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December 27, 2013
[Hervè the food truck is at the heart of Loving Food][1]
Hervè the food truck is at the heart of Loving Food

Welcome back blog fans. We hope you had a lovely Christmas.

Here’s the second part of the blog’s 2013 culinary reminiscences.


Loving Food launch their food truck business in Stirling. Interestingly, 2013 is the year in which existing street food caterers such as Babu Bombay Street Kitchen and Harajuku Kitchen move indoors and launch their own restaurants.

Judging is well and truly under way for the Scottish Restaurant Awards.

Pompadour by Galvin; Galvin Brasserie de Luxe and Peacock Alley, all part of the lovingly refurbished Caledonian, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel, join 5pm.

Blackfriars, a new restaurant and bar on Edinburgh’s Blackfriars Street, opens. Heading up the kitchen is Andrew Macdonald.

The former sous chef at Restaurant Martin Wishart, Andrew struck out on his own based on a hunch that Edinburgh’s dining scene was very well served at the top end and at the value for money end.

He reckoned that the mid-market needed a bit of shaking up. Hence Blackfriars. Eight successful months later, it appears he may have been on to something.

The 5pm Dining blog tastes Legacy of Angostura, the world’s most expensive rum. It’s horrible. Only kidding. Of course it’s not. It’s delightful, like little rum angels dancing on the tongue. As you would expect at $25,000 a pop.

[Legacy of Angostura: keep well away from the punch bowl at parties][12]
Legacy of Angostura: keep well away from the punch bowl at parties


The 5pm Dining blog hits Peterhead to look at Europe’s largest white fish market. The visit comes about through Seafood Scotland sponsoring the Best Fish Restaurant category at the Scottish Restaurant Awards.

[Traders at Peterhead market do the numbers][16]
Traders at Peterhead market do the numbers

The Plum Tree, a new deli bistro, on Glasgow’s Wilson Street joins 5pm. It’s the latest of many new openings in the ever vibrant Merchant City.

Not so far away, on Cochrane Street, Guy Cowan, owner of the popular Guy’s Restaurant in the Merchant City, launches a new venture: The Wee Guy’s cafe and deli. The Record’s Tam Cowan reckons it serves the best cooked breakfast he has ever eaten.

The Macallan launch their new 1824 Series. In a radical departure from the industry norm, the new range is defined by colour rather than age statements. It’s a move designed to make more optimum use of limited whisky stocks at a time of booming demand.

The four whiskies are named Gold, Amber, Sienna and Ruby. The rest of the whisky industry await the reaction with bated breath and wonder if they can pull off something similar.


The Scottish Restaurant Awards are announced. Emotions run high and the ceremony is marked by tears, laughter and a few groans at some of MC Tam Cowan’s more blue jokes.

The Barley Bree in Perthshire wins the coveted Restaurant of the Year category while Andrew Radford of Edinburgh’s Timberyard is named as the Scottish Chef of the Year.

The full list of winners can be found here.

[Alison and Fabrice with both their Scottish Restaurant Awards prizes][24]
Alison and Fabrice Bouteloup of Barley Bree with both their Scottish Restaurant Awards prizes

On a rather less serious note, 5pm’s resident gannets, Alan and Michael, took on the Monster Burger Challenge at Ad Lib in the Merchant City.

Despite giving up several inches in height, Alan’s superior stomach stretching powers won the day although neither competitor managed to finish the challenge.

Finally, if one word could sum up Glasgow’s culinary trends in 2013 then it would be meat. From BBQ pulled pork to buffalo wings via burgers, the city has gone ape for all things meaty, especially if they are smoked.

So the timings couldn’t have been better for Meat Bar to join the melée.

A temple to all things carnivorous, the meat theme at the West Regent Street venue extended to the cocktail menu which featured a Meatojito.

Made with fresh pineapple, brown sugar, mint and aged rum infused with pork rib, it was designed to appeal to the most red in tooth and claw diners imaginable.

It also garnered Meat Bar a whole heap of not unwelcome publicity.

[Glasgow's Meat Bar sums up Glasgow's culinary direction in 2013][28]
Glasgow’s Meat Bar sums up Glasgow’s culinary direction in 2013