111 by Modou


OKAY, so the pilot lights will go out in restaurant kitchens all over central Scotland just after we eat here and a dusting of poignancy is already upon this meal before I even write it up.

I will hear too that when The Herald photographer first arrives he will call in vain at doors that seem shuttered and to a kitchen that seems tumbled into a very deep and very enforced sleep.

Appropriate, then, that his potentially last supper (masks on and tables vacated by 10pm, folks) is pretty much a 21-gun culinary salute with flavours defiantly a-whizzing, textures a-popping, and random fizzes of fun everywhere.

And all delivered in a breathless style with the buzz and high drama of a staff who know they work somewhere that – overnight Government intervention aside – is booked out for months to come.

At one point I’ll be eating a fried duck egg with a – sit down for this – Cacio e Pepe Espuma, some crisp and no doubt aged Parma ham, draped with pea shoots and tasting as good as an eggy cheesy concoction with a posh name should taste.

Later still there will be a perfectly pinked rectangle of venison, a filo pastry cigar piped with a truffled cream and a layered potato and venison boulangere that would have out-seduced everything else on this night were it not for the deep, dark intensely flavoured venison ragout.

Neil, Fiona, Debs and myself won’t so much ooh and ahh our way through the tasting menu as simply agree; it’s all pretty damn good.

Roscoff onion is the first bit of food on the table, after what is possibly too long a wait from first sitting down, caramelised onion ragout, parmesan foam and a moist onion cake.

Like most of the courses it’s an almost ephemeral sensation, a couple of mouthfuls, big on potency, attention-grabbing without being shouty.

Across the table sweet shreds of crab meat are being enjoyed as Gibbo as I move onto refreshing slivers of fresh green apple, shavings of Crapaudine beetroot, a fruity consomme, nuggets of pickled walnut and a cream cheese to pull it all together.

A chicken ragu comes and goes, little brown shrimp then bounce into the spotlight demanding to be sweetly praised, tiny fillets of pigeon are enjoyed, and yet when the waiting staff suggest we have pause for a cheese course (£5 supplement) it’s hands up all round – as this meal is served on a micro scale.

There’s some unintentional comic relief when the small square of Shropshire Blue turns out to be almost exactly the same size as those plastic-wrapped snack portions they sell in supermarkets. This one is on parade with a pumpkin cake, candied fruit and a sweet, sticky and deliciously tangy chutney that we all like.

Why though, I’ll ask at one point, do they price this meal at only £30 for the whole five-course tasting menu, when people would surely pay much, much more and, frankly, maybe we would get a bit more?

And why do they do that slightly dated and silly thing on the menu where they don’t tell you at all what it is you are going to be eating, delivering a kitschy trust-us spiel instead, and then make the poor staff parrot through a long list of ingredients at every single course. When folks just want to get on and eat and when also the descriptions emanating from behind masks for the hundredth time are competing with background restaurant noise and therefore pretty much incomprehensible.

I’ll ask the waitress if I can see a menu with details – I did the same in Cail Bruich a week ago and got one instantly – but am told something along the lines of that would spoil the magic.

Sigh. How very Barry Manilow.

Less Barry and more Phantom is the dessert of olive oil ice cream: jelly, a hard tack biscuit and a crumb of weirdly salty sweet black olive.

Challenging. Yet memorable. Bit like the whole meal.

111 by Modou

111 Clevedeen Road



Menu: Five-course tasting menu with three choices in each course and slightly gushy and dated style of no-menu-descriptions making it a leap in the dark but it’s still fun, showy, technically advanced and packed with good stuff. 4/5

Price: It’s £30 for five courses with the odd reasonably priced supplement here and there. Undoubtedly a huge bargain price-wise. They could easily charge more and maybe even serve a little more. 5/5

Service: Otherwise pleasant waiting staff have to parrot food descriptions x 3 for every course. Hard to make out, everyone wants to eat anyway, takes too long, but not their fault. 4/5

Atmosphere: Cosy little place in a row of shops in Glasgow’s west end, kitchen behind us, plenty of atmosphere. 4/5

Food: Modou can cook extremely well with great technique and an extremely high skill level, particularly liked the venison, but not a single course without impact. 8/10