Cut Fish, Bothwell - Ron Mackenna's restaurant review

IT’S a Monday night in Bothwell, the wind huffs, the traffic puffs and the rain gloomily threatens. Nothing you may think could be further from fat food critic restaurant reviewing glamour.

But you’d be wrong.

Right now, I can't get across the street and up into that enticingly glowing crystal box that is Cut Fish because it’s like a traffic jam in Marbella out here.

First, a McLaren, then Range Rover after Range Rover and now a bright red Ferrari is holding me up.

Is this the locals heading home from a hard day at the office or did somebody on Sunset Boulevard foolishly press the “avoid congestion ahead” button on Google Maps?

Whatever, it’s all building that anticipation. So I positively bounce into the low-slung, low-lit restaurant interior only to get a rather cold non-welcome – can’t find the booking name even though the booker is already sitting at our table – before going onto pass kiddie-winkles eating grilled lobster, (seriously), young things drinking cocktails (well, two of them) and it’s just turned 6pm.

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I remember suddenly that in one of this restaurant’s previous lives top footballers, including Celtic and Barcelona’s Henrik Larsson, ate here. And lived near. They may still do.

An opening glance suggests no footballers in tonight but the glamour surely lives on in this big and glossy menu: aren’t these Marbella prices? Twenty Eight Pounds for a Posh Fish Supper. Crikey.

Anyway, I greet my old mate Joe in the traditional way by moaning about why he let them put us at this small table: against a wall, not at the window and between two passageways – when this huge place is otherwise pretty much empty.

Now, it’s nothing particularly to do with Cut Fish but the day has not yet arrived when I will pay £28 for a half lobster of unspecified size and weight, or even £32 for an unspecified 8oz fillet steak. And so we end up asking about that fish supper for £28.

Somehow, in the description that follows, I’m so dazzled by its wondrous promise – salmon, scallops, er, peas – that I won’t notice the menu also carries that immortal line from the 1970s “please ask your server for today’s catch”.

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Sadly, I will therefore never know what kind of fish turns up. But it’s a Monday, remember, so where could it have been caught?

Before this arrives, though, we’ve ordered Crab Rarebit and Katsu Curry from the more reasonably priced, though unadventurous, Market Menu – £16 for two courses. Supplements may apply.

Crispy Fried Monkfish, too, from the Small Plates section at £9. The monkfish is fine, the batter indeed crisp, on one side certainly. They’ve let themselves down with the watery citrus mayo, the small portion of slaw and by leaving far too much vacant space on the small serving plate.

Ah, but here comes the Crab Rarebit. This is a genuine conversation stopper. Leaving Joe and I staring – momentarily speechless – at a plate with what looks like burnt toast hosting alarmingly pale crab that has been absolutely nowhere near a very hot grill.

“That does not look good,” says Joe eventually and accurately. If the glamour is oozing away from the evening by now it will be running out the door by the time the Katsu Prawn Curry, eventually, and it is eventually, turns up.

It’s cold, possibly sitting out somewhere during that very long gap between courses, and is sent back.

“Just put it in the microwave,” I will hear myself saying to the waitress. To avoid any more delays. And that’s what they do.

As for that Posh Fish Supper? Hmm. A pretty fresh tasting, very medium sized, white fish fillet in panko breadcrumbs, some completely generic chips in the now-obligatory stand-up dish, a bowl of tartare, a bowl of peas, smoked salmon arranged in a fiddly leaf shape, an okay-dokey scallop. And no cuddly toy.

I’m thinking smoke and mirrors. I’m thinking this does not float my boat. Any of it.

Cut Fish, 2 Silverwells Crescent, Bothwell, 01698 852722

Menu: It’s all about the fish, though not in a very adventurous, original or exciting way. Posh fish suppers, monkfish, salmon. 3/5

Atmosphere: It’s had its days of glamour and may well have them still on a weekend night, but on a Monday evening it was a bit big and empty feeling. 3/5 Service: Kitchen clearly slowed the service down for some courses, but overall formulaic, unengaging if still managing the basics. 2/5

Price: Market menu two courses £16, al la carte has a couple of token £16 dishes but most way into the expensive mid 20s. 2/5

Food: Monday night kitchen blues maybe, but really too much fried food, too many generic sides, Crab Rarebit hopeless, Posh Fish Supper not very posh. 5/10