side dishes

A_n extra helping of news . . ._

LEITH’S OCEAN TERMINAL has been launched, and that verb is particularly apropos as the long mall is meant to approximate an ocean-going liner. As Terence Conran and co designed the building, it’s no surprise that his restaurants dominate the centre’s catering operations. Zinc bar and grill will offer the finer, more intimate dining and drinking opportunities. Open at 10am, food from an all-day menu will be served until about 11pm. A seasonally changing menu includes dishes such as small or large portions of crispy duck (SIG/£9.50), Caesar salad (£4.50/£7.50), grilled tuna loin (£10.50) and linguine with wild mushrooms and spinach (£7.50). Beside Zinc are Ocean Bar and Ocean Kitchen, set in a gigantic space (20,000ft square with 60ft ceilings) and offering panoramic views of the Forth. Food will be self- service with a selection of cold and hot meals, some which can be quickly prepared while you wait. The size of the room is such that the 35ft-Iong island bar seems relatively small.

GONG IN GLASGOW IS THE new venture from G1 (Arta. Corinthian et al). The old Salon theatre in the West End (previously home to Littlejohns) has been transformed with modern interiors. The former rear balcony is now a bar/lounge. while the dining room offers space for 100. mainly seated in four partitioned areas. Arta chef Michael Smith has devised the eclectic global menu. Open from 5pm during the week. the forthcoming plan is to serve brunch at the weekend.


Glasgow’s city centre is now Room, the latest venture from Clark Pubs, which owns Uisge Beatha and Alphabet Yard in Glasgow, as well as Alphabet in Edinburgh. Design consultants Quinn McMahon have stripped things back for a minimalist feel. Food is served daily until 7pm. Happy hour is 3-8pm, but every night there is a special promotion from 8pm onwards. DJs play every night except Monday and Wednesday.