They’ve got tables at Bar Brett, along the windows there, on the mezzanine above, but why would you?

Sit instead, like me, up at the counter watching the show unfold in that open kitchen, mere inches away, an altar in chrome and shiny stainless steel. Magnificent slabs of steak forked on the gas-charcoal grill, smoke rising, flames crackling, plates being plated, juicy aromas going barrelling by, oui-chefs pinging to and fro, it’s an eat-o-rama-plus.

This is the kitchen of The Bear come to life surely, I think.

“Bring the pan to the pot, not the pot to the pan," I will hear (many times) as the boss chef exhorts his troops to keep it clean - sometimes in a sing-song voice.

“Priorities guys, priorities,” announced while he tests the temperature of meat with a skewer pressed onto the bottom lip.

An interior of BrettAn interior of Brett (Image: free)

“When you are emulsifying you swirl,” directed at one of two chefs who I’m guessing may be a stage, or trainee, those that quietly fuel the world of many Michelin-touched restaurants.

And my favourite: “Apologies for my lack of communication, guys,” said after 20 minutes during which I don’t think the man stopped talking or moving even once. Lol.

It’s great fun to just sit here, on, it’s got to be admitted, the world’s worst designed bar stool, and let it all wash around as I eat. Appetised by seeing my food being shoogled and tipped, spooned and seasoned ‘taste guys, taste” then carried round to me.

First up: Smoked beetroot, puffy, poppy, pumpkin seeds, a thick unctuous pumpkin seed sauce in a green straight from a Farrow and Ball catalogue.

Nice, I think, the sharp, wobbly blackberries on top slicing in some freshness, but not conversation stopping.

Now Onion and Asparagus, barbecued over there, sweet little Roscoff onions, a white onion veloute and from inside crisp, crunchy breadcrumbs an egg bursts, sending runny yolk spreading and mingling with the flavours.

Seasoned, yes, just a dusting of salt but brilliantly. Fifteen pound supplement this on the £28 for two courses set menu. Ooft.

So far, though pretty entertaining, but as yet no heather has been set alight. For that we need the duck.

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Just a simple duck leg, confit’d probably, but turned and teased and twisted on that grill until the skin has blistered and caramelised, the meat inside melted and yet it’s so juicy.

It comes with a mound of vibrant peas, broad beans, peppered duck sauce, tossed in that pan with Strawberry Boshi, that salty sweet fermented sauce, sort of a Japanese sourness kick. It needs nothing else. Delicious.

Now, I’ve been to Bar Brett before and during my occasional momentary chats with the boss chef tonight - “how are you tonight, sir” - I’ve realised this is the same Brett as four years ago, but somehow not the same.

Different menu, different ethos (more fine dining), higher standard, better, more awesome kitchen, taken, I learn lock, stock and smoking char-grill from the parent restaurant Cail Bruich, a bit further up Great Western Road.

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Intrigued: I head off set-menu to the alla carte for Clams and Chicken Wings (£17) - a starter - which arrives as a large bowlful; the wings boned and seared, the clams (surf-clams), juicy and tangy and in a lake of Scotch Bonnet Hot Sauce made with smoked chicken emulsion. This too is a show stopper, though the sauce IMHO needs seasoning.

There’s a momentary heart-stopping moment when I ask the passing waitress if I can have salt and pepper. The sort of request that drives some cooks crazy, it annoyed the life out of my Nonna when I did it once anyway, but they are brought without adverse comment.

Some bread is advised with that, sir, I was told when the dish was first placed on the counter before me, the only bit of upselling I’ll hear tonight and a justified one. The sauce is fiery but also rich and I use many hunks of sourdough to wipe the plate clean.

This is just food-you-want-to-eat. And in a place that tonight I want to be. Great stuff.

Brett in the west end of GlasgowBrett in the west end of Glasgow (Image: free)


321 Great Western Road



Menu: Chicken wings and surf clams in Scotch Bonnet Sauce, Beetroot and Blackberry, Duck and Broad Beans; interesting stuff. 4/5

Service: I sat at the counter facing the open kitchen and enjoyed the very professional cheffy show, nice, hard-working guys too 5/5

Atmosphere: This is their secret sauce; great buzz from that kitchen, low ceilinged intimate feel, with a view onto Great Western Road. Liked it. 5/5

Price: I ordered no sides, a mistake which does make the meal seem pretty light. Not cheap but high quality. Starters £12 to £17, mains £23 to £38, two course set: £28. 3/5

Food: This meal was enhanced by the atmosphere and vibe. The chicken wings and surf clams were a stand-out and the simple duck and beans almost perfect. 8/10

Total: 25/30