FOOD & DRINK RECENT OPENINGS
MODERN TIMES Chef Mark Greenaway has a new second venue, down a New Town hill from his original, and wearing its appealing credentials lightly. Robin McKelvie paid a visit
M ark Greenaway likes to play. Not flippantly. More in the thrilling, palate-challenging, eye-popping manner that has helped his eponymous eatery on the corner of Queen and North Castle streets stand out in a city flush with fine dining. He also takes on TV with relish as his appearances on various shows demonstrate. A string of restaurants have come and gone on this site where the New Town meets Stockbridge, but exuberantly confident Greenaway has risen to the challenge with gusto and flair. A cardboard ribbon enclosing the menu describes a bistro as a ‘small restaurant serving moderately priced simple meals in a modest setting’. There is little that’s simple about the grand, art deco former bank building, nor the cuisine. Aberdeen Angus carpaccio is spiced up with crisp shallots, cornichons and soused mushrooms, then chilled with a white onion ice- cream. There are nods across the Channel to more old school bistros with a bourguignon, but here monkish replaces beef. Sunday lunches are more traditional with a chateaubriand for £40. Bistro Moderne is by no means a bistro bargain, but for those seeking a swagger of creativity, Greenaway has created a satisfyingly daring modern bistro.
15 North West Circus Place, Stockbridge, Edinburgh EH3 6SX
0131 225 4431, bistromoderne.co.uk Ave. price two-course meal: £15 (set lunch) / £24 (dinner)
The best of the new restaurant, café and bar openings in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Prices shown are for an average two-course meal for one.
BUDDY’S BAR DINER GRILL AMERICAN BURGER RESTAURANT
677-681 Pollokshaws Road, Southside, G41 2AB, £14 (lunch / dinner) Since Buddy’s takeaway opened in Shawlands a year ago, it has driven more people southside than a Hampden cup final, and their American-themed concept has shown the scale of its ambition with a new restaurant in Strathbungo. The bar area, bright in red and white, bustles with diners waiting for a table (booking is trendily not an option). Placemat menus replicate much of the takeaway with extras – ten burgers (the Duke is magnificent), plus brisket and pulled pork sandwiches. Sticky ribs are impressive, too. The sheer volume of customers makes service feel a little rushed, and the busy menu has a solitary vegetarian option, but Buddy’s is carnivorous bliss.
JACKER DE VIANDE BURGER BAR
111 West Regent Street, City Centre, G2 2RU, 0141 243 2405, jackerdeviande.co.uk, £14 (lunch / dinner) West Regent Street is the mecca of Glasgow’s burger scene, with Jacker de Viande (playfully: Meatjacker) joining three other nearby heavyweights. It may be the youngest, but was possibly conceived first, with owner Nick MacIntyre talking about gourmet burgers back in 2011. And their’s are up with the best – seriously pink in the middle, very juicy, tasting almost like a steak sandwich. A familiar menu – but a very well executed one. And the décor is utterly unique: an onslaught of blacks and reds, with Irvine Welsh’s Filth pig gazing down on those in for a top-quality feed.
KA KA LOK CHINESE
175 St Georges Road, West End, G3 6JD, 0141 353 6528, kakalok.weebly.com, £13 (lunch / dinner) Close to established favourites Asia Style and Asian Gourmet, Ka Ka Lok is the latest addition to what’s now a hub of good Oriental eateries. Similar in style and décor to its neighbours, the interior is minimal and unfussed – this place is all about the food, bolstered by modest prices and generous portions. Fresh, uncomplicated Chinese classics fill the menu, from ginger and spring onion prawns to char siu pork. Claypot dishes showcase the freshness, quality and authenticity, while the salt and chilli squid packs both heat and flavour into one of the highlights. Service is swift from staff with natural, unaffected warmth.
LIAN PU CHINESE
14 Marshall Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9BU, 0131 662 8895, lianpu.co.uk, £11 (lunch / dinner)
Named after the Chinese opera masks tradition, Lian Pu’s fast-food interior is just as colourful. Stepping back from the Cantonese- style food we’ve come to equate with ‘Chinese’, the aim is to introduce people to less familiar regional
dishes: their most popular order, Hong Shao Roo, is a sweet dish of tender belly pork in a soy and ginger- based sauce. The pan-Asian favourites aren’t ignored, with excellent Japanese dumplings and noodles of every incarnation. They’re big fans of bubble tea, with bursting fruit drops or divisive tapioca. Prices are student-cheap, with a particularly good value bento box.
MEDITERRANEAN / MIDDLE EASTERN 63 Cockburn Street, Old Town, Edinburgh EH1 1BS, 0131 226 5097, £10 (lunch) / £16 (dinner)
The latest opening from Jamal Ahmed and team, this warm, comfortable bistro just off the Royal Mile shares some of the Kurdish / Levantine influence of sister restaurants Hanam’s and Pomegranate. Clad in olive green, with rough
stone walls and richly grained wooden furniture, the venue is smart and welcoming, while the menu offers familiar Middle Eastern and Mediterranean standards with pastas, ratatouille, burgers and fish and chips alongside mezze platters, meatballs and deep-fried halloumi. While it’s all done solidly and attractively, check out specials for something a bit more distinctive, and appreciate the various breads, inclucing ciabatta and organic Iraqi samoon loaves, freshly baked every morning on site.
THE FLYING DOG BARS & PUBS
24 Henderson Street, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6BS, 0131 467 7712, £9 (lunch) / £12 (dinner) Set on a cobbled corner between Great Junction Street and The Shore on the site of the former Trafalgar Bar, The Flying Dog is a completely refurbished modern bar / diner. With reclaimed wooden whisky barrels, draughtsman stools, pews and exposed brickwork, it introduces a dose of American culture across the fittings on the walls, a lush New York cheesecake, imported craft beers and their signature hotdogs. Served in gluten-free rolls fresh from The Manna House Bakery, they’re served with sweet potato fries and homemade beetroot slaw. Smørrebrød provide healthy and attractive alternatives including sweet marinated herring on soda bread.
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 34 THE LIST 23 Jan–20 Feb 2014