Restaurant at the Burrell Collection


LET me put you in the picture here: I’m in the Burrell Collection. Newly unveiled after a gazillion pound refurbishment and reroofing that took so long you would think the council actually did it themselves.

Hurrah anyway. It’s finally open. All now is glitter and fabulous cultural gold. Obviously, I’ve remained appropriately slack-jawed throughout the tour. Of the shop certainly.

Now, I’m sitting at Table No 33 in the restaurant gazing fixedly through a wall of glass at the genuinely priceless bucolic splendour of Pollok Park.

Stopped right beside me on their way out, almost edging into my lap in fact, are two elderly tourists who having hooked an NHS walking stick on the edge of my table – hello I’m about to eat from that – are now taking off and putting on the whole Karrimor Kagoul back-catalogue in an electrifying storm of static and rustling.

If they even see me, say four inches away, they betray absolutely no sign of it. Have they, I wonder, assumed I’m Exhibit No 33: stale, white, pale, whale circa 2022 (alabaster, lard).

Or were that to be written in the new controversial yet undoubtedly super-inclusive exhibit description style of a Burrell Curator; goo-goo, ga-ga; man (plump; extinct).

Suddenly, anyway, my food zooms up on a tray. Stops. A waiter eyeballs me. Checks out the otherwise empty table. Says nothing. Turns and walks away again.

Taking my food with him.

I’m like, sigh, arms half-raised, eyes following my lunch reverse-ferretting swiftly to that giant serving counter modelled, deliberately perhaps, in the style of an Airport Security desk – (post-pandemic circa 2022). Remember, folks: no need to remove belt and shoes before joining this queue.

There, I presume, the conversation is going like this. Hey, there’s only one geezer at that table, but there’s more than one plate of food on this tray. Heads go together. Paperwork is examined. The food eventually returns. Is deposited. No meaningful words exchanged.

Out there birds twitter, in here visitors happily chatter, dishes gently clatter and all once again is well with the world.

Now, are you thinking the remodelling of a global treasure like The Burrell has provided the opportunity to do what many other museums have recently done and open an exciting, say cutting edge, possibly even fine dining – gasp – independent restaurant befitting the surroundings?

Think again. It hasn’t. This is run by some giant corporate blandorama entity; looks like Baxter-Storey from a quick internet search.

But we won’t hold that against the council. The Burrell Collection after all, even in the 21st century, remains magnificently free to visit and bills have to be paid.

And you know what? Okay, there are no menus on the tables, or apparently anywhere, the system is all super-impersonal, but the counters are laden attractively with scones and bakes. They’re even offering grown up food.

And, yes, someone has resisted the temptation to implement tourist rip-off pricing. I am actually taken aback not just at the size of the plates – are these pizza platters by the way – but the fact they are completely filled.

A Chicken Caesar (£10) is laden with substantial pieces of marinated (slightly) breast meat, sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan, hunky croutons and fresh cos lettuce. Okay, it’s not culinary rocket science, but it’s clean, crisp and fine. I make it three boiled egg halves, ooft, adorning the tuna Nicoise mountain; all fresh rocket, more of those sun-dried tomatoes, capers, marinated red onion and, chunky-monkey potato halves.

At first, I think, hmm, this is going to be pretty tasteless but actually every inch of its gargantuan slopes are dressed properly in lemon and olive oil.

Yes, the Pad Thai arrives too in similar value proportions and looks the business though, if I was Baxter-Storey or whoever, I wouldn’t be boasting about the house spiced peanut sauce. It’s bland. Skin-on fries at £3.50, soup at a fiver. Crikey, it’s all keenly priced and undoubted value. Who would of thought it?

Restaurant at the Burrell Collection

Pollok Park


Menu: Gargantuan Tuna Nicoise, Chicken Caesars, flatbreads, burgers – amongst the usual scone and soup o-rama. Nothing cutting edge but perfectly okay. 3/5

Service: Table numbers needed for counter ordering, staff deliver on trays. It’s all vast, impersonal. On a quiet Wednesday it kind of worked. 3/5

Price: Nothing unusual about a Nicoise or Caesar Salad or haggis bites, but it is fresh, competently prepared and served in vast portions. 5/5

Atmosphere: The Burrell still has a kind of magic and the restaurant still has that glass-house view of the greenery on a mid-week afternoon. 4/5

Food: They could have tried something innovative or independent, instead they have gone for simple, easy assemble, big portions. Fresh and good value. 6/10