Scotsman Review
Our criteria 
  • Ambience - It's important that a restaurant is inviting. We rate the decor, comfort and atmosphere.
  • Drink - Is the wine or cocktail list as exciting as the food, or does it fall short? Same goes for soft drinks. 
  • Food - We judge dishes on flavour, but also use of produce, cooking skill and presentation
  • Service - The staff and pace of a meal can make or break a meal out.
  • Value - From the food on the plate to service and surroundings, we check that you get what you're paying for.
Ambiance
7/10
Food
7/10
Total
0%
April 14, 2024

33 Ashton Lane, Glasgow, review - Irish tapas in stylish new restaurant in the west end

This newly opened restaurant offers diners a taste of Ireland. Rosalind Erskine headed along for a comforting Sunday dinner.

These days small plates and sharing options are in vogue, followed closely by tasting menus of multiple courses.

A new restaurant that champions the former is 33 Ashton Lane, located above the long-standing Jinty McGinty’s on its namesake lane - the fairy lit, cobbled street that’s been at the heart of hospitality in Glasgow’s west end for years.

33 Ashton Lane Glasgow review

33 Ashton Lane is home to an Irish tapas menu, yes Irish tapas. It’s the brainchild of industry stalwart Phil Kilpatrick who has recently explained: “Jinty McGuinty’s is one of my favourite bars and I always wanted a food option when I was drinking in there.

"I’ve known Jinty for years and I suggested to her that I take the place on. It had been lying dormant for five years and I thought it offered real potential. I also really wanted to bring something new to Ashton Lane – the real food of Ireland and modern Irish cooking. There are small plates and some bigger plates, all made with great quality ingredients, so people can pick and match whatever they want.”

Once home to the Wee Curry Shop, 33 Ashton Lane is a compact space that’s had a modern revamp into a light, airy and stylish space with a white a and green colour palette with gold accents.

There’s comfortable booth seating and lovely artwork depicting locations in Ireland. We booked for a Sunday night dinner in early April, a few weeks after the restaurant opened. It’s quiet, but it’s the Easter holidays and the day of a big football match in Glasgow. 

The menu is as compact as the restaurant, with small plates, large plates and sides. It features Irish comfort food such as coddle (often a stew of leftovers such as sausages and bacon, I assume it’s a bit like stovies), though here they’ve made it vegan, steak and Guinness pie and chowder.

While here I sent an Irish colleague a picture of the menu, which she’s intrigued by as, she said,  it’s not often you find these classic dishes on a restaurant menu. 

33 Ashton Lane Glasgow review

It wouldn’t be tapas without a drink so we go for a non alcoholic beer and an Irish whiskey and soda before deciding to share three small plates - boxty (£6); cocktail sausages (£8.50) and crispy crubeens (£6.50).

The boxty - a crispy boxty fritter served with sour cream and chive dip - is essentially like a giant chip, made with layers of super crisp potato. It’s crunchy with the right amount of fluffiness inside and goes well with the creamy sauce.

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The cocktail sausages are deep fried and came with a homemade apple chutney. These are delightful mouthfuls, and it’s a generous portion. There’s a richness here from the batter, but the chutney cuts through this.

Finally the crubeens, which are three circular breaded ham hock fritters served with sauerkraut and wholegrain mustard creme fraiche. These are crisp and salty, but not too much, with the classic combo of ham and mustard. 

For mains we decided to share the eye-catching Irish Poutine. A take on the Canadian dish of french fries and cheese curds topped with a gravy, 33 Ashton Lane’s offering is fried potato with Irish cheddar, caramelised onions, crispy bacon, spring onions, herbs and Jamieson gravy.

The baby potatoes were perfectly crispy on the outside, and layered in the circular dish, topped with the intense, delicious gravy, onions and plenty of cheese.

We mopped up any excess gravy with sweet and moreish Guinness treacle bread (and Kerrygold butter). There’s no dessert menu, but that’s fine as we were stuffed from all the fried carbs.

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All in all we had quite a beige and potato-heavy meal but it was total comfort food, and tasted good. This may not be fine dining, but it’s not trying to be. Set up to be somewhere to get a bite to eat from the pub below, the offering is perfect.

I can see myself starting a night out with friends here, or popping in after a day out. It’d also be ideal hangover food. I’m looking forward to bringing my colleague to get her seal of approval on the modern take on these Irish classics. What an interesting new addition to the small plates phenomenon.

33 Ashton Lane is taking part in Glasgow Restaurant Week, which runs from now until 18 April. At 33 Ashton Lane, which is one of 50 eateries in the city taking part, you can enjoy one large plate and one small plate for £15.

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33 Ashton Lane, Hillhead, Glasgow, UK
33 Ashton Lane, Hillhead, Glasgow, UK, G12 8SJ
Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
Scotsman Review
Our criteria 
  • Ambience - It's important that a restaurant is inviting. We rate the decor, comfort and atmosphere.
  • Drink - Is the wine or cocktail list as exciting as the food, or does it fall short? Same goes for soft drinks. 
  • Food - We judge dishes on flavour, but also use of produce, cooking skill and presentation
  • Service - The staff and pace of a meal can make or break a meal out.
  • Value - From the food on the plate to service and surroundings, we check that you get what you're paying for.
Ambiance
7/10
Drinks
6/10
Food
7/10
Service
7/10
Value
8/10
Total
0%
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