I took the opportunity to spend the night in Glasgow on the middle evening of a two day conference in the city. After a beer in the sunshine at Crossing the Rubicon, I headed to my chosen dining destination, Cail Bruich, which was just a little further up Great Western Road.
I wasn’t sure quite what to expect but I had heard some positive reports and the menu looked seasonally driven so I was looking forward to some quality fare.
The dining space has a simple elegance with dark wood and mood lighting. It’s comfortable and understated.
I took a moment to consider what I would eat while sipping on a glass of cremant. There were three menus to choose from: the a la carte plus two different tasting menu options. I opted for the ‘introduction’ tasting menu (food £45, paired drinks £35).
First up were three little snacks: a delicate tart of fresh peas, Tunworth cheese and radish; a crab, smoked roe and lovage filled buckwheat pancake; and a canneloni with foie gras custard, spiced date (broon sauce) and granola. These were an exquisite start to proceedings and set expectations high for the rest of the meal.
House-made sourdough arrived with cultured butter and bone marrow smoked butter. The latter was a colossal assault on the palette; the cultured was rather more…cultured. The bread was outstanding.
The first substantive course featured blow-torched mackerel with cherry tomatoes, green strawberries and avocado. This was accompanied by a Granny Smith crisp Riesling. It was a dish of beautiful balance with the cooking of the fish accurate and very pleasing.
Next up was a simple dish of Wye Valley asparagus and smoked potato topped with a sourdough crumb. The wine with it was an intensely gooseberry bruiser called La Folle Blanche. It added hugely complex notes to the dish. It was another winner.
Next was the standout dish of the evening, Inverurie lamb with artichoke, ewe’s curd and braised lettuce. It was a dish of consummate skill and comfortably the best dish I’ve been served so far this year.
The optional cheese course came with an excellent Cote de Jura. It worked beautifully with the aged comte, apple, honey and beremeal crackers. It was very smartly judged.
The strawberry and sweet cicely dessert was a seasonal delight and the matching umeshu was probably the most successful drinks pairing of the evening. It was bright, innovative and fresh which pretty much summed up the evening.
And then there was the step that restaurants often seem to founder upon: the coffee. Serving excellent espresso from Charlie Mills, this had solid claims on being the best restaurant espresso I’ve been served.
So overall, Cail Bruich is a special dining experience. It’s right up there – although in a different style – with The Gannet as the best restaurant we’ve visited so far in Glasgow. It’s a meal that will live long in the memory. Make sure to book your trip there soon.
Blythe scores Cail Bruich
5/5 for food
4.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
5/5 for service
giving an overall 18.5/20
I ate: breadsticks and cuminy aubergine; tart of fresh pea, tunworth cheese and radish, buckwheat pancake, crab, smoked roe, lovage; canneloni of foie gras custard, broon sauce, granola; sourdough with cultured butter and smoked bone marrow butter; mackerel, cherry tomatoes, white strawberries, avocado; asparagus smoked potato; lamb, artichoke, ewes curd; 18 month come, beremeal crackers, apple, truffle honey; strawberry, rapeseed sponge, sweet cicely
I drank: water, cremant, Riesling, La Folle Blanche, Rioja, Cote de Jura, umeshu
I wore: action footwear
Total bill: £105
Address: 725 Great Western Road, Glasgow G12 8QX