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December 30, 2013


[The Meat Bar Burger: meat, burgers and bars pretty much sums up Glasgow's dominant restaurant trends in 2013.][1]
The Meat Bar Burger: meat, burgers and bars pretty much sums up Glasgow’s dominant restaurant trends in 2013.


Glasgow’s bid to become the most carnivorous Scottish city takes another step forward as Burger Meats Bun opens on West Regent Street and follows in the meaty, fragrant footsteps of Cocktail & Burger and The Meat Bar.

If burgers and pulled pork were one of the hottest trends in 2013 then the continuing growth in street food wasn’t far behind. This was the month in which the Kiltr social network ran its first Street Food Feastival in Glasgow.

Check out the Street Food Cartel for similar events in 2014.

July was also the month in which Scotland realised that we were actually going to have a summer. Hotel du Vin at One Devonshire Gardens marked this race occurrence by launching their new al fresco menu – a feat never attempted before in Scotland.

[My attempt at Martin Morales' Don Ceviche.][9]
My attempt at Martin Morales’ Don Ceviche.

The 5pm blog had a fun July. We attended a ceviche master class run by Martin Morales at Mark Greenaway’s restaurant in Edinburgh. South American food is very fashionable in London now. Will 2014 be the year in which it takes off in Glasgow and Edinburgh?

We also went to a Wild Turkey master class with distiller Eddie Russell. If you ever want to know how to blow up a barbeque with bourbon, drop us a line.

As usual in Edinburgh during the run-up to the festivals, there was a flurry of new bar and restaurant openings.

The Inn on the Mile; Port of Siam in the New Town and the Cross and Corner on Canonmills all opened their doors while The Bread Street Brasserie, part of Edinburgh’s Point Hotel, showed off a new top to toe makeover.

Edinburgh Larder Bistro on Alva Street celebrated its first birthday with a complete refurbishment.


The 5pm Dining reported on Ong Gie, a recently opened Korean restaurant in the capital. Korean food is being tipped as one of the ‘most likely to’ restaurant trends for 2014.

By our reckoning, Ong Gie is Edinburgh’s third Korean after Shilla and Kim’s and we think that Shilla on Argyle Street is Glasgow’s only Korean. So far.

[The elegant interior of The George Street Bar and Grill][26]
The elegant interior of The George Street Bar and Grill

Having launched at the beginning of August, The George Street Bar and Grill is carving itself a comfortable niche at the Charlotte Square end of what may well be one of Edinburgh’s most competitive streets.

Also in the West End, Sygn on Edinburgh’s Charlotte Lane relaunches after an extensive refurbishment.

Hoping to make a big splash are new ventures: Juniper bar and Twenty Princes Street restaurant. Both are housed in what used to be the Royal British Hotel.

Scottish seafood and dry-aged Scotch beef from the Castle Mey Estate are the backbone of the menu along with dishes like the foraged mushrooms on toasted spinach bread with poached quail’s eggs.

Back in Glasgow, the Steampunk Cafe opens on Glasgow’s Drury Street. The steampunk trend may be a niche but it seems to be a successful one as the cafe appears to be going great guns as 2013 rolls to its end.

Staying in the West, the team behind Nanakusa on Sauchiehall Street branched out and opened Nippon Kitchen on West George Street. Handmade sushi, prepared to order, is the star of the menu.

Little Urban Achievers Club also gets underway on Great Western Road. It’s the latest from the Finnieston/Lebowski’s stable.

Going a little off the beaten track, Kabuto Instant Noodles had the smart idea of encouraging their customers to produce noodle art and post it using the tag #NoodleDoodle.

[Harry Styles in noodle form.][35]
Harry Styles in noodle form.


Details of the new Michelin Guide are released today and, for Scotland at least, it’s a bit of a snore. There are no new Michelin stars north of the border and no-one has lost one.

The notable exception to the zzzzz fest is Galvin Brasserie de Luxe, part of The Caledonian in Edinburgh, which is awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand. The award recognises good food at a moderate price.

Otherwise Scotland remains static with fifteen restaurants at one Michelin star and Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles with two.

The award crowns a good month for the Galvin brothers and their two Edinburgh restaurants. Earlier, we reported how The Pompadour by Galvin, also in The Caley, had been awarded three AA Rosettes.

[Jeff and Chris Galvin: Michelin-starred chefs][39]
Jeff and Chris Galvin: Michelin-starred chefs

In Glasgow, there is a new addition to Finnieston’s blossoming restaurant scene as The Gannet opens to the public.

The two chefs behind the venture are Peter McKenna and Ivan Stein who met while working at Michael Caine’s Abode restaurant.

Maclay Inns have had a busy year. Hot on the heels of opening Munro’s and relaunching the Tullie Inn, Balloch, the firm opened the doors of The Hope.

Formerly the Grahamston Bar on Waterloo Street, The Hope is their first Glasgow city centre bar. The venue has been given a new lease of life after a two month, £500K refurbishment.

Having been stripped back to its original features, the bar has been completely transformed. The frieze on the ceiling is inspired by the Sistine chapel – surely a first for a Glasgow bar.

To The Balmoral in Edinburgh where the five star hotel launched SCOTCH – its new whisky bar. With over 400 Scottish whiskies for sale, it is said to be the largest collection of purely Scottish whiskies available to the general public in Edinburgh.

[With over 400 Scotch whiskies available, SCOTCH at The Balmoral will thrill malt-lovers][45]
With over 400 Scotch whiskies available, SCOTCH at The Balmoral will thrill malt-lovers