Food&Drink Recent Openings
The best of the new restaurant, café and bar openings in Glasgow and Edinburgh Glasgow
THE SAINT ON BATH STREET 190 Bath Street, City Centre, 0141 352 8800, www.thesaintonbath street.com, £9.95 (set lunch) / £17 (dinner) Boutique hotel Saint Judes has transformed its almost windowless basement from the Asian-themed Mama San into this fashionably retro-styled cocktail bar and restaurant that aims for a prohibition-era speakeasy ambience, mirroring its stablemate The Blind Pig on Byres Road. Modern variations on British comfort food and bygone classics dominate the enticing menu, from battered pollack and chips (served in newspaper) to beans on toast and hearty dishes such as lamb shank. The food on the whole is deftly handled and skilfully presented, and there’s admirable effort to source produce locally and ethically with a weekly market menu.
£20 (dinner) Between them, chef Jim Kerr and proprietor Alan Tomkins have an impressive pedigree (Mar Hall and Gamba to name but two). Now they have upped sticks from The Dining Room on Bath Street to the Merchant City and this time have opted for a French-style bistro, kitting out the former fire station (and ex-Ad Lib) on Ingram Street with full-on, fin-de-siècle bistro trims. The menu reflects a certain self- confident French cool too, with omelettes and pastries rubbing shoulders with escargot and côte de boeuf. It’s thoughtfully prepared food served up at very fair prices. TAPELA 104 Bath Street, City Centre, 0141 332 6678, www.tapela.co.uk, £9 (set lunch) / £15 (dinner) Occupying the basement recently vacated by The Dining Room, Tapela is the latest venture from The Partners, whose empire includes Tattie Mac’s and bistros in Bearsden and Kelvinside. Befitting this ‘modern tapas’ restaurant, the interior eschews the often gaudy Spanish look for a more neutral ambience enlivened by bull motifs and Jackson Pollock-style splashes of colour. The menu is an appealing mix of Spanish classics with a few global influences adding variety but not, unlike the recent trend, watering down the core authenticity. The benchmark patatas bravas are a cut above the average, deliciously crisp and well presented.
BALTHASSAR 33 Ingram Street, Merchant City, 0141 552 5736, www.balthassar.co.uk, £11 (lunch) / Edinburgh WAWA 13 West Crosscauseway,
FOOD & DRINK EVENTS
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Southside, 0131 667 7816, £6.50 (lunch) / £10 (dinner) Inspired by the noodle bars of Hong Kong, where eating on the move involves staying on your feet, this compact, standing-only noodle bar targets the area’s abundance of students, who should be snared perfectly with six iPads bolted to the counters for browse-while-you-eat fun. Amusing menus read like they’ve deliberately been fed through Google Translate a couple of times, with satay, Szechuan, black bean and garlic and ginger and spring onion among the flavour choices with various meats or prawns. There may not be much elbow room, but this must be the friendliest and most quirky takeaway in Edinburgh. MIMI’S BAKEHOUSE 63 The Shore, Leith, 0131 555 5908, www.mimisbakehouse.com, £11 (lunch) There’s little danger of Edinburgh’s residents going without their tea these days thanks to a proliferation of new teahouses and cup-cake bakeries. Mimi’s brings pink-tinged exuberance to
Leith’s Shore, offering ‘Belly Busting Breakfasts’ and ‘Lavish Lunches’ which feature not just a bewildering array of cakes but also some freshly cooked stovies, fishcakes or savoury tarts. Behind the venture, which augments a surprisingly thin choice of cafes in Leith, is Michelle Phillips, previously of Loopy Lorna’s in Morningside and an award winner in the Scottish Chef of the Year awards in 2009. CHEZ JULES 25/27 Cockburn Street, Old Town, 0131 225 2832, www.chezjulesbistro.com, £17 (lunch/dinner) Pierre Levicky has many guises. He is, of course, Pierre Victoire, he’s the comeback kid, and there’s more than a little of the Dorian Gray about him now that he has brought Chez Jules back to the very doorstep of its original 1990s location on Cockburn Street. Setting up in the former premises of La Rusticana (rough timber ceiling still in place), this second branch of Jules in the capital has frenetic accordian music in the background and onion soup, coq au vin and steak frites on the menu, along with the promise of various special menus including lobster or beef feasts for groups of four or more.
Independent write-ups on all the restaurants worth knowing about in Glasgow and Edinburgh are available on our online Eating & Drinking Guide at list.co.uk/food-and-drink Prices shown are for an average two-course meal for one.
GLASGOW ■ Partick Retail Outdoor Market FREE Fri 7 & 14 Jan, 10am–2pm. Mansfield Park, 5 Hyndland Street. ■ Mansfield Park Farmers’ Market Sat 8 Jan, 10am–2pm. Mansfield Park, 5 Hyndland Street.
■ Queen’s Park Farmers’ Market FREE Sat 15 Jan, 10am–2pm. Queen’s Park, 520 Langside Road, 287 7273. ■ West Sound Burns Supper Sat 15 Jan, 6pm. £75–£80. Glasgow Thistle Hotel, Cambridge Street, www.westsound.co.uk West Sound Radio brush off their banqueting clothes to
host a large-scale early Burns Supper.
■ Scotland’s Speciality Food Show FREE Sun 23 & Mon 24 Jan, 9.30am–5pm. Tue 25 Jan, 9.30am-4.30pm. SECC, Finnieston Quay, 0844 395 4000. The are over 100 exhibitors at this trade show for fine food and drink. Features include Feed the Dragon, a Dragon’s Den-style forum where speciality food and drink producers pitch to key buyers. EDINBURGH ■ Jolly Toper Whisky Tastings Thu 6 & 20 Jan, 7.30–10pm. From £17. The Tolbooth Tavern, 167 Canongate, 556 5348. Whisky tasting sessions at one of the best-stocked bars
22 THE LIST 6–20 Jan 2011
Loch Fyne Restaurant
in town. Booking essential. ■ Edinburgh Farmers’ Market FREE Sat 8 & 15 Jan, 9am–2pm. Castle Terrace, 652 5940.
Malt Whisky Society, The Vaults, 87 Giles Street, 554 3451. Enjoy a traditional Sunday roast to soak up any three drams from the new Scotch Malt Whisky Society list.
■ New Outturn and Sunday Roast Tasting Sun 9 Jan, 12.30–3pm. £35 (members £25; drivers £15). Scotch ■ St Columba’s Hospice Burns Supper 2011 Fri 21 Jan, 7.30pm. £46 per head. Corn Exchange, 11 New Market Road,
551 1381. Speakers include Rod McCowan, James McSween, Duncan McCooll. ■ Talisker Burns Night FREE Tue 25 Jan. Loch Fyne Restaurant, Newhaven. Booking hotline 020 7025 7592. In aid of the RLNI, featuring volunteer crew-members telling tales of the sea.
■ Oloroso Wine Dinner Thu 27 Jan, 8pm. £75. Oloroso, 33 Castle Street, 447 8722. A five-course dinner at Oloroso, accompanied by a selection of wines from two of Burgundy’s most promising young growers, Vincent Dancer and Robert Chevillon, with guidance on tasting from Hew Blair, Buying Director at Justerini and Brooks.