There’s lots going on in terms of new and recent openings so, deep breath, here we go: In the Borders, Ally McGrath has been winning lots of new friends since he opened Osso in Peebles 2007. Since last weekend, the chef has branched out and also taken over Laurel Bank, just down the road in Broughton, Biggar. The new venture is billed as being a bistro and bar. You can see the full menu on their website but we liked the sound of the confit chicken leg and choucroute followed by the dark chocolate mousse with boozy cherries and salted caramel on the evening menu.
In Glasgow, The McMillan Southside also came to life last weekend. The latest venture from the McMillan family, who already have a place on Norby Road, The McMillan Southside is a new bar and chop house on Pollokshaws Road. Open from breakfast through to midnight, the kitchen dishes up everything from wood-smoked kippers on toasted Italian bread to Tweed valley lamb chops, 30-day-aged Aberdeen Angus and grilled Atlantic lobsters.
It’s a rum do
Sticking in the Southside, the main bar at The Rum Shack is officially open. We think. The Fire in Babylon lads have been busy putting on gigs and introducing the Southside to the joys of rum from their Pollokshaws base for a few weeks now. The main bar was scheduled to open yesterday. Hopefully, the kitchen will be in a position to start dishing up the Caribbean food in a couple of weeks or so.
Cannonball hits target
Moving to Edinburgh, the Victor and Carina Contini Cannonball restaurant had an official launch at the weekend. Located in Cannonball House on Castlehill, the menu has a distinct Scottish flavour, as well as the occasional Italian flourish. The 5pm Dining blog has yet to visit but we are told that the views of Edinburgh’s skyline are pretty special. From the dinner menu, the char grilled venison with Scottish girolle mushrooms and black currants from the Contini’s kitchen garden grabbed this writer’s attention. As did the macaroni cheese with lobster thermidore sauce. The Continis also have Victor and Carina Contini Ristorante, Contini Caffe (in the same building as Cannonball) and the Scottish Cafe and Restaurant under the Scottish National Gallery on The Mound.
Finally, we missed this when it opened but Tang’s now have a sister restaurant. Hakataya, also a Japanese restaurant, is on Rose Street South Lane. The menu is here but it is packed with ramen, sushi, tempura and those sticky, white steamed buns filled with chicken teriyaki and apple cider pork.