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Shucks, Glasgow, review - we try the seafood diet at Cail Bruich's new sister restaurant

This seafood bar has opened in Hyndland

Published: June 11, 2022
Categories:
Food: 
8.5/10
Ambience: 
8.5/10

I’m cursed, when it comes to social planning.

The best laid ones never work.

In contrast, if I’m flying by the seat of my pants, things usually turn out alright.

Thus, I havered over booking my table at this new seafood restaurant, which is owned by the team behind Glasgow’s Michelin-starred Cail Bruich, Epicures and Brett.

Lots of venues - quite rightly - have recently introduced no-show charges, and will hold your credit card, in case you don’t turn up or can’t make it after all.

This place is £35 per person if you cancel with less than 48 hours notice.

I was certain that, as soon as I stuck my moth-eaten debit details in there, something bad would happen.

I’d be patient zero with the first case of squirrelpox, the train tracks would melt, I’d go on a roller-coaster and a screw would come loose, or a crow would peck me on the head - again - except this time it’d lobotomise me.

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It is how my life works, after all. Thus, I crossed my fingers and left it until the same day, which was fine, as there was plenty of space.

Surprising, as this excellently-named restaurant is one of Glasgow’s hottest new openings.

It’s rather lovely inside, with a smallish bar downstairs and a smart mezzanine level, where you can see their coppery fish scale wall art.

There’s a Champagne trolley too, so you can imagine you’re on Concorde.

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We did the obligatory “oohing” and “aahing” over the Ruinart and Dom Perignon, after the maitre d’ wheeled them over, like they were bonnie babies in a pram, but we’d already looked at the menu and made our decisions.

I went for the special cocktail, Last Word (£10). It was jade-coloured, ice-cold, werscht and magnificent, with Cail Bruich’s own gin that’s been made in collaboration with the Garden Shed Gin Drinks Co, chartreuse, lime and a single maraschino cherry, which had sunk to the bottom of the martini glass.

My husband opted for a reviving glass of the Gustave Lorentz Creamant D’Alsace Brut - NV (£9).

The starters are divided into Snacks; Raw, Cured and Smoked, or Shellfish, all with seafood that’s sourced from John Vallance at Glasgow Fish Market.

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The snack of tater tots (£9.75) was a low rent foodstuff gone fancy. There was a dish of these deep-fried and hot potato pellets, all covered in a Spongebob-hued thatch of grated Sardinian pecorino and, on the side, was a caviar tin that was full of a tangy salty mixture of herring roe and creme fraiche.

Once you popped, you could not stop.

The raw ceviche-ish kingfish dish (£13) was light and bright, in contrast to the feral tater tots. This plate looked beautiful, with petals of white fish and marbled swirls of fermented green tomato, vinegar and citrus, plus micro coriander and soy roasted pumpkin seeds that tasted like Marmite.

We sooked the bowl clean, like catfish on the side of a tank.

The main courses include fish and chips, halibut, or their take on surf and turf with Iberico pork and scallop.

However, I went for the Peterhead coley (£19) - a compact and meaty block of fish, which came with just a couple of firm and bouncy orange mussels, a few struts of charred asparagus and an Arbroath Smokie cream. It was buttery and rich, like Douglas, the Lurpack Man, after winning the lottery.

From the On the Bone section, we’d also ordered the half Shetland plaice (£25), and they’d given us the head end, which must surely be luckier than a tail. It was a massive portion, and each mouthful, especially the cheeks, was downy and perfect, like eating oceanic candyfloss.

We had asked the waitress if we’d need chips on the side, and were very happy that she hadn’t up-sold us. There was enough protein to fuel a marathon.

This came with an orange and caper brown butter, as well as a mixture of fennel, smoked olives, capers and orange wedges.

There were just a couple of puddings, and the Valrhona chocolate with Blackthorn Sea Salt, caramel and blueberries (£8) had our name on it.

Unfortunately, we thought we’d be smartypants, and head across to Epicures - their sister restaurant - for pudding. I haven’t visited this all-day hang-out yet, and wanted to see what was in store. Only carrot cake, brownies and pastries, it turns out, none of which we were in the market for.

Bad decision. We should’ve stuck it out at Shucks.

Maybe that crow was trying to tell me something.

168 Hyndland Road

Glasgow

(0141 473 0080, www.shucksglasgow.com)

plaice
kingfish

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Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

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