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Something for the weekend?

Jones and Son BBQ will be dishing up their excellent pulled pork rolls.

Jones and Son BBQ will be dishing up their excellent pulled pork rolls.

The weekend is so close that the 5pm Dining blog can almost taste the gin. If you are looking for scoff-related activities to attend over the next 48 hours then we got ‘em.

First up, the Scottish Heats of the British Street Food Awards take place at the Tram Stop Market by John Lewis in Edinburgh this Saturday.

As well as the usual stall holders such as Jones & Son BBQ and the Currito Cafe, the food stalls on offer will include wood-smoked pizzas from Big Blu, extraordinary noodles from Nusou and Wild Rovers’ field kitchen which will be serving dishes such as venison and pigeon.

You can see a full list of the people who will be pulling up their trucks here.

Global flavours

Staying in Edinburgh, the Mela will be rocking Leith Links this weekend. As ever, there will be world music, dance and fashion spread over several stages.

Munch the world in the Global Food Village.

Munch the world in the Global Food Village.

However, it’s the food that gets our pulse racing. Over 30 stalls serving food from around the globe are promised.

Toddling over to the other side of the country, feastRen, the East Renfrewshire food festival, seems to be on pause at the moment but we did stumble across an interesting event from Deafblind Scotland.

Dining in the dark

This evening and tomorrow afternoon, the charity is running two events called Dining in darkness in deafening silence.

The idea is that guests will have a glass of bubbly in a lighted bar before being led off to dine in the dark in a silent room.

The menu is a surprise until after you have eaten it but the ingredients have been selected to heighten your other senses.

Tickets are £35. The first sitting is today at 6.30pm to 8pm. The second sitting is tomorrow, 2.30pm- 4pm, at The Arthouse, Glasgow.

Tix from here.

Urban market

We also liked the sound of the Urban Market at Drygate on Sunday. As well as some rather cool craft and design stalls, the market features food and drink stalls from people like Aunt Jenny’s Cakes and the tiny, totey but tasty Strathearn Distillery.

More new bars and a great Big Deal

Over the last couple of days, the 5pm Dining blog has covered some of the new places which we knew were on the horizon in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee.

Inevitably, we missed some. Here they are:

Cool lounge bar and bistro

First up, Velvet Appetite is up and trading on West Nile Street in Glasgow. A cool new lounge bar and bistro, it is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, cocktails, coffees and a cheeky wee after work glass of vino.

Tasty Big Deal

Only open a matter of weeks, it has been picking up good reviews on assorted websites. All being well, we have a rather tasty Big Deal running with Velvet Appetite tomorrow.

You can find the full details on the deal here. Essentially, two people can each enjoy a prime Scottish sirloin steak with all the trimmings plus a bottle of wine to share for £28.

The offer is a great introduction to Velvet Appetite.

As well as prime steaks, the bistro serves fine pizza, handmade burgers and tempting dishes such as trad macaroni cheese; king prawn spaghetti and corn-fed chicken breasts on a spicy chorizo, garlic and pea cous cous.

Spit/Fire being built

Zipping back over the M8, it looks as though the team from The Hanging Bat are getting stuck into a new project.

Earlier this summer, the New Town Bar shut down. According to the Spit/Fire Bars Twitter account, the new venture will launch, hopefully, in November.

The team promise ‘Two floors. Two bars. Beer. Wine. Food. Spirits.’

The 5pm Dining blog is fairly indifferent to two floors but we like the rest of that list. You can read more about the project here.


New restaurants and bars in Edinburgh and Aberdeen

Yesterday, the 5pm Dining blog cast an eye on the new restaurants and bars popping up now or shortly in Glasgow.

Today, we’re heading eastside for a round-up of the news from the other side of the M8 and further afield.

The Jolly Botanist: raises a smile through the medium of gin.

The Jolly Botanist: raises a smile through the medium of gin.

We’re smacking our lips at the thought of The Jolly Botanist opening up soon on Morrison Street.

The premises used to be The Spider’s Web and we were too scared ever to venture in; although we understand that it used to play host to a long-running and popular rockabilly night.

Anyway, it’s been taken over by the company that has McSorleys on the Southside; Mother’s on Howe Street and the recently opened Cask and Still on Leith Walk.

The new venture will be gin-driven with over a hundred gins on offer. The kitchen is also being fitted out with a kitchen and, as well as a casual menu, there will be the option to have a three course dinner with matched gins.

To which we can only say “Yowsa!”

The Jolly Botanist is scheduled to open in September.

Las Iguanas in Edinburgh

We also note that Las Iguanas are fitting out the former north America travel agent premises on George Street.

The new branch will be the third Las Iguanas in Scotland after Aberdeen and Glasgow.

Start spreading the moos

In Aberdeen, The Boozy Cow has launched and is offering beers, burgers and ice cream floats on Netherkirkgate.

With neon lights and graffiti walls, it seems designed to look like a dive bar.

It’s part of the Speratus Group, which, among others, also has the Golf Tavern in Edinburgh; the Paramount bar and Illicit Still in Aberdeen plus the Amicus Apples in Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

You can see the menus from here.

Choose your beef, chief, at The Boozy Cow in Aberdeen.

Choose your beef, chief, at The Boozy Cow in Aberdeen.

New bars and restaurants in Glasgow

Porter and Rye is one of several new ventures aiming to lauch soon in Glasgow.

Porter and Rye is one of several new ventures aiming to lauch soon in Glasgow.

Many restaurateurs may still be trying to catch their breath after the runaway success of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the just-finished Fringe in Edinburgh.

This has not stopped the usual crop of new and planned openings from erupting. Tomorrow, we have a run down of new developments in Edinburgh while today’s blog will see what’s happening in Glasgow.

Before that, however, it’s hearty slaps on the back all round after The Observer’s Jay Rayner gave Edinburgh’s Pompadour by Galvin a glowing review at the weekend.

Did we mention Pomp’s Fireworks dinner this coming Sunday in the 5pm Dining blog? Why yes, I believe we did. Details are here.

Makeover for The Chip bar

Right, Glasgow.

First up, the bar at the Ubiquitous Chip has had a makeover. Apparently, the change was less about improving the aesthetics as improving the service. You can read all about it in the new issue of the ever excellent Dram.

The Scullery shaping up

The same mag also has a quote from Kathleen Sheridan, a former manager of The Chip, who aims to open her new restaurant and bar in September. The Scullery is on Claremont Street, just off the Finnieston strip. We mentioned it on the blog in July.

Kathleen is quoted as saying, ‘The Scullery will be a modern, European style restaurant and diner serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food will be modern continental, focusing on small, tapas-style plates.’

Porter & Rye coming together

Staying at that side of town, we’re keeping an eye on Porter & Rye, the latest offering from the team behind Lebowski’s, The Finnieston and LUAC.

Said to be likely to focus on a meaty menu, the new venture is shaping up on Argyle Street in the former Taste of Punjab.

Meanwhile in Clarkston, Belhaven are renovating their Clark and Son pub. It is pencilled in to re-open in the autumn as The Overlee, described as ‘a bar / restaurant with circa 250 covers expected to be one of Belhaven’s flagship properties for years to come’.

Win tickets to see Kenton Cool, Olly Hicks, Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Ben Fogle

Kenton Cool, Olly Hicks, Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Ben Fogle will be at The Hub, Edinburgh.

Kenton Cool, Olly Hicks, Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Ben Fogle will be at The Hub, Edinburgh.

The Black Grouse Scotch Whisky is teaming up with 5pm to offer readers the chance to win four tickets to an evening with four of the UK’s leading adventurers:  Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Ben Fogle, Olly Hicks and Kenton Cool at The Hub, Edinburgh on the 9th September.

You can buy tickets from here.

In celebration of its own distinctive character, The Black Grouse is proud to present an event which will see these icons talk about the highs and lows of their expeditions and what motivates them to push themselves further than anyone else.

From Britain’s greatest explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, to the face of the next generation, Olly Hicks, they will also discuss the personality traits that define an adventurer in today’s world.

You can read the 5pm Dining blog’s interview with Kenton here.

Competition winners will also be invited to a VIP drinks reception where they will have the chance to sample The Black Grouse signature serve, The Black & Black. The recipe is below if you want to try it at home.

The Black Grouse boasts a smoky smooth taste profile and, like its namesake, has a bold and distinctive character.

The whisky itself is an intriguing blend of The Famous Grouse with specially selected peated malts resulting in a rich, dark, russet whisky which is smokier and deeper in flavour.

On the palate, the peaty character comes through in spice and dried fruit flavours, and smoky oak that leaves a long aromatic finish.

Enter competition

To be in with a chance of winning tickets to this brilliant evening answer this:

What two words are used to describe the taste profile of The Black Grouse whisky?

Send your answers to marketing@5pm.co.uk.

The competition closes at midnight on Monday 1st September.

The Black and Black.

The Black and Black.

The Black and Black

A distinctively smooth, smoky cocktail with a splash of cola and a squeeze of orange.


35ml The Black Grouse

1 Orange wedge


Cubed ice


To make the Black and Black, just fill a highball glass with ice, squeeze in a wedge of orange and drop into the glass. Add a measure of The Black Grouse and top up with cola, stir and serve.

Terms and conditions

Competition open to over 18’s only

Prize: Four tickets to the ‘In Conversation’ event on the 9th September 2014

Dates cannot be changed.

No cash alternatives.

Competition is not open to employees of this outlet or of the Edrington Group or Maxxium UK Ltd their families, agents and agencies and anyone else professionally connected with this promotion.

What do you eat on Everest?

One of the world’s leading high-altitude climbers, Kenton Cool has successfully climbed Mount Everest eleven times. He is also the first person in history to complete the Everest Triple Crown, conquering the peaks of Everest, Nuptse and Lhotse in one continuous push from base camp.

A highly sought-after guide, Kenton guided Sir Ranulph Fiennes up the North Face of the Eiger in 2007 before leading him to a successful Everest summit in 2009.

Prior to his evening at The Hub with The Black Grouse Scotch Whisky, the 5pm Dining blog had a chat with Kenton about eating on the roof of the world.

You can win tickets to the evening at The Hub in Edinburgh from here.

Q: The event in Edinburgh is sponsored by The Black Grouse Scotch Whisky. Do people take drink on these climbing expeditions?

KC: Alcohol doesn’t help you acclimatise. In fact, it does quite the opposite. Having said that, every now and then, it’s really nice to get together with the team and have a drink. A couple of drinks are not going to derail an expedition.

Q: What’s the preferred tipple?

KC: It tends to be whisky. We will all bring a bottle in from Duty Free. It gets brutally cold sometimes, especially if you are on Everest base camp. Nursing a small tot of whisky helps.

Q: I guess there is no shortage of ice?

KC: Whisky connoisseurs will shake their heads at this but what we would normally do is mix warm water with honey and then add whisky. We call it a guide’s special. The guides will often get together and nurse two or three of these on a cold evening.

Q: What sort of food do you eat when climbing Everest?

KC: Altitude has strange effects on the body. We don’t crave the things you might expect. For instance, I love chocolate but, when I get to high altitude, I can’t palate it at all. It’s not one of the things that works for me. I’m much more of a savoury guy when I’m on the mountain.

Q: Is it all dehydrated meals?

KC: Lower down the hill, we will have various dehydrated foods, be they noodles or rice. And there are some quite tasty dehydrated meals on the market these days. It’s just that they are not always what the palate is asking for when you are high on the mountain.

At base camp, there will usually be a cook rustling up various delicacies for the team to eat. That can be quite interesting when you have a Nepalese or Indian cook trying to mix Asian cooking with western tastes. That leads to some really interesting things coming out of the kitchen.

Q: So what do you eat when you are higher than base camp?

KC: You want food with a high calorie content. It sounds a little silly but what we often end up chomping down on is a digestive biscuit with cheese and pickle on top. A digestive has around 75 calories in a single biscuit. It’s easy to digest. It’s a simple carbohydrate, predominantly sugar. The cheese gives you a little protein and then I just love the taste of the pickle. In a really high camp, that’s the sort of thing that we take: cheeses, hams.

A very good friend of mine, Ueli Steck, known as the Swiss Machine, swears by bread, cheese and saucisson. I’m much the same.

Love Scotch lamb

Scotch lamb meatballs in a tomato sauce.

Scotch lamb meatballs in a tomato sauce.

This season’s lamb is now at its sweet and succulent best so Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) are busy encouraging us all to eat Scotch lamb.

This weekend, as part of the Love Scotch Lamb campaign, Scottish sheep farmers will be popping up at supermarkets across Scotland to chat with customers as well as offering samples at Ayr Flower Show to try and make think about lamb a little more.

Speedy lamb dishes

Apparently, Scots eat less lamb per head than our friends in the rest of the UK. To try and boost the figures, QMS would like to raise awareness of how quickly lamb dishes can be made. Ideally, QMS would like to see Scottish consumers adopting lamb as part of our midweek meals repertoire.

To this end, they sent the 5pm Dining blog a lamb hamper yesterday. It contained everything needed to make the lamb meatball recipe below.

There was a stopwatch included in the hamper; the idea being that we could time ourselves making the dish and underline just how speedy lamb recipes can be.

A noble idea but, in a tale which will be sadly familiar in kitchens up and down the land, one which struggled after the blog’s sous chef got their hands on the gin bottle.

Half hour prep

Anyway, discounting the time it took to scarf two G ‘n’ Ts, we reckon that you could knock this up in under half an hour plus the 20 minutes cooking time in the oven.

Normally, we would make meatballs with a mix of pork and beef mince but these lamb versions were great. The addition of the tarragon gave them a zingy aniseed tinge while the cherry tomatoes added a little texture and gentle, sharp acidity.

If you want to try it then the recipe is below. You can find more lamb recipes here.

Browning the meatballs.

Browning the meatballs.

Lamb Meatballs


500g lean Scotch lamb mince

3 cloves garlic, finely diced

2 small brown onions, diced

1 slice white bread, grated into crumbs

1 egg, lightly beaten

25g fresh tarragon, chopped

25g basil

2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

200g cherry tomatoes

400g penne pasta

50g Parmesan shavings


Preheat oven to gas mark 6/200°C/400°F

Mix the lamb, half the garlic and onion, breadcrumbs, egg, a pinch of salt and pepper plus tarragon leaves. Shape into 12 balls.

In batches, cook the meatballs in oil and allow them to brown all over. Remove and place to one side. Stir the onions and the garlic in the pan before adding the chopped tomatoes with a pinch of sugar. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes.

Add the meatballs back into the pan along with the cherry tomatoes and basil. Stir and bring to a simmer, place in the oven with a lid and bake for approximately 20 minutes.

Cook the pasta and drain. Remove the meatballs from the oven before adding to the pasta with sauce. Sprinkle the Parmesan and sprigs of basil to serve.

Britain’s least favourite foods

Anchovies: unloved.

Anchovies: unloved.

What’s the quickest way to persuade unwanted house guests that it is time to leave?

Simple, just dish up a meal that contains anchovies, blue cheese, mushrooms, avocado or olives.

They are all in a top ten of Britons’ most unpopular foods.

Compiled by Birds Eye, the survey found that anchovies were the least liked food with 44% of people surveyed citing them as their most disliked ingredients. Chicken liver came second with 41%.

Rover takes one for the team

The survey also asked how people avoided foods they didn’t like when they were guests at other peoples’ houses.

One in ten women said that they had slipped the offending items into their handbags while 20% of us had gone for the old surreptitiously feeding the dog trick.

Apparently, 78 per cent of women will eat food they find offensive food to avoid upsetting their host.

Men are less polite with 57% prepared to eat the food and save the blushes of their host.

Tripe boost?

The fantastic spoof Tripe Marketing Board (motto: Tripe. Yesterday’s food. Today.)greeted news of the top ten with the immortal headline It’s official: Tripe now more popular than anchovies.

The TMB noted that ‘Tripe failed to feature in the top 10 most disliked foods... an improvement since the last similar survey in June 2014, when tripe ranked 7th.’

Here’s the list in full:

1) Anchovies (44 per cent)

2) Chicken liver (41 per cent)

3) Olives (39 per cent)

4) Black pudding (39 per cent)

5) Blue cheese (38 per cent)

6) Goats cheese (27 per cent)

7) Avocado (24 per cent)

8) Brussel sprouts (24 per cent)

9) Salami (20 per cent)

10) Mushrooms (15 per cent)

Malaga Tapas in Glasgow’s South Side

Glasgow has a number of tapas restaurants but perhaps the most inconspicuous is Malaga Tapas tucked away on St Andrew's Road in Glasgow's south side.

It's location near, well not really near anywhere, means it is easy to miss.


The interior of Malaga Tapas decked out in Spanish memorabilia

However the restaurant's colourful interior decked out in retro Spanish memorabilia, authenticity (it is run by a Spanish family) and delicious Iberian tapas from the Andalusian region of Spain means it has acquired a dedicated and passionate following from 5pm customers.


It is one of the top reviewed restaurants on 5pm.co.uk, averaging 4.5/5 from 269 reviews.

At time of press, the most recent reviews included:

"We have been to this great little restaurant loads now and it never disappoints. Friendly staff and just a lovely relaxed atmosphere. Loads to choose from on the menu and always some great new dishes to try from the Specials board. The staff always take time to explain the dishes or recommend new dishes for you to try. This place is quite simply perfect. If you haven't been you really are missing out."

"Great value for money. Great food. Superb choice. Second time we've been there in as many weeks."

"Wonderful friendly service, wonderful ambience and delicious food....the best tapas I have ever tasted!"


If these reviews aren't enough to convince you, this very own blogger recently visited Malaga Tapas with a friend who lived in Madrid for three years and, as a result, has a very high benchmark of what she considers to be authentic tapas.

She was delighted to find a dish she had never seen in any other tapas restaurant in Glasgow on the specials board (a chorizo and lentil stew she had for lunch every day in Madrid) and as a result Malaga Tapas received her not easily earned stamp of approval.


For a bit of extra persuasion, here's some photos of the dishes at Malaga Tapas. Warning: they may make your mouth water.

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Spinach frittata

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Patatas Gratinadas


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20% a la carte discount OR £12.95 for 3 tapas + dessert on a la carte menu OR £12.95 for 3 tapas on a la carte menu + glass of sangria OR All tapas £2.95 on a la carte menu OR £7.99 for 3 tapas on a la carte menu (lunch) at Malaga Tapas when booking on 5pm.

For more tapas restaurants in Glasgow visit 5pm dining.

For more restaurants in Glasgow's south side visit Piece of my City Glasgow south side.

5pm staff southsiders

There is a high proportion of 5pm staff members who live in Glasgow's south side. Maybe it's because in recent years the south side has really flourished, with new bars and restaurants regularly arriving on the scene. Our 5pm southsiders share their local picks below.




Phil Smith, Projects.

My favourite restaurant in the South Side is Art Lovers Cafe. It has really nice surroundings in Bellahouston Park and I like the Mackintosh decor. The food is really good too. It's a nice place for a quiet lunch.

£12 for 3 courses on set lunch menu at Art Lovers Cafe on 5pm Dining.


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Kimberley Watson, Customer Care. 

It would be easy to miss Oscars, an Italian restaurant on Ayr Road in Newton Mearns. But the food is delicious and the menus change quite often so there is always a varied choice. The staff are really friendly and accommodating too. It's like a family atmosphere.

£9.95 for 2 courses on lunch menu at Oscars on 5pm Dining.



Andrea MacNaughton, Sales. 

Andiamo is one of my favourite south side restaurants.  It is a lovely restaurant to enjoy a relaxing meal in, with friendly and helpful staff.  We recently went there for Sunday lunch, I had the Linguine Salmone which I can highly recommend!

£12.95 for 2 courses on pre-theatre menu + glass of wine at Andiamo on 5pm.co.uk.

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Alan Wallace, Chief Technology Officer. (Photo from http://girlwithacamera.co.uk/)

I'm in the Ashoka all the time. I'm a pretty big curry fan, and my favourite is the shakuti - it's nice and creamy but also super spicy. Their nan is great too. All the staff are really friendly and the service is always great.

£8 for 2 courses on pre-theatre menu at Ashoka Southside on 5pm.co.uk.



Jennifer Berg, Creative:

Buongiorno is a really cosy old school italian. The staff are really friendly. Great pizza and the homemade puddings look great - will definitely sample next time!

£9.95 for 2 courses on early evening menu + glass of wine at Buongiorno on 5pm.co.uk.

For more restaurant offers in Glasgow's south side visit Piece of my City Glasgow south side.

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