MINI-ME, her good friend Belle and I decided to have a girlie day out at the Ideal Home Show in Glasgow. As they are thoroughly modern little ladies in the making, it’s agreed that we “do lunch” before indulging our passion for interiors. We have heard about The Scullery – winner of Scotland’s Best Newcomer award at the recent Scottish Entertainment and Hospitality Awards – and as it’s at Finnieston, just a few minutes’ drive from the SECC, this is a great opportunity to give it a try.
The Scullery was opened last year by former Ubiquitous Chip manager Kathleen Sheridan and her husband. Their experience in the industry is apparent from the word go. Set on a corner site, with a traditional canopy and windows on two sides, they have chosen a semi-industrial feel to the decor inside thanks to exposed brick and stone, wooden floors and the use of charcoal grey on the walls.
The atmosphere is welcoming, with a friendly café feel for the daytime – though I can see this effortlessly turning into relaxed dining in the evening. As well as the main seating area and bar, there is an overspill room which caters for an additional 18 diners, and a function room with private bar downstairs for up to 24.
We arrive shortly after midday just as the place is filling up quickly for lunch – it is a good mix of customers: students, mums and mums-to-be with babies, an older gentleman dining alone, and couples catching up while grabbing a quick lunch. This is a relaxed, sociable place. Our American waitress is bright, cheery and chatty but always on the ball.
There is a children’s menu with lots of tasty treats on offer, but my two nine-year-old dining companions decide to choose from the adult menu. Mini-Me, our soup fanatic, orders tomato and basil soup (£4.50) to start. It arrives in a large bowl set on a slate plate with a couple of big wedges of bread on the side. She agrees it is delicious, with a rich flavour and hearty chunks of tomato and fresh basil through it.
I order Cognac and chicken liver parfait with a redcurrant and pistachio jelly and oatcakes (£5.50). Belle decides to share this with me. The parfait comes in a ramekin dish, the redcurrant jelly is served in a shot glass with pistachios on top and five small oatcakes to the side. Exercising very good portion control, this is the perfect amount to start. The parfait is soft and flavourful, with the jelly adding that necessary fruitiness. The waitress happily brings us another five oatcakes for Belle to share.
The girls decide to put the chef to test on the “basics” from the “all day brunch” section of the day menu. Mini-Me – a bit of an egg connoisseur – goes for poached eggs and toast (£4) while Belle requests French toast with bacon (£6.50).
Mini-Me is happy – the two eggs have been poached traditionally (swirled in the pan) and boast a beautiful, vibrant, runny yellow yolk when burst. There is a healthy pile of toast and butter to accompany. Belle too is smiling. Two large, thick slices of French toast are soft, golden and smelling like lazy Sunday mornings, and the two sizeable rashers of bacon finish the dish off.
My beetroot, spinach and baked goat’s cheese crottin risotto (£10.25) arrives in a large bowl, with the wedge of cheese slowly melting over the rice, which has turned pink thanks to generous chunks of beetroot. Slithers of spinach are plentiful throughout the dish, which is soft and moist. The combination of flavours is lovely, with the cheese adding a bit of zing.
To finish, Mini-Me and Belle each choose a warm chocolate brownie with chocolate sauce, though they opt not to have the salted caramel ice-cream and hazelnut brittle (£5.75). Both clear their plates in minutes. The rhubarb and ginger crumble with vanilla ice-cream (£5.59) whets my appetite. The first mouthful finds the cheek-sucking rhubarb and spicy ginger fighting with each other, though the fresh, oaty crumble and ice-cream quickly calm things down again. This is a great combination and a lovely end to a meal that has certainly got the tastebuds working.
The Scullery is a welcome new addition to Glasgow’s café/restaurant scene. It is a warm environment with good service and an enticing, respectably priced menu – the bill came to £59.25. The Best Newcomer award is indeed well deserved. The girls and I agree we will come back for another visit – “doing lunch” seems to appeal to them.
Main courses £9-£23.95
Puddings £4-£6 (cheeseboard £7.50)