The Fish People Cafe, Glasgow. WOW.

 

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So there we were through at Scothot sloping around having a look at all new innovations in the catering world at the SECC Glasgow tasting ice creams, olives, talking recycling, talking till systems, bouncing on chairs, nibbling lovely snacks after a few hours our legs were considerably shorter and we were in dire need of a major face stuffing. Yup lunch was looming. Naturally we couldn’t get into the only restaurant at Scothot so I recalled a friend of mine Kirsteen recently raving about a great new place to go.  I texted her. The Fish People Café it’s called she said it is right next to Shields Road Tube station and there is parking right next door. We found it on Scotland Street in the least likely place you can imagine.

The Fish People Café is a literal oasis amidst a busy industrial landscape. Right next door to the fish shop, their fish shop, which you can see is a busy buzzing business with white aproned , welly booted men, But as promised there it stood as if it had landed from another planet. out, really light, modern, warm with tinkling jazz, a very cool bar and a few folk finishing off as we scooted in about 2pm on a Tuesday.

 

Lunch a 2 course option for £10 was exceptional value but as were on a day out from our fellow restaurant in Edinburgh we went off plan to the a la carte.


Boy oh boy.

 

We ordered up fresh homemade bread and butter, anchovies in oil and a few olives whilst we ogled the menu. Wow. Could have ordered anything. But seafood won out.

Prawn cocktail.

Oysters

 

Mussels with chorizo

 

Superlative, fresh, plump, delicious, fill in your own favourite adjective here – it will fit this food. Yumola.

Main courses.

Hand dived Scallops 6 ginormous of the juicy, plumpacious delights with a pile of fresh salad leaves with the most delicious fresh dressing with a spritz of lime. Of course we had a side order of chips – hand cut and fried to perfection. A side salad with yet another fresh and unique dressing.
J, one of our number ordered up a baby poussin and chips and S a whole Tandooried seabass. Be still my beating heart.  At this point no more food pics because frankly I was far too excited and enjoying it too much!

Its not often you get 5 foodies round a table who just grinned at each other.We were in the presence of genius.

Location. Idea. Presentation. The unexpected brilliance of this tucked away wee gem.

I had to leave a scallop and a half I was so full. I do not have a small appetite but honestly I did.  The others didn’t hold back and swooped them up so this Aberdonian could rest easy.

Then came the option of sweet.  Could we? Should we? Well we couldn’t and we definitely shouldn’t but we did. Same words of description and joy apply. Mmmmmmmn.

To top off our top foodie delighst our waiter was a charming smiley guy – ‘How long have you been open?’

“ 5 months. In fact this time 5 months ago I was a fishmonger – there” he said pointing next door” but when I heard about the restaurant I thought aye,  I’ll go and work there it’s warmer.”

He’s found his calling. So has the chef. So have I to sit there regularly and wonder at the freshest most delicious fish in town.

 

The Fish People Cafe.

Shields Road Subway Station
350 Scotland Street
Glasgow
G5 8QF.

Tel 0141 429 8787

Open all day from mid-day til 9 week days, 10 weekends and 4 on a Sunday.  Now…..over to you….but you better book because this place will be the hottest ticket in town.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Go West to Loch Melfort and don’t spare the horses.

 

I stand accused and guilty of exaggerating. I do. SO what I am about to write is the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me dog.

Melfort House – B&B? Bloomin’ luxury!

 

I wrote about my Mum’s 80th – now being a party animal myself I assumed she would want a big rip snorting whizz bang of a do. I had visions of gathering friends from all over the place, hiding them in a dark room until the unsuspecting Pat was taken in at which point they would all leap from their allotted places shouting HAPPY BIRTHDAY and the fun would begin.

This of course is my idea of heaven.

Her idea of hell.

I organised a surprise birthday party for her 70th.

The biggest surprise  that she got wind of it and went to Ireland.

Still we went ahead and had a hell of a good do. The only thing missing was the birthday girl and my dad who were in Clifden, Connemarra.

 

A Jazz band, barbeque and  all day frenzy ensued. We had snoggers on the lawn by 3pm, a woman left her husband after meeting someone she thought was the man of her dreams – he was as a matter of fact the stuff of nightmares she later found out –  the local hairdresser got thrown out for insulting everyone and still the band played on.

So this time it was her call.

What would you like to do?

Go to Loch Melfort. To Melfort House that lovely B&B we stayed in last year was the answer and you can’t argue with that.  So instructions issued. We were off.

 

20 minutes south of Oban you see a turn off for Kilmelford to the right and off you go. A wonderful wee road undulates along the loch side past a few houses but the main challenge is to keep on the road as your eye is inevitably drawn to the array of boats, yachts and sail boats bobbing in the water and the backdrop of the islands beyond. Not 5 minutes later the sign to Melfort House guides you up a tree lined drive and you get your first glimpse of  the house. Built originally in south facing overlooking the loch with wonderful  mature gardens all around. The door flew opne and out came Yvonne & Matthew Anderson, our hosts.

Ushered in and offered afternoon tea and homemade scones and jam we exhaled after our journey taking in the breathtaking views of the loch and gardens. Total peace. Shown to our rooms.They have 3.

Mum was the birthday girl so she got the loch suite a room with a bed bigger than my first flat.

Polytunnel from where all the homemade veg goodies come straight to the plate.

 

David and I got the hill room which was also a sumptuous delight.

After unpacking the sun was still a shining so we walked  over to the nearby Shower of Herring for supper. Which David insisted in calling the Flock of Sparrows. The chef is a real character and had put on canapés when he heard a fellow restaurateur was heading over to eat.

Scallops, duck and no room for pud we had a great time. A couple of bottles of house white and teenwolf, actually sitting at table, speaking and doing impersonations of some of his teachers at school had us in stitches. Tomorrow David’s birthday. Yup the day before the big one.  Gird your loins tomorrow is another day.

The bitch is back – and it’s not me.

So quiet. So peaceful. So scared to run, jump and shout. Yup the long and winding road of recovery continues. And so to cheer a person up what do you do? Well eat lovely food obviously.
Saturday with my dear Mum we shuffled into Rose Street and dodged the 1000’s of Kiwi’s in town for the Rugby International and dived into The Mussel Inn.
£7.50 for lunch? What? Yes. A bowl of fish chowder or a bowl o mussels, chips or salad, bread and butter and a glass of wine, a bottle of beer or a soft drink. The cockles of my heart were well warmed. The place was hoaching and no wonder. Fast smiley service and tasty delicious food. The business.

Just as well it put me in a good mood because next step was Frasers to return a dress I bought for a big job I had to duck out of last week.. 3rd floor I approached the desk to be met with a snarl. Hello I said full of fish chowder and bon homie – I am taking this dress back, unworn. The scowl darkened and the thin lipped mouth snapped. Receipt? ‘I don’t have it’ I said ‘but it has the label on, I bought it a few days ago and I have never worn it’. Nope said the grumpy one, not taking it back without a receipt.
So many things were on my lips. Top 3 were.
1.When are you getting your refund from the charm school?
2.Are you sure the service industry is for you?
3.I see you are still using your personality as contraceptive.
4.Back off bitch.
But being mature I gave her a huge fake smile, said thank you you have been so helpful, as I stuffed the dress back in the bag and stomped off at speed.
The second floor at Frasers is populated by smiley, lovely people by the time you get to the third floor the weather changes to damp dreich and frankly terrifying. Beware.

You will notice I am not mentioning the rugby.

Ondine – Seafood and Eat it now.

 
Ondine the restaurant not the new Colin Farrell film.

If you love seafood you will love Ondine.  Adjacent to Edinburgh’s Missoni Hotel on George IV Bridge, proprietor and chef Roy Brett opened this little gem in September 2009.  Roy  already had a huge reputation as Rick Steins right hand man and he was the man at the helm of the award winning  Restaurant at Dakota. So now he  is doing it for himself and how.  This man is passionate about his food and  boy does it show! Starters included scallops the size of golf balls, caramalised and served in the shell each with a mini individual chorizo sausage nuzzling up to it. LSH had  Tempura chilli squid in a batter so light it was melt in the mouth.

Main courses. Well the seafood platter caused a sensation when it was produced from the kitchen. Sometimes words don’t cut it. Just have a look at this!

Did you see the guy with the specs, Neil, pinching the young ladies chips when she was temporarily distratced. Huh!  Anyway,  you can see the banquet of crustaceans we pawed at, cracked open, sucked and swallowed. One bloke,  a strapping farmer from Dingwall,was allergic to fish.

Not a farmer and not from Dingwall.

  The special of the day? Roast rib of beef from Inverurie. Carnivores and fish fiends alike this is sustainable, traceable food of a quality that makes this a must go restaurant. Take your mother, brother, lover, husband, wife, friends, pick up a stranger,  sit at the seafood bar for a snack on your tod or spend hours indulging for a special occasion but whatever you do, do yourself a favour.

GO 

Ondine Restaurant, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh.       0131 226 1888

Proprietor Roy Brett.