When you live in a city, its very easy to become a creature of habit, especially with your eating habits. This is one of the reasons I love writing a food blog…it pushes me to make more of an effort to try new places and new dishes. However, there are always certain places, and indeed certain dishes that keep pulling me back in.
I find I get a lot of people messaging me saying they’re coming to Glasgow and asking where they should go to eat. Not only am I happy to pass on my recommendations of restaurants I love, but I always find myself telling people the best things on the menu to order. I’m very bossy!
So with that in mind, I thought I would list my favourite dishes in Glasgow…those dishes that I frequently get cravings for and have to head to immediately to satisfy that craving.
The first one that comes to mind is the Korean Fried Chicken at Kimchi Cult on Chancellor Street, just off Byres Road in the West End. This chicken is like crack. I am OBSESSED. It comes with two marinades…Gochujang Hot Sauce or the Soy Garlic Glaze. Now, I’m a pussy when it comes to heat so I can’t copy with the hot sauce. But that’s fine by me because the soy garlic glaze is so freakin good! Two large free-range chicken thighs arrive, nestled together in a basket, coated in the crispiest of crispy coatings, served with sesame seeds, spring onions and pickled mooli.
By this point my tummy is rumbling and I’m salivating like a dog who’s just seen a juicy bone. Burning my mouth has almost become tradition, as I can never wait to tear into that crispy coating. There is something almost sensual about that moment your teeth hit that crispiness, then sink into the tender, soft, sweet and succulent thigh meat. Then the saltiness of the soy cuts through, finished off by the garlic. Its a whole taste sensation.
Its just £7 for this ‘experience’. You can have two of one marinade, or mix it up and have one of each. I also love their Panko Prawn Bao but to be honest, the fried chicken does reign supreme for me. If you ever happen to find yourself in the West End of Glasgow and you need something to get your teeth into, head to Kimchi Cult.
The next dish that springs to mind is the Veggie Ramen at Ramen Dayo on Queen Street in the city centre. This to me is my ultimate comfort food. If I’m feeling a bit low, or if I feel a cold coming on and I’m just not myself, I find myself being magnetically pulled towards Ramen Dayo.
Now, contrary to my outpouring of obsessive, sensual love for the chicken at Kimci Cult above, I don’t actually eat a huge amount of meat, so I always get the veggie ramen. Nestled in that delicious vegetable broth are noodles, sweet potato, kikurage mushrooms, pak choi, nori seawees, garlic and spring onions. Its like a giant, comforting, warm hug. They also have the most fantastic gyozas and I can’t order the ramen without having a side of their chicken gyozas which are lightly fried on the outside and have a terrific flvour.
Moving back to the West end, there is the wonderful Crabshakk on Argyle Street, Finnieston. Its always one of the first places I tell people people to go to when they tell me they’re coming to Glasgow. But again, I always end up having the same dishes, and telling others to have the same. To be fair, I’ve eaten in Crabshakk many, many times, so I feel like I’ve given their menu a pretty good go. But the heart wants what the heart wants, and my heart belongs to their scallops in anchovy butter…
They are giant and juicy, sweet and succulent. I’m not even normally a fan of anchovies but this anchovy butter has a glorious saltiness that cuts through the richness of the butter. You can also order them in sage butter which is also wonderful, but please, if you do go, get whichever verion you like with a side of bread to soak up all that delicious butter once the scallops have disappeared. Incidentally, their Tempura Squid with a soy coriander dipping sauce is also a cracking dish.
The weather in Glasgow is pretty crap and that makes me crave comfort food. When it rains (most of the time), I just want to head to Eusebi’s on Gibson Street for their Pappardelle Cacio e Pepe with Wild Mushrooms…
The Pecorino and pepper emulsion creates the most beautifully silky sauce which seems to caress the freshly made Pappardelle pasta. A generous helping of earthy wild mushrooms makes this sumptuous and indulgent dish feel like getting a hug from the inside. If you ever have a bad day and need cheering up, or its cold outside and you need warming up, head to Eusebi’s and order this dish. It will make the world feel right again.
Patrick Duck Club on Hyndland Street in Partick is a regular haunt of mine as its right at the end of my street. This is both a blessing and a curse at times, mainly due to their friggin AMAZNG tobacco onion fries with aioli. (Apologies for the dreadful photo).
I had these on my very first visit as I adore tobacco onion and rarely see it on menus so as soon as I saw it I had to order them. That’s when my obsession began, and my weight increased! Totally worth it though. The fries aren’t greasy at all, they’re light and crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The chefs always add a decent amount of crispy onions on top, then you have the garlicky goodness of the ailoi. They do other fries of course, the hollandaise and Black Bomber cheese fries are also a winner, but its the tobacco onion fries that keep me coming back time and time again.
Of course, I have to end on something sweet and I friggin LOVE everything Tantrum Doughnuts make.
What sets these doughnuts apart from the competition is the brioche dough. Think resplendently rich, springy, greaseless doughnuts that still manage to taste light and well-balanced, as it is the inventive glazes and fillings that do them such remarkable justice. Their crème brûlée doughnut is their best seller by far, and the pistachio and hibiscus is also very popular. However, I think my favourite of theirs is the banoffee pie doughnut, filled with caramelised banana custard, frosting, and a crunchy oats.
I also love their Yuzu Meringue. The sharp zestiness of the yuzu inside was offset beautifully by the sweetness of the sugar coating and meringue topping.
Their honey-glaze ring with buttered almonds and maple-candied bacon & pork crackling is also fantastic…soft, pillowy, rich, buttery, sweet and crunchy. Sublime. And of course, the salty sweetness of the candied bacon and crackling doughnut was like a party in the mouth!
So there you go…the dishes that keep pulling me back time and time again.