I did not realise that I haven’t posted for over a month until I sat down to write this. Apologies for the silence, things have been busy in the world of Get Stuffed with a new baking venture (more details once I get the blog updated – check out my facebook page for more details).
Anyway, back to The Pelican Cafe. We visited the restaurant recently as we had a 2 course with prosecco deal that was due to run out. The Pelican Cafe is in a strange location, directly across from Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum yet in-between the bustling restaurant & bar areas of Finnieston & Byres Rd. Definitely one of those “you wouldn’t know it was there unless you were looking for it” venues.
I was surprised to see the restaurant quite busy at 6pm on a Sunday given that is usually a quiet time between services on a Sunday. We were given a choice of tables & decided to sit next to the open kitchen as I quite like being able to see what the chefs are up to. The only stipulation of our deal was that we could not choose any of the fish main courses. I had had a peek of the menu before we went & had my heart set on a beef stew that contained brisket, ox cheek & a few other cuts. I was quite disappointed to see that was not on the menu. In this day & age, it does not take long to update a menu on the site so there’s no excuse really.
Our starters arrived – I opted for the goat’s cheese tartin with caramelised onion marmalade & Al went for the potted smoked salmon. The presentation of both dishes was lovely. The goats cheese was very fresh & there was a lot of it. Unfortunately, despite being advertised as having caramelised onion marmalade, there was literally a teaspoon of it on top of the tart. This made the dish slightly dry as it was mainly cheese & pastry. I was reluctant to try the potted salmon as I’d had potted shrimps years ago & it tasted of butter only. However, there was only a thin layer of butter on this portion & it was more like a salmon mousse underneath. Perfect on the large bits of bread provided.
We had around a 10-15 minute wait for our mains & during that time, the turnaround of tables was constant. Surprising for such a small restaurant in an unusual location – I estimate it holds around 30-50 covers. There were only 3 waiting staff who were constantly rushing around yet were attentive, noticing if you needed a drink before you had a chance to ask.
After the disappointment of the stew not being available, I opted for their “award winning” salsiccia & tomato cream lasagne. Now I absolutely love lasagne (no-one can touch my dad’s though!) but this was not a lasagne. What I received instead was basically lasagne sheets with some Italian sausage & bathed in what tasted like a jar of pasta sauce. There was no layering of cheese sauce, meat & pasta. But saying that, it was not unedible, just not what I & most people who like a good lasagne would expect. I would have advertised it more as a pasta bake. The large pieces of garlic sour dough bread that accompanied it were fantastic & I struggled to finish it.
The other main was The Pelican Cafe’s take on fish n chips which compromised of coley, sea bass & king prawns in a real ale batter. I tried one of the prawns & the batter was awful. It was so thick it was reminiscent of chicken balls you get at the chinese. Not the light, crispy beer batter you would associate with fish & chips. The one part about this I did like was the giant hand cut chips that accompanied it. They were very fresh & tasty but you literally needed 3 or 4 on the plate, they are that big!
I’d say The Pelican Cafe was a bit of a miss on this occasion due to the choices we made. Given the extensive menu, I’d not rule out returning & trying other dishes given the reasonable pricing of the menu.