A quirky con­cept and great staff can’t mask the miss­ing in­gre­di­ent: flavour

The Herald Magazine - - ETC - AVO AVO GLAS­GOW

HOW would you rec­om­mend I eat this, I say to the man­ager­ess as an av­o­cado chicken burger ar­rives at the ta­ble and stares right up at me in all its im­pu­dently vir­u­lent green­ness. “Knife and fork,” comes the re­ply. So I whip them into action and im­me­di­ately, and I mean im­me­di­ately, things start to go se­ri­ously wrong. First there’s a bit of slith­er­ing then a sud­den shoot­ing apart that no amount of prod­ding and push­ing and bal­anc­ing will ever fix. So I don’t try.

It would be point­less any­way, con­sid­er­ing the burger con­sists of two slip­pery, slidey av­o­cado halves with a chicken fil­let be­tween them and some sesame seeds atop. Frankly? I eat one av­o­cado half slowly. Then I eat some chicken slowly. Then I eat the other av­o­cado half slowly. All the while think­ing, as you no doubt are think­ing too right now, why?

Why start a restau­rant serv­ing mainly av­o­cado? Why even eat av­o­cado? Why not choose turnip, which is ar­guably a far more Scot­tish thing. Or potato, which at least comes in count­less deeply flavoured va­ri­eties which we restau­rant go­ers haven’t even be­gun to ex­plore.

It turns out the an­swers to these ques­tions and many more are not on a post­card, but are ac­tu­ally writ­ten on the wall above my head. Or so the poor man­ager­ess, who by now has de­cided I am a bored po­lice­man from the cop shop across the road, says when I ask her. I can’t ac­tu­ally read any of it be­cause of where I am sit­ting and any­way I’m now try­ing av­o­cado fries. These are bread­crumbed wedges of av­o­cado, deep fried and served with, er, some sort of av­o­cado dip in a lit­tle pot.

Across the ta­ble my pal Lozza, who may be re­gret­ting sug­gest­ing I choose a restau­rant for lunch to­day, is pick­ing her way through av­o­cado mac ’n’ cheese. Fairly un­en­thu­si­as­ti­cally. Though the man­ager­ess, hav­ing taken one look at me and quite rightly con­cluded my body ain’t no tem­ple, has de­cided she is a far more likely fu­ture cus­tomer than old chubs here.

Of course we could have had av­o­cado with eggs, av­o­cado salad, av­o­cado soup, even; and we will have av­o­cado cheese cake to fin­ish – or at least I will. By then we will have learned that the av­o­cado is very pop­u­lar with all sorts of peo­ple, that this restau­rant idea came from a visit to Am­s­ter­dam, where the owners first dis­cov­ered the av­o­cado buzz – and I thought Am­s­ter­dam was buzzy for other rea­sons – and that even those cops from across the road are pop­ping in fairly reg­u­larly.

As are gym go­ers, and body builders, and mo­noun­sat­u­rated fatty-acidy types, the body builders be­ing par­tic­u­larly fond of the av­o­cado and steak strips op­tion.

I don’t fall into any of the above tar­get cus­tomer cat­e­gories so I’m just go­ing to tell you what the stuff tastes like. Though be­fore I do that I’m go­ing to say the man­ager­ess here is ex­tremely help­ful, cheery and keen to know what we think of the food in this new ven­ture, be­cause – and how of­ten do you hear this in restau­rants nowa­days – con­struc­tive crit­i­cism is ac­tu­ally more valu­able than bland com­pli­ments.

That burger, then. What do you think it tasted like? Two av­o­cado halves and some lean grilled chicken breast. The av­o­cado fries? They do kind of work as fries with a soft, gooey and slightly soapy tex­ture, but they needed sea­son­ing. Lots of it. I ac­tu­ally had to get up and ask for salt, which in a restau­rant like this is pretty much not

a good thing. As for the av­o­cado mac ’n’ cheese, it alone is tes­ta­ment to the fact the av­o­cado can blend – or is it bland? – into any back­ground. We couldn’t taste any.

I did like the cheese­cake. A lot. It was nicely moist though again there was no no­tice­able flavour of av­o­cado.

Still, if you are one of these peo­ple who has just made a res­o­lu­tion to be more care­ful about what you eat, Avo Avo will be right up your street. Oth­er­wise? Hey, it’s cer­tainly dif­fer­ent.

At Avo Avo you can have av­o­cado with eggs or salad, in a soup, bread­crumbed and deep-fried, as well as in a cheese cake

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