My dining partner is based in the west end so we have decided to try out Cail Bruich. We have heard many wonderful things about this restaurant that is run by two brothers Paul and Chris Charalambous. They have been awarded several enviable accolades including New Scottish Restaurant of the Year 2009 (Metro) and Scottish Restaurant of the Year 2010 (Scottish restaurant Awards).
The menu is predominately fresh Scottish produce influenced by French techniques.
We are greeted by Paul who shows us to our table. The restaurant has a typical Scottish interior, all dark hardwood and no nonsense. The definition of the Gaelic Cail Bruich is eat well. And that's exactly what we intended to do.
The amuse bouche really popped with the bright kick of the wild leek and the added pepperiness of the fresh watercress. An inspired combination. Good start to our meal.
I had the Veloute of broccoli and wild garlic served with blue cheese royale and walnut. Nuala opted for the smoked wood pigeon accompanied with pickled vegetables, toasted seeds and a pigeon vinaigrette.
The smoke gave the pigeon depth and body and probably needed the veg to be pickled to punch at the same weight as the meat. Pear and walnut is always a stalwart combination and a clever choice by the chef.
The selection of purees accompanying the main dish of venison gave it a roundedness and added to the layers of texture ably countered by the crunchy and richly coloured veg which retained a slight crunch and the sweetened jus lifted the whole dish another notch.
There's something about adding salt - and, in particular, salted nuts - to chocolate that works its synergy to a whole other level. Add to that the marriage of high quality Walrhona Manjari fondant and rich dark cherries, the chef excelled again in his inspired addition of a shimmer of clove.
It's a rare luxury to be able to have the confidence to ask the chef to choose your food and it's testimony to the family's background in farming and expertise, in particular, with venison that sets this restaurant in the trendy West End of Glasgow apart from the madding crowd of here-today-gone-tomorrow eateries. This one's a keeper.
725 Great Western Rd Glasgow G12 8QX
0141 334 6265