Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Dinner at Smoke BBQ Glasgow

I had seen a bit about Smoke BBQ on social media and thought it sounded great so I put it down on my never ending list of the must visit places as Mr EmmaEats is a BIG meat eater. I'm not the biggest meat eater but I'm getting better. I saw that Smoke were putting on an event for bloggers and I immediately put my name down on the list! I was pretty excited about it as it was my first official blogger event!

So first impressions:- It is a lovely bright, airy big space with minimalist decorations but very tasteful and outdoorsy looking. We were greeted at the door by a very friendly waitress and she brought us to our table. It wasn't an exclusive bloggers event so there were 'normal' customers there as well, which I thought was good as it was more of a realistic setting and I was able to experience what the 'normal' atmosphere was like. We ordered our drinks and were informed we would be provided with a platter for dinner. 

I know this blog is about food and not interior but oh my god I just have to say that I loved the bathrooms. The sink is a bucket - a metal bucket and the taps are like taps that you would find outside (fitting in with the whole BBQ theme), I loved them but I thought it would just be too weird to take photos of the bathrooms and put them up on a blog about food. My light fixations continues here at Smoke, the lights in general are pretty cool but there is a net on the ceiling with loads of round lights in it and these are pretty spectacular.

While we were waiting on our food to arrive, the table next to us got their platter and I started to panic as there was no way that two of us would be able to finish that size of a platter, it was HUGE. So our platter came out and here is proof of how big it was:-

The platter included:- pulled pork burger, brisket, ribs, barbecue turkey leg, chicken thighs, house hot link sausages, red cabbage, cornbread and two sauces. I have to say everything tasted as good as it looked. This was my first helping:-

I started with the house hot link sausages, and as I've said before in another post, I can be a bit funny with sausages but I must admit that these were very tasty. I moved onto the chicken thigh and this too was delicious. Next up was the cornbread, now this is only my second time having corn bread so I'm no expert (the first time being in this amazing little restaurant in Colonial Williamsburg) but I found it to be very dry however it did taste pretty good and there was a nice bit of heat in it. Next I moved onto the brisket and to be honest, I wasn't blown away by it. For my second helping I moved onto the ribs, which for me were the absolute winner of the meal (and most of my friends will be astounded to hear that I said that about ribs). They were finger licking good but I must admit I used my knife and fork to eat them. At this stage Mr EE was having the meat sweats and I was getting very close to them so I just had a small taste of the pulled pork and turkey leg, both of which were very tasty. All in all it was a great meal. 

Once our table was cleaned the waitress asked did we want dessert or would we like to wait for a while - I was thinking to myself does a while mean a day or so because that's how long it would take me to feel hungry again. Anyway we said we would need a while before dessert. After a little reprieve we told the waitress that we were ready for our dessert. We received a dessert platter which had 4 different desserts on it - ice-cream, a smores like dessert, a cheesecake and a chocolate cake. 

The smores dessert was absolutely delicious (I am partial to melted marshmallow), as was the chocolate cake and ice cream. I wasn't actually blown away by the cheesecake but I'm not the biggest fan of cheesecake, and would never normally order it in a restaurant so I'm guessing, going by the other desserts, that if you are a cheesecake fan this one would be as good as the other desserts. 

There are loads of other options on the menu if you don't want a platter. You can have burgers, chilli, plates (which are the meat dishes served with twice cooked chips and a side of your choice) and sides of course. And don't think that just because it is a BBQ joint there are no veggie options, Smoke caters for vegetarians too and there is a gluten free menu - Smoke caters for everyone. If you have room after your meal they also do desserts or 'puds' as they are called by Smoke. You need to check the chalk board for the selection. 

There is also an extensive drinks list available and on the night we were offered samples of their beer but we both refrained. 

Food rating: 4/5 

The service was great (I hear you say of course it was because they knew food bloggers were in the house) but I was watching them in general and they seemed to be very efficient and there was plenty of staff around. My only negative here was my pet hate .... the now infamous glass of water. If you have read the 'about me' section in my blog you will know that I like to have water when I'm eating and more often than not I'm left waiting for water. So I asked for a glass of water when I placed the drinks order - the water never came with the drinks and I had to ask again, I did get it straight away that time. Now this isn't a big thing but it is my pet hate. Service rating:- 4/5.

There was a great atmosphere in Smoke, there was a good buzz about the place and a constant stream of people coming and going. The decor, as I stated above, is great and really makes it a nice place to eat in. Atmosphere rating:- 5/5.

So for this post I'm not going to rate the price given that I was invited to sample the food but it would appear that you certainly get value for money here.

Last Words
I really like the vibe of this place, it is very welcoming and comfortable. Its somewhere that a group of friend could go to sit over a bucket of beer and a platter of meat and shoot the breeze. Or if you are just in need of a bite to eat, it is the perfect spot. Although it is not somewhere you would bring your other half for a romantic meal. I must say that even though I'm not the biggest meat eater I would definitely go back, the taste of the meat was great. Whilst I was here for dinner, Smoke are also open throughout the day for lunch so if you need a bite to eat at any time during the day, Smoke is somewhere you should definitely try out. Total rating:- 17.5 out of 20 (I converted the 13 out of 15 into a figure out of 20 so it would be in line with all my over reviews).

Date Visited: Thursday, 21 April 2016

Restaurant Details: 
Smoke Barbecue,
2 West Regent Street,
G2 1RW.

Website:- Smoke Website
Telephone:- 0141 442 0420

Thanks a mil for reading.

Emma Mai xx 

Friday, 22 April 2016

Brunch at Black Dove, Shawlands, Glasgow

Things have been a little hectic over the last month with a 10 day trip to San Francisco and Vegas, moving house and two lots of visitors from Ireland so I missed out on my regular Saturday brunch for a while. So for my return to my favourite meal of the week I thought long and hard about where to go. I was thinking that I might go to one of my favourites, just to ensure that I wasn't disappointed and then I remembered my ever extending list of places to visit! So it was decided, I had to try somewhere new. Black Dove Dining is somewhere that has been on my radar for a while and somehow I just never managed to get there, so today was the day.

As I was walking up Kilmarnock Road with the sun shining (I had to mention that the sun was shining because at that point I was seeing more rain than sun) I was thinking to myself that I don't ever remember seeing the restaurant on this road (and you will see from my other reviews that I'm on this road a lot) so I was keeping a keen look out for it. I eventually spotted it - it doesn't stand out and you would really have to be looking for it to see it. A thought occurred to me, whilst it may have been on my radar for a while (due to social media etc) maybe it was just never in the forefront because the restaurant doesn't stand out from all the businesses around it. But it seems to be doing very well so people are clearly finding it. Anyway, I digress, back to the review. So we went in and were seated at our table. We were given one menu and our coffee (& water) order was taken. As I had digested the menu on a number of occasions before going I didn't need to look at the menu as I knew exactly what I was having and Mr EE also knew what he was going for, but if we both needed to look at the menu I don't think I would have been happy to sit and wait for the other person to finish looking at the menu. I'm sure if we asked for another one we would have gotten it but I wonder if this is the norm or was it just an oversight.

There are plenty of options on the menu for brunch - everything from eggs benedict, a full fry, an omelette to beans on toast. There is something for everyone on this menu. They even have a section on the menu called healthy eats - allegedly these dishes are guilt free healthier choices so I decided to give one of them a go. I went for chargrill bacon, organic sausages, black pudding, spinach and asparagus served with homemade baked beans, sweet potato, poached eggs and hash browns. Mr EmmaEats went for his usual, the full breakfast. The food came out and looked great. Just after the waiter left my food in front of me, he arrived back with a bowl of spinach as it had been omitted from my plate (I must admit I hadn't noticed that it was missing). The food was lovely, and I particularly liked the sausages. I'm not the biggest fan of sausages (I love the taste but I can sometimes be funny about them, its a mental thing), however the sausages here were very tasty. Mr EE was very happy with his breakfast. Food Rating:- 4/5.

The service was quick and efficient. When we first went in there seemed to be only 1 person front of house looking after both levels (this did not have any impact on our service), however when we were leaving a few more staff members had arrived. Service Rating:- 4/5.

There is a nice atmosphere in Black Dove Dining. We were seated upstairs and there were only two other tables in use. However, downstairs was very busy. I enjoyed sitting upstairs looking down at the workings of the restaurant (& getting to see the amazing light fixtures). The restaurant is tastefully decorated with lovely touches such as the Black Dove Dining symbol on each of the tables and also on the coffee cups. Atmosphere Rating:- 4/5.

Both my breakfast and Mr EE's breakfast were £7 each. The total for breakfast was £20.65, this included 1 cappuccino and 2 americano's. I think it is a very reasonable price for the quality and quantity of food. I have come to expect to pay more for breakfast so I think that it is really great value. Food Rating:- 5/5.

Last Words
Everything about Black Dove Dining was lovely, not exceptional but lovely. I will definitely be back, I really want to go back and try out dinner. One thing that we did notice while we were eating was that there was no salt and pepper on the table. We found this to be a little unusual but again I'm sure if we had asked we would have been given some. We didn't need them but is it not cumbersome on staff if every table was looking for salt & pepper? Aside from that it was a lovely breakfast. Overall rating:- 17 out of 20.

Date Visited: Saturday, 9 April 2016

Restaurant Details:-
Black Dove,
67 Kilmarnock Road,
G41 3YR.

Website:- Black Dove Dining Website
Telephone number:- 0141 231 1021

Thanks a mil for reading.

Emma Mai xx

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Brunch at Tribeca, Southside, Glasgow

It feels like Saturdays are coming around quick and fast (mind you mid week it never feels that way). So it's Saturday morning and we are on the hunt for the next new place to visit. One spot that I have tried to get into on a few occasions is Tribeca South - the wait has always been too long for us (well really Mr EmmaEats - I'll wait for good food). So this Saturday we were up nice and early and set off to try to get in before the rush! When we arrived we still had to stand outside - I didn't mind so much as it was a beautiful morning and thankfully we were only outside for about five minutes. Once inside the waiter informed us that it would be about a five minute wait, which was great. We were seated at our table and given the menu's.

There is such a wide variety of food on the menu and everything looks so tasty. You can get pancakes, eggs benedict, the full breakfast (done a variety of ways) or omelettes to name but a few. I decided to have the huveos rancherous and Mr EmmaEats went for the manhattan grand slam. The huvuos rancherous contained two eggs poached in tomato salsa with chorizo served with two toasted tortilla's. I'm on the fence about my food - it was just grand, nothing special to write home about. I did like the way the tortilla's were done but other than that I wasn't blown away. The manhattan grand slam contained eggs (your way) hash browns, sausages, bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, beans and toast. Mr EE was delighted with the amount of food that was on his plate but again he felt that it was just grand. We had a cappuccino and an americano (x2) - again the coffee was just fine. Food Rating:- 3.5/5.

Service was fine and everything came out nice and quickly. Staff were on hand whenever we needed something. It did appear that only one person could take the orders - I found this a bit strange. Service Rating:- 4/5.


While we were standing waiting to get a seat I had a good opportunity to look around. Mr EE was loving the vibe about the place but to be honest I wasn't feeling it. Don't get me wrong, it looks great, really cool but I just didn't feel it. While we were waiting on our table I felt like I was practically sitting on the table just inside the door, there was a couple at the table and I could hear their entire conversation but I couldn't move anywhere else. Atmosphere Rating:- 4/5.


The price was reasonable and Mr EE certainly got loads of food on his plate for £9.95. The total cost of our meal was £25.20. The most exciting thing about the receipt was the handful of jelly beans that came with it. This is a nice touch. I had seen it come out to a table that had kids sitting at it and I just presumed it was for kids but I was so excited when they came and were put in front of me. Price Rating:- 4/5.

Last Words
I'm not sold on this place, but to be honest I am willing to try it out again. I would certainly like to go back to try out the waffles and/or pancakes. There is just something missing but I'm not able to put my finger on it. Total Rating 15.5 out of 20.

Date Visited:- 27 February 2016

Restaurant Details:-

Tribeca Bar & Grill, Glasgow South,
1 Fenwick Road,
G46 6AU.

Website: Tribeca Website

Telephone: 0844 357 7777

Thanks a mil for reading.

Emma Mai xx

Recent Trip to Dublin - My Food delights

So I found myself in Dublin for a little over 24 hours and decided to cram in as many of my favourite spots as possible. As well as trying to eat in my favourite restaurants I was also catching up with friends so I was a little bit all over the city. I won’t bore you with too much information but I've decided to do a short review on each place that I visited. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos as my phone decided to jump into some water so I’ve lost everything (and NO I DID NOT HAVE MY PHONE BACKED UP!!) I must admit I had some amazing photos – from the cool tea pots in Wuff and the Westbury Hotel, to beautiful surroundings in Hugo’s restaurant to a beautiful breakfast display in Brother Hubbards.

My first morning started off with an amazing breakfast in Wuff, Benburb Street, Dublin 7. Wuff is just a little bit off the beaten track but it is close to Smithfield and Stoneybatter, both areas are enjoying a bit of a revival and have a number of amazing places to eat. Wuff is on the luas line (tram) that takes you from the city centre to the train station, so it is very easy to get to. I decided that because I was in Dublin I was going to treat myself to a mini fry and my friend had the eggs benedict. I had a lovely fresh orange juice, a pot of tea (in the cutest pot) and an Americano. My friend and I sat there for nearly two hours just catching up and never once did we feel under pressure to leave. There was a nice crowd in the restaurant and a great atmosphere. Our food was just delicious. I really do love this spot. Wuff's Website

The next spot on the list was Hugo’s on Merrion Row. This is very central and is just off St Stephen’s Green. I was meeting my old work crowd here for a spot of lunch and a catch up. There were 8 of us. Hugo’s is very pretty inside – lovely chandeliers and décor. I went for the duck wrap with chips, the majority of the others went for fish and chips. My lunch was huge – I only ate half the wrap and a quarter of my chips but it was very tasty. The wrap wasn’t a skinny little thing with nothing in it – there was loads of duck in it (and because of my late breakfast I couldn’t eat it all). It was lovely and tasty. I think everyone enjoyed their lunch here. We also had teas and coffee. We had a very friendly waiter and were not rushed out the door either. Hugo's Website

I had an hour or so to put down before my next slot so I decided to go to the Westbury Hotel for a pot of tea (I’m devastated that I don’t have the photos to show you of my tea here). The Westbury is a lovely hotel just off Grafton Street, I suppose for us Irish it’s a bit of a landmark. It is just so beautiful inside – mind you the bar area where I had my tea is always a little on the dark side but the fixtures, fittings and furniture are spectacular! My pot of tea was lovely, as was the atmosphere! The Westbury Hotel's Website

My next stop wasn’t for food this time around unfortunately. However, the next time I’m in Dublin it is where I’ll be having my dinner. My friend and her husband (Claire & Phil) have opened a new restaurant in Harold’s Cross, Dublin (just a short taxi ride from the centre of Dublin) called Craft. My trip to Dublin was a week before it was due to open but thankfully the guys let me go in and have a speak peek of the place. I was there the night before their ‘soft’ opening so things were really coming together. The place looked great and I really loved the décor especially the light fixtures (I was slightly obsessed with them to be honest - especially the ones in the window). Craft is officially open now – best of luck Claire & Phil. I can’t wait to try it out. Craft's Website

So back on the food trail - Claire, Phil and I decided to head to Ranelagh for some food. Ranelagh, just like Harold’s Cross, is a short taxi ride out from the city (or you could even walk it – I walked back into the city after dinner). We went to Dillingers for dinner. We were seated in a window seat and it was a great spot to watch the world go by. Claire and I both went for the nachos (I’ve had the nachos from here loads and they are just amazing, so every time I’m here I generally just get the nacho’s but there is are wide variety of dishes on the menu). Phil went for the lamb special. The portion of nachos were HUGE, Claire and I probably could have shared one portion but neither one of us are into sharing ;-) I really love everything about Dillingers. There is a great vibe in Ranelagh, there is always such a buzz and the buzz continues into Dillingers. We visited on a Tuesday night and there was not one free table in the place. It’s pretty cool and quirky. Dillingers Website

For my next stop I decided to gate crash Mr EmmaEats work dinner. They were also in Dublin for a few days and on this particular night they were having dinner in Sophie’s at the Dean Hotel on Harcourt Street. Sophie’s is my favourite place in Dublin for brunch and dinner (I’ve never been there for lunch but I’m sure its good). Sophie’s is on the 5th floor of the Dean Hotel and as a result has amazing views of the city.  When I arrived the boys were just finished their main course and ordering dessert. I just ordered a mint tea and I got a lovely pot of fresh mint tea – I’m so sad but I just love when I get fresh mint tea!! Sophie's Website

On my second morning I went to Brother Hubbard’s for breakfast – my aunt (who is well into her 70’s) and I used to go here for brunch and I know Aunty Carol now brings all her visitors here for lunch. Brother Hubbard’s is fairly central. It is on the north side of the city just a short stroll from either the River Liffey or Henry Street. It really is a great spot. I remember the first time I came here was with Aunty Carol and I thought ‘oh dear she is not going to be comfortable here’ as the seats are in fact just stools – however it doesn’t seem to have put her off and it was never an issue for me. I had the breakfast special which was porridge, toast, tea or coffee and a glass of orange juice (if memory serves me right this was only €10). The porridge came out with great quality honey and the toast came with the most amazing preserves. My only complaint was that the toast came with hard butter – what good is that to me when I’m trying to spread it on my toast (in fairness it’s normally not an issue for me as I try not to eat butter but because I was on my holidays I was having butter)! But that is only a small complaint and I’m wondering if it is a health and safety issue – maybe you are not allowed to leave butter out so that it is at room temperature. The photo of my breakfast was also amazing. I am clearly devastated that I lost my photos. I think I’m more upset over loosing my photos rather than loosing my phone. Brother Hubbard's Website

My final port of call was to Clodagh’s Kitchen which is located in Arnotts department store on Henry Street. Arnott's is another institution for the Irish. To be honest – this is not somewhere that I would pick for myself but my mum had come up to visit me for the day and due to dietary constraints (well she claims to have dietary constraints – I just think she is the fussiest eater in the world – and I wonder where I picked it up from??). I have been here with her before so I knew she would find something on the menu to suit her needs. To be fair it is a lovely dinning space and there is a great buzz about the place! There was a beautiful old china teapot on our table full of beautiful daffodils (& yes I HAD a lovely photo of this). I went for the three egg omelette and it was delicious. My mother had the fish dish. This dish came with mashed potatoes that had some herbs mashed through it which my mother can’t eat so she asked could she have it with something else. The waitress was great, she said that this wasn’t a problem and listed of a number of things my mother could get instead. My mum really enjoyed her lunch. I also had two glasses of wine with my lunch. Clodagh's Kitchen Website

So once I said my goodbye’s to my amazing mum I headed back to the airport and was Glasgow bound.

Dublin really is an amazing city and has gone through an amazing food revival over the last few years. There are so many great places to pick from, you are spoilt for choice in Dublin (just as you are in Glasgow). If you are planning a visit to Dublin you should check out Lovin Dublin - it is a great resource. Lovin Dublin Website

Thanks a mil for reading.

Emma Mai xx