I knew very little about Glasgow prior to visiting it. Just that it was "Not Edinburgh". I still don't feel like I know very much about it; I suppose there is a limit to what you can learn in less than 24 hours. I didn't immediately warm to it in the way that I have with some cities. The town centre suffers a bit, as do most British cities, with the rash of same old-same old shop fronts and while some of the architecture was beautiful some of it was awful 1970s concrete monstrosities - occasionally right next door. But the area around the university was absolutely gorgeous. And Ashton Lane, the location of the restaurant at which we dined on Sunday evening, was equally lovely and made me think there could well be more to Glasgow if one took the time to scratch the surface.
I was already a bit in love with The Ubiquitous Chip before even looking at the menu because as far as I am concerned it is the best name EVER. And then there was the fact that the food looked rather exciting and used lots of amazing Scottish produce. And then we arrived and...well, the interior. It's amazing. Like dining in an airy conservatory all strewn about with foliage and fairy lights. Kitsch as anything and utterly, utterly gorgeous.
We had a very minor falling out when it transpired that the main course that my beady little eye had been trained upon was not on the current menu. It is, of course, a rookie mistake to set your heart on something that appears on the website - most decent restaurants change their menus far more frequently than their sites and quite right too. And the food that I did end up eating was excellent anyway.
If I had to pick a favourite dish - and we're talking gun to the head situation - it would be the truly divine steak with brown shrimp butter - which pictured on the left above looks the least inspiring. Let me tell you, this was some seriously good cow. And the kitchen actually knew how to cook a steak blue - it was practically mooing when it came out. Gorgeous stuff. But there was plenty to love elsewhere - including a quinoa accompaniment which actually sold me on that rather worthy grain.
In short, an excellent dinner but as to Glasgow itself, I remain undecided. However, since The Chip and I are now officially dating, I may well have to go back and explore some more.
The Ubiquitous Chip12 Ashton Lane
0141 334 5007