Colin Campbell and Jake Martell worked together at The Hug and Pint pub and then introduced Hen of the Woods menus at Glad Cafe before joining forces as business partners for Sylvan, bringing a constantly rotating selection of vegetarian and vegan to Glasgow's West End. The daily menu can be enjoyed with a selection of 80 natural or low intervention wines. It's proven to be a winning combination.

"The style of food here is really down to Jake who is vegetarian himself and still cooks with things like eggs, cheese and butter in some dishes" Colin explains. "We both came from a bar background but we quickly realised that the food would be the focus and Sylvan would be a restaurant. It lends itself to a calmer environment, service is more orchestrated and it's become just a nice people to come and spend some time."

They found the ideal location on Woodlands Road: "The other day we were walking around the area, my friend was up visiting, I hadn't done that for ages and I was thinking about how beautiful it is, there's greenery and some really old trees, the road turns into University Avenue and Gibson Street. There's Park Circus up the hill and then we have a lot of students around us."


Colin says there's an existing openness to restaurants that don't serve meat in Glasgow allowing Sylvan to establish a reputation based on the quality of the food, "the feedback we get is quite often people saying this is their favourite place but they are not vegetarian. I think it is great to have this opportunity to show Jake's talent in the kitchen to everyone."

Popular dishes include the simple fresh flavours of a chopped salad: "it's one of our greatest hits, colourful and impressive. Smoked tomatoes with chilli brown butter and yoghurt is another staple.

"It's Glasgow, so any dish with potatoes will prove to be popular. We are bringing in more winter dishes with Jerusalem artichoke and other seasonal ingredients. Look out for baked pears on fried bread with a luxurious stilton custard."