Sunday 31 January 2016

Dinner at Stravaigin, West End, Glasgow

Well what can I say about this place ... it is now my favourite place to eat in Glasgow and you should really try it out! It's not somewhere that you would go for a quick, cheap and cheerful meal. You go here if you are looking for good quality food and are willing to pay a little extra for an amazing dining experience. Stravaigin prides itself on it's menu which showcases Scottish food however, there was a little treat on the menu for me... Cashel Blue Cheese. Cashel is a town in Tipperary, Ireland and I grew up in a town nearby called Thurles - so there was a little bit of home on the menu for me. Its a long way or so the songs says ... ;-) There is also another cheese on the menu from Cork!

When you enter Stravaigin you enter at the cafe/pub level, the restaurant is down the stairs which is straight in front of you. Once downstairs the first thing you will see is the open kitchen - I do love an open kitchen - I love to have a little nose to see how they are doing things. We were a party of four and had made a booking, I would certainly recommend making a booking. We were greeted by a very friendly member of staff who brought us to our table. It was a lovely large table, out of the way in a corner. Mr EmmaEats did comment that maybe it was a bit wide and it might be difficult to talk to those sitting opposite us, and initially I thought the same but we were so wrong - it was such a comfortable spot and there was loads of room for all our food.

So we were provided with the menus and the wine list. Whilst we were having a look at the menus a jug of water was brought down to the table (thumbs up from me). We had a number of questions about the food and our waiter was very knowledgable about the menu and was able to answer all our questions.

For starters we ordered toasted corn bread, Stravaigin's own haggis (x2) and a cullen skink (from the specials menu). I had the haggis and thought it was lovely - however on my initial bite I found the texture of the haggis a little unusual but I got over that. The neeps and mash were delicious and very smooth and silky. Mr EmmaEats had the toasted corn bread, when it was put down in front of him I thought that it was a little on the small side however, I was informed that what it may have lacked in size it certainly made up for it on the taste front. Noreen had the cullen skink and said it was so tasty.

For main course we had the roasted onion squash, seared Pentland pheasant breast and cervelat and char-grilled 8oz rump steak (x2). We also had sides of amchur and black salt potatoes (x2) and deep fried broccoli and cauliflower, toum, tabbouleh. I had the roasted onion squash, my first observation was that it was beautifully presented. The colours on the dish were just amazing, it looked perfect. As well as looking great, it tasted great - it was just an explosion of flavour in my mouth. Noreen had the seared Pentland pheasant breast and cervelat - again the colours on the plate were amazing and it was also beautifully presented. Noreen said that it was a great dish. The men went for the char-grilled 8oz rump steak - this to was very well presented and very colourful on the plate. The boys were very impressed with their steaks and said that they were cooked to their liking. The side dishes were so tasty, I really loved the potatoes however the deep fried broccoli and cauliflower were amazing. The dish was so unusual and was really tasty.

In between the main course and dessert we were brought out complimentary amuse bouche. The amuse bouche was so tasty however because I was so busy catching up with my friends I can't remember what flavour it was but I do remember that it was so tasty. It was garnished with fennel and orange rind - I just remember thinking that the orange rind was delicious.

For dessert we had Stravaigin's own ice-cream (x2) and chocolate and caramel delice (x2). The boys had the ice-cream (my photo doesn't do it justice) and when it was placed in front of them I was immediately regretting my choice. It was so pretty and I did have a little sneaky taste (Mr EmmaEats DOES NOT SHARE), I can confirm the ice cream was delicious. Noreen and I had the chocolate and caramel delice. The dessert was beautifully presented and had loads going on. I loved what was on the top of the dessert, the cinnamon marshmallows, burnt orange and frosted pecans however I was not so sure about the delice. Don't get me wrong it was tasty but again I wasn't so sure about the texture - but I think this is just a personal thing for me, I don't think there was anything actually wrong with the dessert. Noreen really enjoyed her delice.

During the meal we had a lovely bottle of Rioja Reserva, a G&T and four americano's with hot milk to finish.

Food Rating:- 4.5/5.

The service was absolutely impeccable. Stravaigin clearly values training staff and ensuring that the customer enjoys every aspect of the dining experience. The food was well timed, we had time between each course to relax but didn't get to the stage where we were dying for the next course to come out. Something that really impressed me while I was there (and my other companions may not have even noticed this) but my friends scarf fell off the back of her chair, I observed the waiter pick the scarf up, fold it and place it on the back of her chair without disturbing her. I also noted this happening with another customer. Whilst I know this is only a small thing but the attention to detail of the staff was very good, they were walking around with their eyes open and not hoping that someone else would deal with things. Service Rating:- 5/5.

I will admit that when I was walking down the stairs I was a little apprehensive about eating 'underground'. However, there was no need to feel apprehensive, the restaurant is a lovely space. It is a little dark and I felt the ceiling was low but the decor was lovely, if not a little unusual. On the wall right behind Mr EmmaEats were 3 colanders which on occasion he hit his head off. As the night went on and more and more wine was consumed I did become fearful that they may be taken off the wall. I can confirm (thankfully) that the colanders are firmly secured and cannot be removed (boys never grow up). Atmosphere Rating:- 4.5/5.

Our total bill was £215.40. For a party of four, with three courses, coffee, wine, good quality food and amazing service, I think the price was very appropriate for the dining experience in Stravaigin. Again its not somewhere you go for a cheap and cheerful meal, you will spend money here but it is worth it. Price Rating:- 5/5.

Last Words
This is certainly fine dining and my favourite meal in Glasgow to date. This is somewhere that really cares about the dining experience whilst celebrating the Scottish food scene. We were at our table for a number of hours and not once were we made feel like we had to leave our table. In relation to the menu I feel I should say that whilst I had plenty to choose from, I do wonder if a fussy eater would find something suitable (I have my mother in mind), but I think this is the case in most fine dining restaurants. This place is well worth a visit - you will be missing out if you don't. Total Rating:- 19 out of 20.

Date visited: 15 January 2016

Restaurant Details:-

28 Gibson Street,
G12 8NX

Website:- Stravaigin website
Telephone:- 0141 334 2665

Thanks for reading.

Emma mai xx

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