Restaurants in Glasgow are many and varied and with eating out such a popular pastime we thought it would be a good idea to include a restaurant review section on the site.
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Hotel du Vin Review - Italian Wines from Basilicato with Bisceglia - Pat Byrne, 25th October, 2007.The Lansdowne Restaurant - Review by Rachel Steele, October, 2007.
West Brewing Company - Christina Byrne, September, 2007.
During the West End Festival local restaurants and pubs play a key role and make a significant contribution to the success of Glasgow's main festival event of the year. We have selected some of the best to receive our West End Festival Awards 2007
Templeton Businness Centre, Glasgow Green, Glasgow G40 1DA. Telephone: 0141 550-0135
A carpet factory may not be the place that springs to mind when looking for a night out but the building that once housed Templeton's is the venue for the West Brewing Company. As every Glaswegian knows, Templeton's is a replica of the Doge's Palace in Venice but is situated right across from our own People's Palace on Glasgow Green.
The decor in the restaurant is that of a German beerhalle with dark wood panelling on the walls and large solid maple wood tables and benches, but the overall impression is welcoming.
It was a cool evening so for starters we settled on the soup of the day, a mouth-watering concoction of peppers and potato served with a delicious crusty brown German roll. It certainly gave us a heart-warming glow.
For the main dish, the two ladies in the company went for lemon sole, deep-fried in beer batter made with the West brewing company's own homemade beer. The dish included herb fries and salad. At first sight, I was disappointed that the skinny fries looked nothing like the thick cut chips I was expecting but the taste more than made up for their appearance. The fish batter was light as air and the sole cooked to perfection, also the portions were more than generous.
Our resident male, a most unadventurous diner, eats nothing but steak and pronounced his choice of char-grilled sirloin with mushrooms, salad and fries as one of the best he had ever tasted. High praise from him. He was also very enthusiastic about his pint of Dunkel German beer.
Our waitress, Lindsey was a delight, so friendly and helpful and owner, Gordon even came over to ask our party if we had enjoyed the meal.
On a final note, my friend gave the toilets ten out of ten. What more can one ask?
For the three starters, mains and drinks the bill was a reasonable £40.50.Phiten - August, 2007.
Arriving at India Quay in Finnieston feels a bit like being on the TV - because you are on the TV. Ever since the BBC's switch from Queen Margaret Drive to Pacific Quay, the restaurant is featured nightly as the backdrop to BBC Scotland's 6.30pm bulletin. I had actually been brought to the restaurant by another "station" - STV, since it featured as part of their "Robbie Coltrane's B Roads Around Britain" programme as the climax of his trip. Recognising a guy who obviously likes a good bit of food (and I mean that in the nicest possible way) I thought it would be worth a try. Along with half of Glasgow.
The place was really busy - a first good sign. Service was quick without being rushed, and the initial atmosphere was like being in one of the new apartments cropping up all over the city - appropriate, since the restaurant forms the bottom corner of the Lancefield Quay development, so often the setting in Taggart for the "yuppie" flats of calculating murrrrderrrers (to continue the TV theme). We were also informed that the table was "ours for the night" - reassuring in case one of said residents decided he fancied a curry!
As we tucked into the poppadoms, accompanied with a selection of Indian condiments suggested by the waiter (we'd just asked for the usual suspects of spiced onions which he'd quickly steered us away from, full marks for that one) the first course arrived, where we'd plumped for a mixed Indian starter. This was piping hot and the pakoras, chicken chaat and samosas were fresh and crispy, but what lifted the whole thing were the accompaniments - a new selection this time, featuring warm chickpeas in gravy sauce, garlic mushrooms (a personal highlight) and the ubiquitous pakora sauce. All very tasty, though be warned - very filling.
The TV coincidences stacked up further as the BBC evening news crew slotted into the seats behind us, with the same weel kent faces who stare out from the set each night quickly obliterated by the steam rising from the main courses, again piping hot. I had the tandoori mix which was perfect - marinated right through instead of the often "painted on" red glaze, and with two major highlights - chicken marinated on the bone (a wee borrow from the Shish Mahal, perchance?) and plump king prawns which avoided the rubber bullet syndrome so beloved of denture wearers the world over - they melted in the mouth. The Kashmiri chicken across the table was avidly polished off with not a chunk of pineapple or mango left behind. A great bit of crispy naan bread (none of the doughy variety I've had a few times recently) mopped up the survivors.
Sweets (to clean the palate, nothing more!) were varied but the appearance of the Movenpick logo on the menu made the choice for us, and a caramelita ice-cream was quickly polished off alongside coffee and After Eight mints. As we paid, we chatted to Pardeep, the manager who had introduced himself, and found out that the business is a family run affair modelled on a restaurant his father ran, but hugely updated - definitely no flock wallpaper here!
He also informed us that as part of their process for scouring restaurants around the country as candidates, Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares team from Channel 4 had written asking them to take part. I'm pretty sure they hadn't done their research before writing to India Quay, because that is definitely one bit of TV exposure this restaurant has no need of - as several of your nightly newsreaders and this happy diner will attest. We're heading back in two weeks time for a repeat of this particular programme.
Price £50 for two people including two rounds of drinks Special offers and buffet available weekdays
Review by Christina Byrne, February, 2007
After showing us to the table the waiter disappeared for half an hour before taking our order but the place was very busy so we forgave him.
For starters two of us chose baked mushrooms stuffed with Roquefort cheese and herbs, one had carrot and lentil soup and the other a portion of pork roulade. All pronounced the food delicious.
The menu looked so enticing that it was difficult to pick something but I finally settled on the salmon with nicoise salad. I enjoyed the fish but was less taken with the salad which was rich with green and black olives - great for some but I just don't like oloves. Serves me right for my ignorance, I should have known what was in it when I ordered.
One of the party had a dish of steamed mussels in a white wine and cream sauce served with chips, another the cod risotto. A vegetarian option, tart filled with carmelized onions, cheese and roasted vegetables, again with chips, suited the daughter's boyfriend down to the ground. Approval and beaming faces all round. We had a look at the dessert menu but full stomachs decreed that we passed on a sweet.
I had made the booking online (found it on glasgowwestend.co.uk) and was surprised and delighted when the confirmation email said that a complimentary bottle of wine was provided for each couple choosing a meal from the a la carte menu.
I had expected the free wine to be some cheap plonk (not that I would have know the difference,) but one of our group is a real wine buff and she was enthusiastic in her approval.
Another pleasant surprise was the bill. At £56.00 for 4 starters and mains, side dishes and 2 beers it was excellent value.
Despite the initial delay in taking the order we will definitely be back to the Cul de Sac.
Review by Christina Byrne