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December 31, 2013


October launches a new advertising campaign on STV. The initial ads are part of a wider collaboration with STV…

STV launch their new City Apps – apps for iPhone and Android offering a constant stream of the latest information in your area. is the proud sponsor of the apps, which are available for Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.

The City Apps have a restaurant offers near you section, which, of course, is powered by Users can discover restaurant offers wherever you are in your city along with reviews, information and directions to the restaurant.

Download yours here.

Bradford takes top gong in The Curry Capital of Britain competition. It’s the third time in a row that the northern town has won. Glasgow came a close second while Wolverhampton made third.

Glasgow last won the competition in 2010 although it has won the top spot a remarkable four times in the past.

[Bread Meats Bread: taking the humble piece to infinity and beyond][4]
Bread Meats Bread: taking the humble piece to infinity and beyond

Bread Meats Bread opens on Glasgow’s St Vincent Street offering gourmet street food. The flagship sandwich is the porchetta, slow cooked in-house and served on artisan ciabatta with salsa verde.

Glasgow’s Best Burger competition is held in Ad Lib on Ingram Street. Now in its third year, the competition attracted twenty entrants from across Glasgow, all keen to prove that their burger and bun combo was the best in town.

The top prize went to Buddy’s BBQ and Burgers with MeatHammer at Nice ‘n’ Sleazy’s and Slouch taking second and third respectively.

Two Fat Ladies open in the Marine Hotel in Troon. The fifth restaurant in the Two Fats family has Chef Andrew Beattie leading the kitchen brigade.

[The new dining room at Two Fat Ladies in the Marine Hotel, Troon][12]
The new dining room at Two Fat Ladies in the Marine Hotel, Troon

Meanwhile in Edinburgh…

Having brightened many a farmers’ market with her stall selling stir-fried noodles and dumplings, Kaori Tsuji-Simpson goes permanent with the opening of Harajuku Kitchen – a new Japanese bistro and deli on 10 Gillespie Place in Tollcross.

The Bothy Restaurant and Drinkery opens for business at The Murrayfield House Hotel. Live music and bar food classics are the draw along with a varied cocktail list.

Nick Nairn opens Native in Aberdeen Hilton Garden Inn. It’s the second time that Nick has partnered with the hotel company having opened the Kailyard by Nick Nairn at the Doubletree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro in 2010.

The chef is said to have been keen to launch a restaurant in Aberdeen since opening a second branch of his cook school in the city last year.

While Nick’s name is on the door and the recipes are his, the day-to-day cooking at Native is done by Gary Leishman, formerly of Carberry Tower and Ackergill Tower.


Glasgow goes mad with new openings.

In the Southside, The White Elephant takes over the premises formerly occupied by the Merrylee Road Bar and Kitchen.

[The cheese buffet at The White Elephant][18]
The cheese buffet at The White Elephant

Another Southside newcomer is Jayz Bar and Kitchen on Kilmarnock Road. It aims to pull in the customers with cocktails, dancing, DJ sets, open mic nights and a food menu which includes steaks, chicken skewers, pizza, burgers and our old friend fish ‘n’ chips.

Moving back into the city centre, Jacker de Viande opens on West Regent Street. According to their internet blurb, cocktails, meat and love are their key selling points.

The long awaited Hard Rock Cafe opens on Buchanan Street.

The former Crabbie Macs site on Otago Street becomes Skinny’s. Burgers headline the food menu alongside ‘wings ‘n’ tings’, assorted fries and a range of sundaes.

On Sauchiehall Street, it has all gone a little Mexican with the launch of Juan Chihuahua. Billed as a Mexican cantina and tequileria, the kitchen rolls out all the tacos, fajitas and enchiladas that you might expect but also adds in ceviche, slow cooked ribs and a nifty looking mango salad.

There are some fifty odd tequilas behind the bar – an interesting development for anyone who has moved beyond knocking the stuff back with a lick of salt and bite of lime.

[Just Juan tequila won't hurt, will it?][24]
Just Juan tequila won’t hurt, will it?

Meanwhile, in the West End, The Butterfly and The Pig on Bath Street have opened a second branch on Partick Bridge Street in the West End.

The Butchershop Bar and Grill team have a lot on their plates as owner James Rusk announces plans for a new venture in the Merchant City.

James is leasing the former Hutcheson’s Hall Hospital on Ingram Street from the National Trust. The idea is to invest £1.2 million creating a new restaurant which will employ around 40 people and have 178 covers.

In Edinburgh, on Advocates Close, just off the Royal Mile, is the Devil’s Advocate, the latest opening from the people behind The Bon Vivant bars.

A quick visit showed a concise menu of polished pub grub. Think haggis bons bons with a coriander, cucumber and chill dip; truffled mac ‘n’ cheese plus huge burgers accompanied with a quince aioli.

The cocktail list is pretty inventive but it was the whisky selection that caught this scribbler’s eye. Natch, Scotch was prominent but the collection of bourbons and rye whiskies would stand up to thorough investigation.

[Panda and Sons: bringing some bamboo cocktail moves to Queen Street][28]
Panda and Sons: bringing some bamboo cocktail moves to Queen Street

At the other end of town, Panda and Sons is a hip new cocktail bar in a Queen Street basement. Iain McPherson, formerly of The Voodoo Rooms, is the guiding light behind the speakeasy.

Moving to Leith, The Flying Dog starts dishing up gourmet hot dogs. The Henderson Street site used to be the old school Trafalgar Bar, a curiously British name for a pub located in what is sometimes called the People’s Independent Republic of Leith.


New openings abound in Edinburgh.

Award-winning chef Mark Greenaway opens Bistro Moderne by Mark Greenaway on North West Circus Place in Stockbridge. It joins his existing, eponymous restaurant on North Castle Street.

The award-winning chef said:

‘I’ve been looking for suitable opportunities for a second restaurant in Edinburgh for a while now. The Bistro will offer simpler versions of my restaurant dishes as well as introducing some new styles of food from my repertoire, all served in a friendly and relaxed setting.’

[A contemporary take on bistro classics is the deal at Bistro Moderne by Mark Greenaway][32]
A contemporary take on bistro classics is the deal at Bistro Moderne by Mark Greenaway

Other new openings in Edinburgh include Laila’s Bistro on Cockburn Street. The latest from Jamal Ahmed, the man behind Pomegranate and Hanam‘s, Laila’s dishes up food from the Levant and Med along with more unexpected dishes such as burgers and fish ‘n’ chips.

A five minute walk away, The Scottish Burger Bistro has replaced Porto and Fi’s on The Mound.

The Lioness of Leith roars into life on Duke Street. Sherbert Lemon Martinis and a rotisserie are among the new features at the just launched bar and restaurant. Both would have been highly unlikely during the bar’s former life as Mintos.

Candle light; freaky murals and curious examples of the taxidermist’s art set the boho tone.

Apiary Restaurant takes over the Newington premises formerly occupied by Metropole. It promises modern British grub and seems to be run by the same team as Three Birds in Bruntsfield.

Aberdeen is just as busy.

The Wagamama chain of Asian restaurants opened its second Aberdonian branch in the Academy shopping centre yesterday.

The Granite City is also home to the latest branch of the award-winning Amarone restaurants. Already a big hit in Glasgow and Edinburgh, the smart casual Italian is on Union Street. Modelled on contemporary Milan restaurants, the Amarone group are part of the Di Maggio’s company.

CASC opens on Stirling Street in Aberdeen’s Merchant Quarter. The venture takes its name from the goodies it sells: Cigars, Ales, Scotch and Coffee.

[Like beer? Go to CASC.][44]
Like beer? Go to CASC.

Over 170 craft ales, an extensive whisky list and, as of next year, a range of Cuban cigars are the main selling points although the coffee sounds pretty specialised as well.

As a new BBQ joint opens on Duke Street in Glasgow’s Dennistoun. Dennistoun Bar B Que serves pit beef and pork, burgers and ribs.

Run by the team that looks after the Butterfly and Pig outlets, Singl-End in Garnethill launches. The Sunday Herald’s Joanna Blythman is entranced.

Perhaps the most eagerly awaited opening of the year is Buddy’s Bar Diner Grill, the new venture from Chris May. Chris opened Buddy’s BBQ and Burgers on Skirving Street in November 2012 and the takeaway quickly became a runaway success.

The new sit-in restaurant on Pollokshaws Road looks to capitalise on that demand. Done out like a classic American diner, complete with jukebox, Buddy’s Bar Diner Grill is aiming for ‘real American BBQ, burgers, steaks and a whole lot more’.

[Buddy's Bar Diner Grill: the latest but surely not the last of Glasgow's meaty new openings][49]
Buddy’s Bar Diner Grill: the latest but surely not the last of Glasgow’s meaty new openings