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
9/10
Food
9/10
Total
0%
March 26, 2024

Unalome by Graeme Cheevers, Glasgow, restaurant review - we visit the venue that kept its Michelin Star for 2024

This Finnieston venue opened in 2021

“What does Unalome mean?” my husband asked, when we visited this place.

“Guess”.

Some kind of bipedal sea creature? An Italian supermarket chain? Nope, it’s the Buddhist word for enlightenment.

It’s somewhere beyond nirvana, go straight ahead, do not pass ohm. If you get to those higher echelons, you might even bag a Michelin Star.

This three-year-old restaurant – where the chef patron, Grame Cheevers, is formerly of Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond, and Etain, among other places – recently retained its award for 2024. You’ll see it on the wall, as you head up this townhouse’s stone staircase.

For a relatively new restaurant, it’s not trendy. Instead, think old school comfort, with a cheese trolley and crumb scrapers for the linen tablecloths, though they do have the ubiquitous open kitchen.

I’d been meaning to visit for ages. Then, while in Glasgow and swithering over tacos or burgers for lunch, I thought, let’s do something special. I’m worth it. Especially since this venue offers a seasonal three-course lunch, which is £55pp. Otherwise, there’s a six course tasting menu for £135pp, or the a la carte at £100pp for three courses.

We didn’t feel hard done by, going for the cheap seats, once we had our canapes.

There were clams, served in abalone shells on a bed of cockles, and with dashi jelly and wasabi creme fraiche. They were a fresh and zingy Hokusai wave in food form. We were also presented with two tiny tarts, each of which resembled a piece of intricate Faberge jewellery, with a beetroot dome in the middle and dots of foie gras. Then we popped a pair of creamily centred Mull Cheddar gougeres.

We had these with a round of strong cocktails. My Ginger Snap (£14) was a mouth-coating milky drink, with Auchentoshan American Oak, ginger, vanilla, Frangelico, pineapple juice and egg white. It was topped with a fine biscuit that was so crunchy, I’m sure they could hear my sonic boom munching at the other end of the restaurant.

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I know my other half was enjoying the Burnt Marmalade Margarita (£14) - Union Mezcal, orange marmalade, burnt sugar and lime - since he was already making plans to recreate it at home.

There are two of each course to choose from, and we went for both starters.

The green garlic and pink fir potato veloute was the fur stole of soups - or cappuccinos, as the server called it. It was comforting, and luxurious, with a single Iberico ham stuffed morel floating on the top, like a lost beanie on the Clyde. I mopped it up with the slices of sourdough that had been provided.

Their vegetarian option of barbecued leek featured lots of interesting nibbly bits, like a potato croquette, a sharp dressing, various fronds, sorrel, asparagus, and a vibrant leek emulsion,

My main course was so lovely that I tried to eat it mindfully, without galumphing down every bite as if it was my last supper. There was a poached piece of free range chicken, plus a wholesome and earthy mushroom spaetzle, pieces of white asparagus, and a scarlet elf cap mushroom, which looked like an exotic butterfly that had landed on my plate.

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We also tried the fillet of John Dory. It consisted of two large lozenges of pale fish, plus saffron potatoes, braised violet artichoke that was draped with fennel fronds, three dinky tomatoes with their skin blanched off, braised fennel, and an intensely bisque-like saffron and red mullet sauce. Plus, for a bouillabaisse vibe, this came with croutons, as fine as veils, and a rocher of spiced saffron rouille.

And the meal didn’t sag with pudding.

I had the Michel Cluizel milk chocolate cremeaux. If I was less sophisticated, I’d compare this dessert to a Snickers bar, with its peanut parfait middle and peanut tuile. The passionfruit caramel and tropical sorbet elements lifted the general sugary-ness.

There was also a forced Yorkshire rhubarb pudding. It was something for those who like fresh over sweet, with a set yoghurt and rhubarb compote, basil sauce, Champagne gel and rhubarb parfait.

I think we felt pretty enlightened after that.

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Maybe not in the Buddhist sense, but I know where to come the next time I’m in Glasgow.

36 Kelvingrove Street, Finnieston, Glasgow, UK
36 Kelvingrove Street, Finnieston, Glasgow, UK, G3 7RZ
0141 501 0553
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.
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
9/10
Drinks
9/10
Food
9/10
Service
9/10
Value
9/10
Total
0%
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