BY the time we’re popping choux pastry puffs into our mouths, setting liquid cheese a-oozing, and doing that fake news no-you-have-the last-one thing with pretty truffled brioche, it’s obvious that the national climate of fear has yet to dent the expensively decorated walls of Unalome.

I’m not saying it’s the last days of Saigon in here but there’s a hustle and a bustle, an excitable buzz, that’s frankly surprising.

Flat-out waiters zip up, give short and occasionally hard to follow speeches and then zip off again. As though they have other tables to be. Which they clearly do.

Freshly baked bread arrives, then those canapes. Drinks pour, diners chatter, the place spins at a giddy pace that belies the fact that if we’re following this week’s breathlessly incomprehensible government instructions we should all be at home right now hiding behind our couches.

To think we even had an email debate about whether to Covid pull-out from our annual long-lost Evening Times reporters' dinner.

Then I languidly wandered in here late tonight assuming it would be cancel-city, empty tables, vast open spaces and a sit-where-you-want vibe. Only to find myself squeezed into an awkward (for me) back-to-the-door leper seat, way behind in the who-is-still-with-us chat and already roundly out-voted by my chums on which bloody menu we’re taking. A la carte instead of tasting, since you ask. Groan.

Is this potential Michelin star vibe, I sulkily ask, as I consider one of those little plates of culinary jewels; perfectly cooked, sweetly seared scallops, clementine, hazelnut of all things, bouncing around the taste buds in a vibrant take on Scotland’s most ubiquitous seafood.

Uncle Albert across the table pauses to pass some try-this-langoustine, given the sort of revered treatment that elevates ingredients we wrongly think we already know so well; pepper and citrus fireworks go-off, fashionable gnudi float charmingly on hand to drag through a frothy lake surrounding it all.

“Shut up Sumo,” as I was once charmingly known, is basically the answer to my atmosphere question along with some pithy points about global staffing issues, spirit of the blitz and all that. More wine is ordered.

If you’re struggling to keep up here then Graeme Cheevers – a former Herald Mag chef no less – who we’ll be momentarily introduced to on the way out at that open kitchen near the door has had Michelin stars twice before and having opened this chic step-up sandstone palace on the edge of so fashionable Finnieston is widely expected to pick up one here.

Which would be giving Glasgow its second in a very short space of time after years and years in the wilderness.

So what? …well, Michelin stars, create Michelin kitchens, training brigades of youngsters who hopefully spin off to their own places dragging the whole culinary world from the very bottom up by the bootstraps. Hurrah. See Edinburgh.

Now, the cod. Ordered by my pescatarian pal from the BBC and myself. A wide wide white plate, a plump almost translucently white cylinder upon it, foams, spumes, squirty blobs paying tribute all around, crunchy textured crumbles atop, a single green leaf, some preserved lemon. Roasted cauliflower too.

Honestly? It’s both glorious and appetising. The fish parting perfectly, the flavours clean and light. Gibbo’s venison arrives as slabs of chocolate brown finishing, cutting to reveal raspberry pink, then a sweet meaty jus and a swoosh of pumpkin puree. While over there, the crisp sliced and glazed duck breast is dotted with sharp festively red berries, accompanied by toasted kale and a soothing Jerusalem artichoke puree.

Simply put: it’s food that says: look at me. Taste me.

A kitchen that says: we can cook. Yes, it’s £80 a head, that’s expensive and still a tenner cheaper than the multi-course taster menu but, at the end of the meal, after a round of deftly handled desserts, not one of us does not think it has been worth it. Or that this is not a place to be.


36 Kelvingrove Street


0141 501 0553

Menu: Langoustine, cod, crab, venison, trout and Inverurie lamb; a who’s who of the Scottish culinary landscape sprinkled with classically trained fairy dust. 5/5

Service: The only area in this relatively new restaurant where things are not quite right yet, staff excellent and charming but overall service a bit rushed for a Michelin star. 4/5

Atmosphere: Bustling, hustling on the night we were there. Undoubtedly felt like the place to be in Glasgow. 4/5

Price: The a la carte comes in at £80 for three courses, the taster is £90, but they are exquisitely prepared and plumped out with canapes and in-between course sensations. 4/5

Food: Delicate langoustine, scallops with clementine, the cod and cauliflower light, fresh and beautiful to look at. Very, very good cooking. 9/10