I was glancing through an online list of Glasgow Southside restaurants and came across Ian Brown's. The menu looked decent, with a few original touches, and there was a 20% off 5pm deal going on the a la carte menu. So, I thought, "What's to lose?", and booked a table for myself and a friend for that night - an unseasonably damp and chilly July Sunday.
The restaurant was quiet - possibly down to the lashing rain - but very cosy, warm and friendly. We were made welcome and presented with a complimentary bowl of freshly-baked bread and balsamic vinegar and oil dressing. Then, to clear our palates, a similarly free cranberry and watermelon juice - very refrreshing.
Starters (I'll be A and my friend B!):
A - Pot of West Coast Crab with Fennel, Orange and Bisque - fresh, cool and tasty, served with a leaf salad and balsamic dressing. Generous but not excessive. 10/10
B - Thai Marinated Steak Strips with Dry Roasted Peanuts and Mixed Salad. Verdict? Delicious! 10/10
A - Roast Rack of Lamb with Minted Crushed Potatoes, Peas ,Carrots and Tomato Compote. The lamb was perfect: pink, juicy, and had obviously been given time to settle properly, ie I didn't get lamb juice in my eye when I cut it! Very good quality meat, cooked to perfection - the sides similarly. 10/10
B - Baked Cod with a Herb and Pine Kernel Crust with Clapshot and Tomato and Red Pepper Sauce. After B asked me what clapshot was (we half-Orcadians know these things!)(it's potato and turnip mashed together and seasoned), B pronounced his main course "Excellent" and ate every bit - which is unusual for him! 10/10
A and B both had the Apple Tarte Tatin with Vanilla Ice Cream. I'm a dab hand at home-made Tart Tatin, so it pains me to say that this ws better than my home-made version: not too sweet, but with a tasty toffee-ish butter flavour. Also a very generous portion - B couldn't finish his and - what's more surprising! - I couldn't help him do so! 10/10
I had a large glass of a very reasonably-priced and flavoursome Garnacha with my main course, and a glass of fresh but honeyed Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc with dessert.
B was driving, so restricted himdelf to a Beck's non-alcoholic beer.
Service was excellent, prompt and friendly. In particular, Gillian - who principally served us - was attentive, professional and most welcoming. When I was dithering about the Sauvignon Blanc, she offered me a sample to help me make up my mind. 10/10
This restaurant is a definite "find" and, like General MacArthur, "We shall return!"
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Robert Leslie - 26/07/2015