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2011
Delicious Magazine Recipe Feature Recipes published in Princes Trust Charity 'Trusty' Cookbook Guest panellist on UKTV Food's 'Market Kitchen' Recipes published in 'Come Dine With Me Special Occasions' book Blog named as a "Media Must-Have" in Jan & Feb issue of Olive Magazine

2010
Launch of Sabrina's one-to-one private cookery tuition Guest critic on Gordon Ramsay's 'F-Word' series finale Organised Top Chef Charity Banquet for Haiti raising £70,000 for 'Action Against Hunger' Seasonal Food & Recipe Writer for 'Blue Tomato'

2009
Winner of Channel 4's 'Come Dine With Me' (West London) 'Bronze' winner in professionally judged 'AA Home Cooking Competition 2009' Appointed resident cookery columnist for Foodepedia

Japanese Rice Risotto with Miso, Lemongrass and Scallops

Japanese Rice Risotto with Miso, Lemongrass and Scallops

Seasonal Penne Mediterraneo

Seasonal Penne Mediterraneo

Persian Split Pea, Dried Lime and Lamb Stew

Persian Split Pea, Dried Lime and Lamb Stew

Monday, 22 February 2010

VIVA GLAS VEGAS!

Glas Vegas or Glasgow as it's more commonly known, one of the major cities of Bonny Scotland... Birth place of Gordon Ramsay, home to Glasgow Rangers F.C. and not forgetting the legend of deep-fried Mars bars! "Deep fried Mars bars?... What the?" - Well forget the Lochness Monster, the deep fried Mars bars is a much bigger beast and I went to search for it. Sadly after grilling several locals as to where I may be able to locate a deep fried Mars bar, I was informed that "Nobody flamin' well eats deep fried Mars bars in Glasgow!" - However, deep fried pizza is game on, if you can stomach it? Quite frankly I would choose the Mars bar chocolate over a deep fried mock-pizza slice and so the search continues.
But silliness aside, I went in search of what culinary delights Glasgow had to offer and shockingly, I'm afraid to say that London has some stiff competition in the shape of high street eateries. First stop? 'The Restaurant - Bar + Grill' in Princes Square, Glasgow. Located in a mini shopping mall, on the top floor you will find a balcony brimming with restaurants. But this isn't your average shopping mall 'food court', this is a very stylish, carefully muralled interior housing what are essentially high street brand restaurants, such as Zizzi, but also the venue for my first meal in Glasgow.
The outdoor balcony area is teeming with diners, so we choose the slick interior dining room, with walnut wood-clad walls, bay windows and open kitchens. A plush banquette seat welcomes us and the attentive staff hover discreetly in the room. The menu is surprisingly good, with very little I wouldn't eat, which is a bonus. I choose a starter of roasted beetroot salad with a goats cheese on toasted bread, garnished with a handful of chicory and a few walnuts, absolutely delicious. My main course was less enjoyable, but perhaps my own error in choosing linguine with giant prawns, coriander and sweet chilli sauce. Yes, you are right, it doesn't sound great and to be fair, it wasn't awful, but there was too much going on although the prawns were wonderfully large and juicy, not like the horrible cheaper variety. My friend Aneta went with the risotto with smoked haddock topped with a poached egg, she, unalike myself, had inside knowledge on this place as she eats here regularly. However dessert proves to be the crowning glory in the form of a silky creme brulee dotted with an abundance of vanilla bean seeds and served with the most incredible shortbread biscuit I have ever had in my entire life. I do often wonder why creme brulee needs a biscuit accompaniment but in this case perhaps it was the shortbread that did not require a creme brulee. The biscuit was buttery, light and perfectly crumbly as every good shortbread should be. Hands down the best shortbread I have ever had in my life... Well, this is Scotland after all, home to the shortbread biscuit, so I wouldn't expect anything less!
Other recommended Glasgow foodie spots are 'Rogano' - famed for being "Glasgow's favourite restaurant" - specialising in Seafood and Scottish classics such as 'Cullen Skink', Haggis and 'Clootie dumplings'. If it's good enough for Rod Stewart, then it's definitely worth heading to. 'The Ubiquitous Chip' remains another of Glasgow's most well known restaurants also, although not quite a famous as it once used to be, but with so much competition in town, I can see why.
Lastly, if you are wondering what the 3rd of my 3 images is, wonder no more, for it is a traditional post-night-out feasting for Glasweigians, the likes of which can only be compared to our British (ill conceived) hankering for a doner kebab after a 'night out on the lash' - as we put it. "Chips and bloody cheese? I thought you were pulling my leg" I barked at my host. However, once i tear through it, it actually does have a certain appeal. It certainly satisfied a somewhat drunken hunger, although I would be slightly embarassed to admit that I followed a couple of bottles of pink champagne with a 'Cheesy-Chips-Chaser'. Nevermind.
There is more to discover in Glasgow and I have booked another ticket to head back there in April. This time I shall not return without having experienced the infamous legend that is a deep fried Mars bar. Until then, having departed the incredibly friendly and welcoming city of Glasgow, I am now back in rude, grumpy and thoroughly unfriendly London.... Ahhh, home sweet home.

6 comments:

  1. To my horror I came across deep fried mars bars in one of our Cornish fish and chip shops alongside deep fried bounties and such other delights. I could not actually bring myself to buy one.

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  2. I'm not surprised you were given 'short shrift' at the mention of the deep fried mars bar! I think most Scots would see that as an insult to our culinary heritage. Glad you enjoyed your visit to Glasgow, it is a very friendly city. Chips and cheese are not for me though, but wait till you see someone eat chips, cheese and gravy, gross!

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  3. Choclette! How are you honey? I would go for it! Nigella fried Bounty bars and i've had tempura dark truffles and they were yum, so it cant be that bad.

    Janice, i know you are right, but i asked so many people to show me the secrets of Glasgow culinary history and not one could tell me anything I didnt already know! That's the tragedy, not everyone is a foodie or a traditionalist. But I have to try one of those Mars bars, I don't really look at it as a Scottish creation to be honest as they are done elsewhere, but I have to try it! Do you have any foodie pearls of wisdom you could share with me? I would love to learn more!

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  4. Hi Sabrina,

    I was googling your name because i wanted to know if you won 'come dine with me'(i live in South Africa and we get the episodes after a few month) and i wasn't dissapointed. Very happy for you, when i saw the episode you entertained which was last night, i had a feeling you were going to be the winner. I was fuming every time i heard Amy's comments and the other blonde one. I guess after she saw who won, she literally ate her words!

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  5. I am so glad to find you're a blogger, now I can follow my favourite "Come dine with me" contestant. In South Africa, we are only on series 5 (As Anju said above) - and this week I "met" you. I must say I could never have invited those people into my house - even for £1000! After watching your meal, I couldn't wait until the end of the week to see if you could make Amy and Hugo eat their own sour words! Your graciousness when speaking about the others, put you way above their level. You remained a lady the whole way through, despite what was thrown at you.
    Thanks for the wonderful blog, I will keep following you, as you are my kind of cook and would gladly have you dine with me anytime!

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  6. Hi Anju and Rose&Thorn... What a lovely welcoming message! I feel like a mega star all of a sudden! Thank you for taking the time to say such lovely things to me, your support is greatly appreciated... It gives me the boost i need to keep on cooking & writing! So watch this space and hope you will keep reading my blog and check out my recipes at www.foodepedia.co.uk! Have a great weekend! PS - Would love to know more about Saffa food, apart from Bunny Chow and Bobotie! TEACH ME OH WISE ONES! What do you cook at home??? xxx

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