For our last meal out of 2012, we decided to go somewhere we hadn’t been before. As I had the choice, I opted for Central Market, a recently opened restaurant in the Merchant City of Glasgow.
We went along & were seated upstairs in the balcony area which I was quite happy with as you could see everything that was going on. It isn’t the largest of restaurants but they can easily accommodate large parties as a table of around 12 with children were next to us. A couple of nice touches Central Market has is to have their oysters on display at the front of the bar, proving that they are fresh & also having a relatively open plan kitchen, allowing you to see exactly where your food is coming from. The toilets are unisex which is quite unusual! Another mention is that a pint of Bierra Moretti is only £4, much cheaper than Italian restaurants in the city – this was a big tick for Al.
Central Market’s menu can’t really be describe as run of the mill. They offer a lot of brunch items, with a range of sandwiches for lunchtime. Their main menu has the usual items such as terrine, mussels, steak & burgers but they also offer more unusual items like sardines, steak tartare & pork shoulder steak. Part of the reason for choosing the Central Market was that they served oysters & I had been wanting them since The Grill On The Corner had run out the night we were in. For starters we opted for 6 Oysters & Sardines to share and for mains I went for the Spatchcock Poussain & Al went for the 6oz Burger.
We managed to get the last portion of sardines available & I have to say I wasn’t too sure about them when they arrived as they came whole which meant fish bones!! I have to admit, my first thoughts were soon set aside after tucking into them. They were excellent! The meat fell off the bones & any bones that were left over were big enough for you to notice them. The sardines came with a lime & chorizo oil which really complimented the fish. The lime was a good contrast. We soon tucked into the oysters which came with 3 accompaniments – tabasco (yay!), soy sauce & a red onion viniagrette type sauce. I tried all 3 & they all went very well, with only the red onion one maybe being a bit too tart for my liking.
There wasn’t a long wait between our starter & main. The spatchcock poussain was delicious! I don’t know what seasoning they had put on the chicken skin but it was slightly crunchy with a salty taste to it, really nice. It was accompanied by roast anya potatoes & a sprout salad. It tasted a bit like coleslaw as it was quite creamy but it went really well with the spatchcock & I wish they had a deli section so I could go & get a tub of it to take home!! Neither myself or Al are big tomato fans so when I noticed him tucking into the burger without taking the tomato out I asked him if he’d forgotten. He pointed to the bottom of the burger where the tomato was mushed up & he said it actually didn’t taste like a tomato, it was more of a smokey flavour. I had a taste of the burger & to me it tasted a bit like a hot dog! Not that it was unpleasant, just a bit different from the usual strong beef flavour you would expect. The french fries were also nice & crispy & not overly pre-salted.
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our first visit to Central Market. I’ve since recommended it to a few people & intend on going back to try Steak Tartare for the first time!