22 December 2017
I eventually decided on Cail Bruich for Mrs G’s birthday lunch. Glasgow is well stocked for good restaurants and it wasn’t an easy decision – we hadn’t been for years which tipped the balance of favour and so it was we found ourselves at Cail Bruich refreshingly pleased we were not being coerced into dining from a Christmas menu!
Shortly after being shown to our table and handed the wine list to peruse (with some help from the knowledgeable sommelier, we decided on The Juice Asylum “Il Terzo Grado” Vino Rosso – an absolutely stunning red!) the first amuse bouche arrived; a blue cheese and pumpkin parcel. Thankfully, the blue cheese wasn’t over-powering and the flavour combinations were brilliant. The second amuse bouche was crispy ham hough and sour cabbage. The salty flaky ham worked tremendously well with the sour cabbage gel and was absolutely delicious!
To start, Mrs G went for the “Venison tartare, coal oil, pumpkin, shallot, lovage”. She loved loved loved it and, on tasting, I could see why. The venison melted in the mouth and different textures from the seeds and the crispy onion (I think!). What a great starter – she chose a venison main, too, and I was a little fearful the meal would be two deer…. (ba da dum).
I went for the “Scallop, pork cheek, squash, sour fennel, clementine” and was hugely impressed. The scallop was cooked perfectly and, of course, the classic combination with the pork worked a treat. The flavours from the fennel and clementine picked the dish up and I wolfed it down (apart from two mouthfuls for the birthday girl, a scallop fiend) a very happy man! So far, everything had been faultless.
For mains, as already mentioned, Mrs G went for another venison dish, the “Venison, black pudding, pumpkin, sprout, blackberry, chestnut”. Holy moly it looked good! The tender venison was served pink and the flavours all worked together so well. I pressed her to give one criticism and the best she could come up with was that perhaps the pumpkin was a little chunky. She was, again, very happy!
I ordered the “Beef cheek, cabbage, carrot, mustard” and was blown away. The plate was dressed brilliantly, it looked so pretty. The flavours lived up to the quality of the presentation and it worked so well – absolutely stunning plate of food. The beef fell apart with a tiny bit of teasing and provided a beautifully rich taste and it came with the nicest hash brown ever!
Mrs G was beat and skipped dessert but I could not. Everything had been pretty much perfect up until now so I knew I’d regret it if I skipped it too. So I went all out and ordered the “Valrhona manjari chocolate, pistachio, yoghurt, olive oil”. The chocolate ganache (I hope is the right term) was exquisite. The lemony frozen yoghurt and pistachio flavours were incredible. The textures were brilliant. I can’t think of a dessert I’ve had before which has been better than this. To me, it was perfect! What a way to finish.
All in all we had a truly superb meal which was washed down with some of the nicest red wine! We will definitely not leave it so long again before returning to this gem in the West End. Tremendous.