Traditional Scottish Thrifty, tasty, rich and comforting – new Bib winner hits the mark
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
Monadh Kitchen’s wild mountain hare, mash, turnip and port glazed chicory was ‘bada-bing time’ for Ron