Monadh Kitchen


BOOM, what the Michelin Guide giveth, the Michelin guide taketh away. Just like that. And so Scotland woke up only the other day to the news we now have three Michelin starred-restaurants fewer than last year…a cause of much wailing.

Although not from me or my chum Gordon who living in Glasgow are not much used to having Michelin-starred restaurants anywhere near us anyway.

In fact we haven’t had a single star in this city since Ramsey’s Amaryllis curled up and died back in the day when I was a boy. And that wasn’t yesterday.

Not to worry, the great guide’s inspector’s have tossed some almost-but-not-quite-as-shiny baubles at us in the way of two new Bib Gourmands. The dazzlingly good Sugar Boat in Helensburgh, clearly not in Glasgow, gets one but so too does, hurrah, Monadh Kitchen here in Bearsden. In the city’s actual suburbs.

So, not 48 hours after the thrilling announcement and having dashed through the Clyde Tunnel and up and over the Switchback we find ourselves burbling through autumn streets to check it out.

First impressions? Where is everyone? Has word has not yet penetrated this suburb of doctors and dentists, accountants and lawyers. Or is it simply Bearsden’s Cocoa Hour? Either way there was no need for me to book and then double book to beat the buzz.

In fact, on this Tuesday night it's so quiet in here we can not only have our pick of two-seater tables, but the waitress doesn’t demur when I suggest a four-seater table in that empty half of the restaurant would be even more commodious for us two fatties.

Bread is brought, freshly baked in-house, and brought again when it’s hungrily finished. An amuse bouche – and that means free in French – of a tiny, tangy vegetable soup with walnuts follows.

Meanwhile, we are stomping through the a la carte looking for the bling, the zing, the unusual thing that brought Le Guide here.

Hmm, Monadh Kitchen apparently does a spiky, sparkly-looking tasting menu at a very, very good price later in the week. But this isn’t later in the week. We find, however, a light version of what we were looking for in the market menu, and after a respectably short interval the veil is slowly lifted on what makes Le Bib Gourmand.

It goes like this: two courses for £18.95. Price being very important for Le Bib. Course number one. Ardunan Farm crispy chicken, carrot puree, pickled vegetables. Think of an upmarket croquette, crumbed and crackling to the cut, stuffed with moist, sweet, rich and pre-cooked chicken. Chicken being one of the few meats that actually improves with a second cooking. Effortlessly artful and tartly stimulating mushrooms on the side. A bright orange puree relaxing languidly nearby. This is thrifty, tasty, rich and comforting. Right up Le Guide’s street.

A plateful of hot smoked salmon, beetroot and horseradish creme fraiche may be straight out the Local Hero playbook but it, too, looks good, and is pleasant.

Course number two then. Bad-a-bing time. Wild mountain hare, mash, turnip and port glazed chicory. Not only does this sound like a song by The Corries – but it is bang on-point with the sourcing. The hare’s fillet comes in three perfectly seasoned, yes lightly salted, slices of seductively gamey tenderness while the rest of its meats are in a painstakingly prepared ball that bursts to reveal shredded unctuousness. Toss in a red wine sauce, a half-seared chicory, one of those mashes that’s been through the sieve 50 times and you get the picture.

Then it’s desserts. Monadh choc cranachan and a lemon curd tart, both looking like no more than clever things to do with whipped cream, both tasting much better than they look.

And the meal’s over. Flawless? No. Far too many blobs and squirts, jus and sauces obscure the really good stuff. But I’d still get there before the rush.

Monadh Kitchen

19 New Kirk Rd



0141 258 6420

Menu: One of Michelin’s two new Scottish Bib Gourmands, with wild hare, leaping salmon and interesting combinations. 4/5

Service: Quiet, comfortable and pleasant staff are on the top of their game. Quality all the way. 5/5

Atmosphere: A Tuesday night before the Michelin word gets out meant the restaurant was quiet and still. I imagine it will be pleasantly bursting at weekends. 3/5

Price: Two courses of well sourced, cleverly handled Scottish food for £18. Three for £23 makes it great value. 4/5

Food: Attention to detail, careful cooking, some interesting and unusual flavours, not least that wild mountain hare, make it worth a visit. 8/10