TRUE story: I’m paying for lunch in Cail Bruich the other day and, by way of witty chit-chat, I say to Chris the maitre’d: where’s next to get a gong?

Michelin-starred restaurants in Glasgow surely being like buses and all that. Ho,ho ho.

Without a moment’s hesitation, he points straight through a wall, right over Gilmore Hill and as his finger swoops down upon lairy Finnieston he says: Unalome.

Eh, I think, flick-flacking through my phone.

Una Paloma Blanca, Una Stubbs, but Unalome? That’s not even opened yet. Or has it?

Fast forward less than a week and Greggo and I have bounded up some Victorian tenement steps, chit-chatted with another waistcoated maitre’d, and I’m firmly gripping a cucumber meringue with smoked salmon mousse lest it float away and smite one of Glasgow’s beautiful people who are breathlessly arriving in scented clouds right as we speak.

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By the time a cheese and white onion choux bun has been popped into my mouth and I’ve been pleasantly startled by the tang of an itsy-bitsy super-pretty broad bean and feta tart, I’ve got the answer to the question I’ve just asked our masked waiter.

“First ever serving was lunch today,” he says.

Now, while I try to convince my tiny brain that seaweed custard isn’t a dish from the pages of The Beano, not when served with Loch Fyne crab, black truffle and finger lime, no siree, you’re probably wondering this: how did that fat food critic get a table on the opening day of Glasgow’s hottest new restaurant in the space of a single week?

Answer; power, influence. I flicked a single plump finger and they instantly threw some sucker out just to make space for moi? Er, no. None of that exists, even in my fantasies.

I booked it on my phone on the internet on an app while sitting at Cail Bruich. I was able to do so because Nicola’s no-booze edict was still emptying restaurants. Hurrah, er, sorry boo.

When that’s combined with traffic wardens chasing people off, city fathers apparently presiding over the most idiotic combo of road closures, crackpot bus lanes, and endless, pointless and chaotic road works, it’s a wonder there’s any businesses left in Glasgow. Never mind brave new ones.

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To Orkney scallops, then. Seared til sugary-caramelised, stacked upon June-fresh peas amid lux lavender butter, pale ribbons of pork fat cunningly folded in for double-dose-umami, baby.

And on to course No 3: slivers of John Dory, poached in butter for a sea-fresh yet sea-deep flavour and giving them a double-take silvery sheen, a frothy acidy Vin Jaune sauce and a conversation-stopping mash that sticks two fingers up at the Masterchef trend of turning all potatoes into glue.

Phew, we sat down at 5.33pm on the dot at a booth right beside a gloriously expensive and expansive kitchen in steel, chrome and marbled blacks where a battalion of young chefs in pristine whites all click-clacked into battle formation as head chef Graeme Cheevers, a former Herald Magazine chef, a skinny marshall in skinny jeans, took up the baton and began to conduct a silent ballet without even a single one of these fashionable “oui, chefs” piercing the air.

When the Michelin inspectors come, and they will as Cheevers has previously held Michelin stars elsewhere and they never forget their own, walking in here will be like coming home. It’s all rich colours, an understated yet opulent cleanliness.

And on the plate? Exactly the same. Roast fillets of roe deer, chocolatey browned exteriors, crimson tender interiors vie with raspberry sharpness, a beetroot trimmed with sweet mathematical precision, bitter seared endive and all lapped at warmly with a peppery Cambodian Kampot sauce.

Then, strawberries glazed with lemon verbena, strawberry cream, pistachio ice cream transformed from the frankly ho-hum by the secretion of some crumbly, biscuity voodoo substance underneath making it both refreshing yet deeply satisfying.

Unalome then? Get a table while you can. There’s gonna be a rush.


36 Kelvingrove Street


0141 501 0553/unalomebygc.com

Menu: Butter poached John Dory, white onion choux puffs, roast roe deer. We’re in potential Michelin star territory, with one of Scotland’s finest chefs. 4/5

Service: A masked and therefore muted yet warm maitre d’, an open kitchen, loads of slick staff. This was apparently Day 1 so it would be good. I suspect it will continue to be. 5/5

Price: We had the tasting menu of six courses plus canapes and those little hand-made chocolates to finish for £70. Expensive but not for this standard. 4/5

Atmosphere: A walk-up, as the Americans call them, first floor restaurant. Very comfortable and bristling with Michelin-class design cues. Love the open kitchen theatre. 5/5

Food: Loch Fyne crab with seafood custard and sweet, seafoody moistness a left-field triumph. Roe deer and scallops flawless. Supremely professional. 8/10