Tra­di­tional Scot­tish Thrifty, tasty, rich and com­fort­ing – new Bib win­ner hits the mark

The Herald Magazine - - etc RON MACKENNA EATING OUT - MONADH KITCHEN BEARS­DEN

BOOM. What the Miche­lin Guide giveth, the Miche­lin Guide taketh away. Just like that. And so Scotland woke up only the other day to the news we now have three Miche­lin-starred restau­rants fewer than last year; a cause of much wail­ing.

Al­though not from me and my chum Gor­don, who, liv­ing in Glas­gow, are not much used to hav­ing Miche­lin-starred restau­rants any­where near us any­way.

In fact we haven’t had a sin­gle star in this city since Gor­don Ram­say’s Amaryl­lis curled up and died back in the day when I was a boy. And that wasn’t yes­ter­day.

Not to worry, the great guide’s in­spec­tors have tossed some al­most-but-not-quite-as-shiny baubles at us in the way of two new Bib Gour­mands. The daz­zlingly good Su­gar Boat in He­lens­burgh, clearly not in Glas­gow, gets one but so too does – hur­rah! – Monadh Kitchen here in Bears­den, in the city’s ac­tual sub­urbs.

So, not 48 hours af­ter the thrilling an­nounce­ment and hav­ing dashed through the Clyde Tun­nel and up and over the Switch­back, we find our­selves bur­bling through au­tumn streets to check it out.

First im­pres­sions? Where is ev­ery­one? Has word not yet pen­e­trated this sub­urb of doc­tors and den­tists, ac­coun­tants and lawyers? Or is it sim­ply Bears­den’s co­coa hour? Ei­ther way, there was no need for me to book and then dou­ble book to beat

In fact, on this Tues­day night it’s so quiet in here that not only can we have our pick of two-seater ta­bles, but the wait­ress doesn’t de­mur when I sug­gest a four-seater ta­ble in that empty half of the restau­rant would be even more com­modi­ous for us two fat­ties.

Bread is brought, freshly baked in-house, and brought again when it’s hun­grily fin­ished. An amuse bouche – and that means free in French – of a tiny, tangy veg­etable soup with wal­nuts fol­lows. Mean­while, we are stomp­ing through the a la carte look­ing for the bling, the zing, the un­usual thing that brought Le Guide here. Hmm, Monadh Kitchen ap­par­ently does a spiky,

It goes like this: two cour­ses for £18.95 (price be­ing very im­por­tant for Le Bib). Course num­ber one. Ar­dunan Farm crispy chicken, car­rot puree, pick­led veg­eta­bles. Think of an up­mar­ket cro­quette, crumbed and crack­ling to the cut, stuffed with moist, sweet, rich and pre­cooked chicken – chicken be­ing one of the few meats that ac­tu­ally im­proves with a se­cond cook­ing. Ef­fort­lessly art­ful

PHO­TO­GRAPH: COLIN MEARNS

Monadh Kitchen’s wild moun­tain hare, mash, turnip and port glazed chicory was ‘bada-bing time’ for Ron

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