We were very kindly asked if we wanted to go along to the tasting menu evening at The Finnieston by their head chef John. How could we refuse?! The Finnieston has established itself as one of Glasgow’s best Fish restaurants since opening in 2011. We had never had the chance to pop along so this seemed like the perfect opportunity. NB: I have lost the pictures I took on the night due to a phone malfunction so all pictures posted are property of The Finneston.
The tasting menu comprised of 6 courses, all matched by wines from the very informative Franky Bradley from Alliance Wines. Being a seafood restaurant, the majority of course were seafood based with some twists thrown in here & there.
The two courses comprised of Tempura Oysters & Hand Dived Scallops. The Oyster was set on its shell with Jerusalem Artichoke puree accompanying it. The Oyster itself was very fresh & the batter was not too heavy making it an ideal starter for the menu. The artichoke puree also accompanied it well, providing a slight saltiness to the dish. The next course I was a bit apprehensive about as the scallops were served along with rhubarb pickle & an apple crisp. The apple I had no issue with but I do not like rhubarb at all. I have childhood memories of being served sour rhubarb & the taste haunts me to this day. I’m glad I did try the rhubarb as it was fantastic! It had been sweetened so none of the horrid sourness I associated with rhubarb lingered. The apple also added a freshness to the dish which had an all round lovely sweetness to it.
The next course was “Cock-a-leekie my way”, another dish I was a bit apprehensive about as I cannot stand barley. We were presented with a bowl filled with chicken, leeks, carrots & edible flowers. The waiter then brought over a small jug of broth which was then poured over the dish. All quite a bit Heston I thought! The dish was so full of flavour. The chicken was moist, the leeks perfectly cooked & the broth was so tasty. We ended up also eating the remaining broth after noticing we had been given soup spoons too!
I guess the next dish could be classed as the “main” as it was slightly larger than the others. It contained hake with pork belly, a mackerel croquette, braised fennel, purple sprouting broccoli & a butter sauce. Again each mouthful of this was a delight. The only part I did not really eat was the pork belly as I do not like the texture of it but I did pull a couple of slithers of pork from it & they were nice & smoky. Throughout the dinner we had each dish paired with a white wine & for this one, with the pork, we were given a red to taste. This was a milestone for me as I finally found a red wine that I actually enjoyed! I normally drink white only but the red we were given was so fruity & full of flavour rather than the dryness I would normally associated with red wine. Kudos to Mr Bradley for introducing me to it!
The final two courses were dessert based. Now I mentioned that one of the dishes seemed very Heston-esque, well that was nothing compared to the next course. We were given a basil-sugar doughnut with raspberry jam. The twist here being that the jam was in a syringe that we had to plunge into the doughnut to fill it with jam!
I really wish I had a picture of this as it was so cool. I have never seen anything like it before. The doughnut itself was fluffy & light – the basil sugar was a strange taste to get used to but it did work well with the jam.
The last dish we were given was probably my favourite dish (along with the cock-a-leekie) – vimto candyfloss pannacotta, popcorn sorbet, salted caramel fudge & honeycomb & popping candy crumb. Honestly, with every mouthful you got a different taste sensation. It was AMAZING! And one thing this dish did for me was restore my faith in that people do know what real fudge is meant to be like! I’ve eaten far too many pieces of fudge from Artisan producers that resembles tablet. This dish contained creamy, gooey fudge, just like it should be! To top off the night, we were all handed a candy floss lolly pop which was the icing on the cake for me.
The Finnieston do not have tasting nights very often, only 4 times a year in fact. This was our first experience of one & we will definitely be at another as the food & wine was so good. Definitely one of the best dining experiences I’ve ever had!