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.