FOOD & DRINK RECENT OPENINGS
Glasgow’s second dedicated tiki bar looks set to bring sunshine in a mug to the West End’s fringes, as Emma O’Bryen discovers
T aking over the premises formerly occupied by New York Kitchen and Pintxo, the Pacific Tiki Bar and Kitsch Inn brings the dreamy South Sea isles right to the heart of Partick (minus the sunshine, of course). Paying homage to the original tiki bars begun in the US in the 1930s, the bamboo-clad bar is decked out with a range of rums and exotic cocktail ingredients ready to ease you into a tropical Polynesian experience. Their food menu hosts an eclectic range of dishes, mostly Thai-inspired with other Indonesian influences added to the mix. Salt-and-pepper squid with mixed spices warms up the taste buds, while a Thai curry can come as hot as you like – specify your preference. Baja fish tacos have chunky white fish and homemade accompaniments, or there’s the big kahuna burgers which are well-seasoned and come with a light brioche bun. Wash it all down with a fruity rum cocktail: a Hurricane will do the trick, or a Zombie perhaps, served in one of the various tiki drinking vessels. A few hours of tropical escapism awaits.
562 Dumbarton Road, West End, Glasgow, G2 4HW
0141 334 9000, pacificglasgow.com Ave. price two-course meal: £14 (lunch / 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.
AVENUE G SPECIALITY COFFEE HOUSE CAFE & COFFEE ROASTERY
321 Great Western Road, West End, 0141 339 1334, avenue-g.com, £7 (lunch) Yet another addition to the West End’s coffee scene, this is a second venture for the team whose Byres Road venue has gained a reputation as one of the city’s best cafés. The Great Western Road spot has a particular focus on coffee, with just a basic food menu offering light bites such as croissants and light sandwiches to partner the wide variety of brews available. There are various single origins roasts to choose from, which the staff will happily manipulate in all manner of fashions to broaden your coffee knowledge. The back of the shop houses a roaster that, in due course, will supply beans to both cafés.
dining area has a pleasant mix of stone walls, deep terracotta colours and tiled floor. Claims of authenticity are credible if one takes this as a fairly standard British tapas restaurant serving decent food rather than a practitioner of modern culinary techniques from Spain.
INDIAN PLATFORM INDIAN
1051 Great Western Road, West End, 0141 339 2156, indianplatform.co.uk, £13 (lunch) / £13 (dinner) Nasreen Aksi, a stalwart of the Harlequin Ashoka chain and arguably the city’s spice queen, took over the Italian Bistro at the old railway station near Gartnavel a couple of years ago. She has recently converted the upstairs level into Indian Platform, dishing up traditional North Indian cuisine. It’s a lovely building, with the added benefit of a balcony overlooking the leafy surrounds. All dishes are available as smaller tapas portions at a reduced cost, although the food is good value generally at around £3 for most starters and £7 for a main. Favourites such as kormas and South Indian chicken are available alongside specialities such as Indian peri-peri chicken and Bengali king prawns.
108 Elderslie Street, West End, 0141 243 2227, cubatas.co.uk, £5.95 (set lunch) / £17 (dinner) The Ashoka (the non-Harlequin Group one) had stood on this corner of Elderslie Street for more than two decades until the appearance of tapas bar and restaurant Cubatas. The overhauled interior is almost unrecognisable, save for the same wood- sculpted drinks bar. Décor isn’t draped in Spanish knick-knacks, possibly because the bosses are Asian rather than Iberian, but the large
Edinburgh MACHINA ESPRESSO
2 Brougham Place, Tollcross, 0131 229 3495, machina-espresso.co.uk, £6 (lunch) A serried rank of coffee machines line one wall of this bright and welcoming little Tollcross café, showcasing the latest Chemex, V60 and Aeropress coffee systems. The espresso blends used in the lattes, excellent flat whites and piccolos change regularly and are sourced from Glasgow’s Dear Green and North Berwick’s Steampunk. Food is limited to soup and locally baked cakes, scones and pastries, although there are plans to offer more over the summer. And although this place is clearly focused on coffea arabica, there is also tea from
Anteaques and good hot chocolate to be had.
CLERK’S BAR BARS & PUBS
74–78 South Clerk Street, Southside, 0131 667 2701, clerksbar.co.uk, £10 (lunch/dinner)
Popping up to replace Dragon Way, newcomer Clerk’s Bar hitches a ride on the blossoming bandwagon of craft beer and pimped-up bar food, its finger-licking fare of ribs, chicken and pulled pork all smoked low and
slow. Alongside sit gourmet hotdogs, burgers and appealing sides, while rotating craft casks and draughts are boosted by a dozen or so bottles from independent brewers with good deals on house lager, wine and selected spirits. The place has funky lighting and a hint of pop art graphics across a sport-friendly entry level bar and a terracotta toned basement overspill. Look out for tap takeovers and meet-the-brewer sessions, as well as weekend DJs and a Thursday night quiz.
DAFT JAMIE’S SCOTTISH
5 Hunter Square, Old Town, 0131 225 5428, daftjamies.com, £12 (set lunch) / £22 (dinner) Daft Jamie met his (likely gruesome) end at the hands of Burke and Hare in the vicinity of this new establishment. Thankfully the meat sourcing policy of Daft Jamie’s is far more ethical, with a focus on good quality dishes that will appeal to all. Dishes focusing on haggis, beef, chicken, sea bream or Ayrshire pork belly all offer hearty flavours, and result in full bellies. As well as food, Daft Jamie’s specialises in lost whiskies from closed and forgotten distilleries. The Silent Stills Dining Room may be booked on request, and on the whisky tasting menu all dishes are cooked and served with a matching malt.
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 38 THE LIST 15 May–12 Jun 2014