Friday, 13 July 2007

Eating out?

Mother at Large has tagged me on a food meme - the idea being that I share the details of five eateries in Glasgow that I would recommend. This is problematic for two reasons:

The cost of eating out here leaves me with heart palpitations. For what I would pay for a beautiful meal at a reputable restaurant with a sea view in Cape Town, I can get a deep fried pizza in Glasgow. Lucky me, this would probably arrive with chips.
Budget eating in Glasgow requires the bulk consumption of grease which, after the heart palpitations would probably just send me straight to the ER.

As you may have guessed we have not eaten out very often since we've been here.
This is not to say that Glasgow does not have some fine, grease-free establishments - just that I have not frequented them. That said, there are a few places we do go to occasionally that I will share:
1. Heart Buchanan on Byres Road - amazing deli, lovely (but painfully small) coffee shop and, if you're getting to the end of the month they will slice you very small pieces of cheese to suit your budget.
2. The Loft in Ashton Lane. Spacious, family-friendly restaurant with good pasta menu. I appreciate that they have no specific kids menu but do kids portions of anything on the menu. It kind of fits my ethos that children are people too. It's also right above the Grosvenor cinema which is handy. But beware of children racing around the wide aisles in Little Tikes red plastic cars. Newbies usually sport shin bruises for weeks.
3. Wagamama on West George Street. Okay, so this is a cheat - it's a chain, I know. But I love good Japanese noodles and they really are good here. Again, it's spacious - I like to breathe between mouthfuls of food and the service is fast but not pressured. The do have a kids menu, but its not the usual fish and chips fare. Bambi particularly loves their chicken noodles which come with a mandarin sauce and slices of apple. Yum.

and that covers my culinary experience of Glasgow. Other attempts in my budget do not bear repeating.
So, instead, I thought I would tell you about my favourite two establishments near Cape Town. Because I'm homesick. Again.


1. Le Petite Ferme, Franschoek winelands. Unbelievable food with incredible views. The Good Man and I have always gone here to celebrate our anniversary - well, when we're in the Cape that is. The form is to have a drink on the lawn in front of the restaurant while perusing the menu, then meander up to your table. Enjoy a glass of the house wine (from grapes grown on the estate) over a fantastic meal and then go for a quick lie down in the shade of a tree to contemplate your expanding girth as you consider the desert menu. Which is sufficiently tempting to draw you in for another round. There is no hurry here. Lunch is considered a three hour affair - only one sitting gets booked. Bliss.
2. The River Cafe, Constantia Uitsig. When the Good Man and I had to introduce our parents to each other in the week before our wedding, this was the estate that we trusted with the food. Of course, this auspicious occasion called for the auspicious big brother of the River Cafe, the award winning Constantia Uitsig Restaurant. But now, dust having settled, we prefer the more casual ambiance of the Cafe. It's strictly a breakfast and lunch affair. Tables are arranged on the terraces and the menu features food that is familiar but always with an interesting twist -perfectly prepared and presented. And the wine shop next door isn't half bad either...

I see much opportunity in this tag. I challenge ('cos lets face it that's what tags really are):

Gwen

Katie, and

Pepette

who may well be able to shine a more informed light on the Glasgow eaterie scene. And its about time I learned!

Reluctant Memsahib - although may I request your recommendations are for Nairobi eateries??? Cheeky, I know

Debio - 'cos I'm hoping to spend a wee bit of time in Dubai soon too.

On a completely different track, my big brother in South Africa is going shark cage diving tomorrow. Now how many of you can say that?!

33 comments:

Misssy M said...

Oh my good woman- you just have to get yourself in to the Glasgow curry houses! Best in the Western world and that's a fact.

Also the Bay Tree vegetarian restaurant on Gt Western Road is nice for lunch...

Other than that I'm pretty out of touch....

Annie said...

I can't remember all the places I used to go to in Glasgow lol! I just remember that every second building is a converted bank, now a bar/restaurant. When you have nothing to compare it to, the cost of eating out never seemed that bad - after moving here though, the cost of eating out in the UK seems extortionate!

Annie said...

Totally missed the shark cage thing - eh - rather him than me I say!

The Good Woman said...

Thanks Misssy. i'll focus on Indian from now on. I am a rather committesd carnivore but rather fancy an occasional vegetarian lunch.

Hi Annie. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks its steep. Most of the time I fear people just think I'm tight - and that's coming from Scots for heavens sake!

dulwichmum said...

This is actually a rather difficult task I know. I have been tagged by a chum and seem to be spending hours on my wish list. Good work!

Pascale Clerk said...

Sarti's on Bath St. is a sure hit - even with a toddler. You won't find deep fried pizzas there but the proper, crisp variety with all sorts of toppings. The real Italian experience.

lady macleod said...

so much for the food list. Shark diving!!! cool!

laurie said...

never having been to glasgow, i can't help you here.

but the top of your posting made me chuckle. it reminded me of one of my early trips to ireland, and how everything--everything!--was served with a side order of chips.

we ate at some nice place one night out on the Killybegs Road outside of Kilcar. i ordered lamb, i think, and a side order of boiled potatoes.

the lamb came with chips.

the "side order" of potatoes would have fed several families--i can still picture, so many years later, the waitress bringing out this huge bowl, like a frickin' mixing bowl, just heaped in peeled potatoes, slathered in butter, steam just a-rising off it.

holy mother of god.

so there's my recommendation for you all: go find that place out on the Killybegs Road just outside of Kilcar, and order the potatoes.

you won't need to order anything else.

Annie said...

We used to say the Scots had deep pockets and short arms ;)

The Good Woman said...

Oh Dulwich Mum - you can do it! Your choices are probably just more varied than mine.

Thanks Pascale. The Good Man is a real pizza fan so I'm sure we'll give Sarti's a try soon.

The Good Woman said...

Hi Lady M. I know! I'm so jealous. My Mum's even going along!

Hee hee Laurie. We went to another Italian place last night (not recommended) and the pasta came with chips - so not so Italian after all...

I don't know abou the Scots - on the whole we've found them really generous - but I know of this South African....

Gwen said...

I'll need to have a good think about this and will post as soon as I have a good list. I'm also a big fan of Wagamama but will try to think of 5 alternative GLasgow Eateries.

Cheers

Gwen

Motheratlarge said...

What a great posting. Right now the post-natal daze means Glasgow seems about as far away as South Africa from Edinburgh. But I have to admit the restaurants in your country sounds an awful lot nicer. The Constantia Uitsig Restaurant must be good, if you entrusted them with the pre-wedding parental lunch. We were all so nervous before our families got together for the first time! My poor dad had such bad nerves he got sick, and had to stay at the hotel, so it was only me and my mum from my side. I was so preoccupied with how people were getting on I can't remember a thing about the restaurant or the food.

I'm a Wagamama fan too. In London it was my occasional monthly treat.

Feel I know you much better after reading this posting!

The Good Woman said...

Thanks Gwen, look forward to your list.

And Mother at Large, I should mention that ALL restaurants in SA are family friendly. Bambi pulled up a whole flowerbed by its roots at the River Cafe and they laughed it off before bringing her complimentary pancakes. Love that place!

Dee said...

Those restaurants in Cape Town look spectacular! I'm hoping to go back to CT next year (been there on vacation in 1996, which seems like forever ago).
London has so many amazing restaurants, I wouldn't know where to begin...

I want to hear more about the shark diving! What a spectacular experience that must be.

debio said...

Great post, the good woman,.

Sorry for late comment - am working on the tags and will post in next couple of days.

Omega Mum said...

Makes my mouth water.......

The Good Woman said...

Cape Town also has a number of good ploaces to eeat. Let me know if you need a dedicated list, Dee

Thanks Debio. Looking forward to it.

Need a napkin Omega?

Katie said...

I LOVE Wagamamas even though it's a chain - their food is fresh, inventive and healthy.

Adrian and I spent a shocking amount of money eating out. Neither of us are big drinkers, so we decided that the money we save by not going to the pub can be spent at restaurants. It might take me a while to whittle a list down to five, but I promise that I'll do it!

Gwen said...

The deed is done. Cheers, Gwen

Graeme said...

It's not quite a restaurant, but Il Cappuccino on Great Western Road is, in my opinion, one of the best places to get a sandwich in Britain. They're cheap and the sandwiches are always fresh, creative, and tasty.

Pepette said...

Better late than never, I've done it !

By the way, tag in french is tag. But I'm sure our Académie Française will soon come up with some silly french translation for it! :)

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