True story then: a reader sends an email saying he and his wife would love to wake up one Saturday morning and see a review of their current favourite restaurant in The Herald, which they still have hand delivered to their actual front door.

Wow. Can’t ignore that. I immediately save to the pile headed: Must Review Immediately. Then just as immediately? Forget about it. Forever. Usually. Except. No I don’t. Not this time Mr Ian Smith and wife (unnamed).

In fact, with the clock ticking down to not even 24, umm, days later, myself and pal Joe are hot-footing past the very restaurant, then heading further away from the very restaurant, then u-turning, and one-waying, then cursing sat-nav, then finally? Pulling up at the restaurant’s … is this the back door? Then re-reading the email which describes a hidden, as-in-see-below-for-directions, gem.

Ah. Let’s fast forward. Say 90 minutes. And the waiter - tall guy, very pleasant, blonde beard - has just watched two jaws drop simultaneously at his news that the dessert, apple pie since you ask, is £8.50. Phew, I say. In Jordanhill? Up some stairs? Facing a car park? £8.50? Really? Ice cream or no ice cream included.

And then it comes … actually … genuinely … surprisingly … it is a marvellous salty, sweet, crumbly, almond frangipane wrapped up in very-short short-crust pastry and yet packed full of apple. Fashionably runny Creme Anglaise too. “You should have seen the number of apples that went into that today,” the passing waiter nods as I concede defeat on the price.

Now. We’re in an attic, I think. On a Tuesday night. In July. Above some shops, I’m sure. Around us? A couple in that corner in shorts, it being summer remember, some ladies chatting over there, a foursome at that table by the window and at first plinky-plonky then increasingly frenetic (John Coltrane - Giant Steps) and ugh-to-me jazz from the sound system.

Honestly? I hate the edgy music. But it does lay an appropriately quirky suburban Curb Your Enthusiasm restaurant vibe over the whole evening. The menu is one of those padded poly pocket things that went out of fashion long ago, it has the name Market in it, which is also straight outta chain pub flavour-death land, but Mr Smith is certainly right about one thing. This food.

A slice of terrined confit duck was forked up between us from a speckled slate grey plate, juicy orange segments dazzling, occasional grunts of appreciation punctuating silence, as sharp pickled carrots, caramelly date puree squirts and triangles of herb croutons are encountered.

This is handsome food, I say as sizzling golden Spinach and Potato Fritters follow; comforting, satisfying, summery even; punchy oven-roasted, mouth-popping chickpea balls and tahini salad going off like fireworks.

Suddenly, we’re splitting an arancini ball stuffed with smoked haddock, dipped in a curried creme fraiche and chased with a still runny soft-boiled quail’s egg. And then just as seamlessly we flow into mains: Ox Cheek; a deep, dark mound of chocolatey, intensely rich meat, a puff pastry envelope stuffed with wild mushroom, aromatic truffled mashed potato, carrot puree, lapping juices then a crisp deep-fried slice of fennel and boom. Slickly seductive stuff.

Halibut for me. Pan-fried, brioche-crumb-dusted, prawn butter juices lapping the edges, crispy Parma Ham to shatter, actual prawns littered here and there. Capers cutting across, though maybe not quite enough, that rich buttery sauce. Ding-dong though. We’ve sashayed between dishes ordered from the a la carte section of the menu, from Today’s Specials that are not-written-down but described by the waiter, and even lifted one dish, those fritters, from the finished-a-long-time-before-we-arrived market menu.

Nice of them to offer to do that. At times it’s seemed scarily pricey for the suburbs, at times it’s seemed fabulously put together on the plate. Overall, it’s well worth a trip. As we’ll instruct the paper boy to report to Mr Smith.


1A Ashwood Gardens



Tel: 0141-959-9666

Hours: Closed Monday


Menu: The food looks much, much better than it sounds; deft touches, skilled chefs, big flavours and interesting combos. 4/4

Service: Very pleasant and helpful waiter, even offered to ask the kitchen to fire up for some fritters when I spotted them on an out-of-time menu. 5/5

Price: Two courses from the Market Menu are £22, but that seems to end at 6pm; otherwise it’s boldly priced throughout with mains easily breaching £20.  2/5

Atmosphere: Quirky little upstairs, rear-entered, atticy restaurant overlooking the Crow Road that’s nonetheless comfortable. 4/5

Food: Surprisingly high standard of cooking and presentation, interesting combinations, kedgeree arancini and that deep, dark Ox cheek stick outs of the night. 8/10

Total: 23/20