Review – Gusto

When news came about that Grill On The Corner’s sister restaurant Gusto was opening in Glasgow, I have to admit, it didn’t excite me in the slightest. This was primarily due to another chain coming to Glasgow, which we’ve seen enough of in the past year! I was asked to go for dinner to review the restaurant a few days after it opened & figured I’d go & see if they could open my eyes.

Whilst Grill On The Corner is all about the steak, Gusto focusses on Italian dishes, with a wide range of pizza & pasta dishes on offer. First glance at the menu & I was pleasantly surprised at the wide range of healthier options in the form of salads & fish dishes. This was music to my ears as I’m currently watching what I eat, even though I’d kill for a big pizza most days!!

I really enjoyed the decor of the restaurant, with its large globe lights & crackled effect walls. It gave the restaurant a 1920s feel to it, without trying hard. This was further enhanced with the water jug & candle holders on the table. The staff were all dressed immaculately in black waistcoats & ties. This gave the restaurant a high end feel to it but the atmosphere is anything but pretentious like you may expect. Instead, the waiting staff are all happy to chat away to you & ensure you’re having a good time.

decor

For starter, I could not resist ordering the salmon tartare whilst A opted for the deep fried salt cod ravioli (which I had my eye on as well). The salmon tartare was neatly stacked, with a quails egg & creme fraiche accompanying it. The creme fraiche went really well with it, adding a bit of moisture to it. In all honesty, I didn’t know why the quails egg was on the dish. It didn’t add anything to it & it feels like it was just there to pad out the dish, which was required as the salmon was so fresh. With every mouthful, I wanted more. I could have easily eaten another portion of it, it was that good! I tried a bit of the salt cod ravioli & it was crispy on the outside with flaky cod on the inside. A commented that there wasn’t much of a salty taste to it which was expected given the dish’s description.

starter

After looking at the menu, I had my heart set of the seared tuna steak for dinner. It’s a dish I really enjoy & just can’t get it right at home so wasn’t going to turn down an opportunity to have it made properly. However, as it was ordered, the waitress informed me that it had disappeared from her tablet screen, indicating that the last one had been ordered. Although I was really impressed at the technology they were using, I couldn’t help but be disappointed that the tuna wasn’t available. On the waitress’ recommendation I opted for the salt baked seabass instead.

fish

When the mains came, the seabass was a spectacle. It arrived in a large platter, absolutely covered in salt & was prepped by the waiter before being placed on my dish. I chose to have a side of green beans & shallots with my fish. The fish itself was cooked perfectly, with slightly crispy skin & tender, flaky flesh. As the waiter scrapes off most of the salt, there wasn’t much left on the fish at all. The side dish was also a hit, with buttery crunchy green beans & soft grilled shallots. Very moreish! The pasta dish that A ordered I wasn’t too keen on after a taste. It was tagiatelle with prawn & garlic in a sweet chilli tomato sauce. For me, the sauce was too sweet giving it an almost chinese takeaway type taste to it. A, however, enjoyed it, commenting that the only issue for him was that the pasta was a bit soft.

pasta

Gusto’s dessert menu is one of the few that I could actually pick quite a few dishes off it. I think I must be getting a sweet tooth in my old age! The highlight being the nutella & marscapone calzone – who could resist that?! Unfortunately, I had to due to watching what I’m eating. Instead, I chose the strawberry & passion fruit mess whilst A went for the sticky toffee pudding. Alas, it was not to be as I was informed by the waitress that the fruit mess was not available. It was the third strike for us as one of the house beers wasn’t available when A tried to order it. It was quite disappointing given the restaurant had only been open a few days & it’s a chain so they should know what to expect. Either way it was probably a blessing in disguise for me as I was actually quite stuffed from what I had eaten! Naturally I stole a bite of the sticky toffee pudding. The sponge was melt in the mouth soft, with a sweet toffee sauce. I was surprised A didn’t lick the plate in the end!

pudding

Although it was clear that there were some teething problems with Gusto, it did not detract the fact that the dishes we’d eaten had been of a high standard & really delicious. Having seen other diners eating the pizzas, I know we’ll definitely be back so I can have one! Given the recent influx of burger & steak oriented restaurants in Glasgow, it’s nice to have a breath of fresh air being introduced into the Glasgow restaurant scene.

Disclaimer: We were given this meal for free & all views are of my own with no influence from the restaurant or their PR company. The PR company has also asked me to share the restaurant’s twitter account, which you can access at @gustoglasgow

 

The Tea Rooms @ Butterfly & Pig

I recently visited the Tea Rooms as The Butterfly & The Pig for my mum’s birthday. It was actually the second time in the past few months I had been there for afternoon tea as I’d been in July for my hen party. Now I know what you’re probably thinking, “Afternoon Tea? Is that not just tiny finger sandwiches & scones?”. If you think that, then get yourself down to the Tea Rooms & you’ll be blown away by their afternoon tea!

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The Tea Rooms are upstairs to the actual Butterfly & Pig bar/restaurant. As soon as you enter the building, you’re greeted with a vintage desk adorned with lots of vintage bits of bric a brac. It sets you up nicely for the whole vibe of the place. The Tea Rooms themselves seat around 20-30 covers, giving it a nice cosy feel. There decor is tastefully vintage, with lots of nice touches. I especially liked the shelf containing a collection of various teapots. Quite fitting! We were seated at one of the windows, which had a bench & 2 seats opposite. The only problem with this was that we were right next to the cake cabinet – so many amazing delights on display!

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We had the normal afternoon tea which contains unlimited tea, sandwiches, cakes & scones for £12.50pp. If you want to have a glass of bubbles as well, it is an extra £4pp. Compared with other venues that offer afternoon tea, £12.50 is around average, if not a bit cheaper than most venues given that you get unlimited tea. When ordering the afternoon tea, your waiter will ask you if anyone has any dietary requirements & they will bring a custom afternoon tea to fit your needs.

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Now down to the main attraction! The afternoon tea itself is HUGE! I’ll work my way down from the top (yes there is that much!). On the top tier, there are salmon bilinis accompanied with a pot of pickled cucumber. A very Swedish touch to the afternoon tea. The pickled cucumber was a hit for our table. Something about it made it very moreish!

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The second tier is where the main attraction is – CAKE! Each person gets half a scone with cream & jam on it & there are an assortment of cupcakes & slices of cake. Our cakes included cherry scones, banana & walnut bread & peanut butter & jelly cupcakes. I will say, if you do not like any particular types of cake, say to your waiter. I was the only one our of our party who likes peanut butter so 3 of our cupcakes went to waste which was a shame. Back to the scones, yes half a scone does not sound like much but these scones are the size of a saucer which more than make up for not having a full scone.

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The final tier contains a selection of sandwiches & salted crisps. Now having been to various afternoon teas in the past, I have had some pretty awful sandwiches. Ones that are no thicker than your finger & containing fillings like cucumber & cream cheese that no-one would eat on a normal day! These sandwiches are pretty big, with around 3-4 per person, per stand. The fillings are also pretty tasty with our sandwiches including tuna mayo & onion, ham & pickle, chicken & bacon mayo & beef with grain mustard. Altogether, the afternoon tea is a lot to handle but if you’re hungry, then it’s the perfect alternative to the normal lunch. If there is some leftover, the staff will also be more than happy to put some in a doggy bag.

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Overall, the afternoon tea at the Tea Rooms was a big hit & I find it hard for any other afternoon tea in Glasgow to live up to it. One part I would change is to have the jam & cream served separately to prevent any disappointment for those who prefer their scones with cream & jam vs jam & cream (it’s a big deal don’t you know)!

A Foodie Heaven!

We’re back! After a long absence (almost 7 months!!), Get Stuffed is back! Apologies for the hiatus but our wedding took precedence & with the strict diet I was on, it would’ve been posts rambling about how much I was missing pasta, cakes, bread, alcohol etc!

We’ve also joined the world of Facebook so please give the page a wee like over there: https://www.facebook.com/getstuffedfoodie

A fitting first post back is about my visit to the BBC Good Food Show at the SECC yesterday. Oh my, what a foodie heaven that place was! Both my sister & I are big fans of cooking shows & always wanted to go along to the show. This year, we finally were able to have the time (and pennies) to go along.

Before going to the show, we’d decided to go along to see James Martin in the Super Theatre but when we arrived that show was sold out 😦 Instead we opted to go & see Tom Kitchin of The Kitchin in Edinburgh. Quite fitting actually, going to see a local chef at a local show.

We had a good couple of hours to kill before the show, which I thought would be more than enough time to see all the stalls – it was only enough time to get around most of the show!! There honestly was something for everyone – from cheese to cookies to gin (a lot of gin merchants!) to kitchen gadgets. Everywhere you turned, there were queues for various stalls & lots of tasters & freebies being handed out. What more could you ask for?!

We made our way around the stalls in our agreed on path – there wasn’t much logic to it! I could go on about each stall we visited but there were too many to mention! A few that stood out for me were:

St Andrews Brewing Co – A one man brewery based in St Andrews

St Andrew's Brewing Co.  St Andrew's Brewing Co.

Dough It Yourself – They have the St idea of selling cookie mixes in jars that just need an egg & butter added. Wish I’d thought of it first!

Hebridean Sea Salt – Regular, Peat Smoked & Seaweed rock salt from the Isle of Lewis. They had run out of peat smoked by the time I got round to them but you need to try it to understand how amazing it is!

Secret Sausages – They look like sausages but are in fact veggies stuffed in veggie casing. Genious!

A shout out does have to go the The Barnados Big Bake Off for the coolest cake of the day:

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Finally 3pm came around, much quicker than I thought it would, so we went off to the Super Theatre to see Tom Kitchin in action. He made 2 dishes – pumpkin soup served in little pumpkins & (I can’t remember the name) mackerel & orange dish. Both looked pretty tasty & I have to admit I will be attempting a pumpkin soup in the next week.

Of course I couldn’t attend the show without picking up a few goodies:

– Black Bean Sauce, Szechuan Chilli Oil & Hot Salt & Pepper spice from Kwan’s Kitchen (had the black bean tonight & it’s soooo tasty!)

– Cairn O’Mhor Cider (Ok I’ll admit they’re a regular at my local farmers market but the cider is pretty good)

– Cute Cupcake cases from Simply Vintage Designs

– Le Mesurier Hollandaise Sauce

– Funkin Cocktail Mixer (normally I would steer clear of pre-made mixers but these were really fresh)

– And of course how could I resist some Border’s Dark Ginger Biscuits!