Whether you want to huddle together under the Duke's Umbrella
or take the autumn air at Cranside Kitchen, these restaurants have all been
wowing 5pm customers recently.
Seasonality is key to the cooking at the rather lovely Glaschu on Royal Exchange Square. Head Chef Dion Scott sharpened his kitchen skills with none other than Heston Blumenthal and his extensive experiences in some of the UK's best kitchens have given him a fine appreciation of Scotland's natural larder.
Menus change depending on what is in season and available but, from the sample menus, we like the sound of the herb-crusted lamb cannon or the fillet of sea trout with panisse, artichoke, fennel and Gordal olive tapenade. Although it's hard to see past the beef Wellington. Designed for sharing, it's accompanied by salt-baked heritage carrots and horseradish.
We can't say better than the review left by this recent 5pm diner:
'The food, wine and service were impeccable. Will definitely go back to Glaschu as we had a lovely time in their peaceful surroundings.'
Need another nudge? How about a 20% à la carte discount when you book with 5pm?
Something of an award-magnet, Jimmy Lee's Lychee Oriental offers a smart, contemporary take on Chinese food along with Thai and Japanese options. Chilli 'n' salt soft shell crab is one of our favourite starters with the dim sum platter as a back-up choice. The Thai-style crispy sea bass is always a winner while others may prefer the roast duck with lychees in plum sauce. Of course, if you have a soft spot for traditional Anglo-Chinese dishes then dive into the Chinese curry or the sweet and sour prawns.
Lychee Oriental is perfect for a mid-week treat or a special occasion. This recent 5pm customer had a big date to celebrate:
'Visited here on 31/08/2021 for my wedding anniversary and what can I say? Between the food, staff and the whole atmosphere, it was just second to none. Can't wait to go back.'
Book via 5pm and a 20% discount on the main menu, at certain times, is just one of the offers available at Lychee Oriental.
Not as many of us as usual will have enjoyed a foreign holiday this year. From Barbados to Marbella, rum punches and sangria jugs are sitting lonely and untouched. Happily, Cranside Kitchen, by the North Rotunda and handy for the Hydro, offers around-the-world dining from one convenient location.
Simply wander around their food market, pick whatever takes your fancy and then return to your table (both indoor and outdoor seating are available). Grab tapas at Fino, Greek cuisine at Halloumi; New York classics at Kilmurry & Co, modern Italian at Romano’s, and Japanese dishes at Nori, then finish with a dessert. Wash it all down with a cocktail such as a classic Singapore Sling or a craft beer, spirit or wine.
Book via 5pm, choose from one of the à la carte menus and you can look forward to a complimentary glass of fizz with your meal. Perfect for a catch-up with friends.
John Molloy is the chef who devised the menus at Duke's Umbrella, a new(ish) gastro pub on Argyle Street. This is what he says inspired him:
'I’ve always wanted to do gastro pub food, it’s honest, and it’s the sort of thing I want to eat... We will be giving this food the attention it deserves and treating the ingredients in the same way fine dining restaurants do. All while maintaining a relaxed atmosphere and delivering the sort of food you’ve always wanted from your local.'
What this means on the plate is dishes that showcase a range of top quality Scottish produce, including firm and salty oysters from Cumbrae. Diners can pop in for brunch, a bar snack, main meal or Sunday roast, then finish off with a signature cocktail or gourmet dessert. Starters include a charcuterie board with venison salami or a warmed garlic butter crab.
In true gastro pub form, the mains include a sausage and mash special that changes daily. Seafood fans can savour a charcoal-spiced cod on a coconut & curry leaf velouté, while carnivores can tuck into The Duke’s Burger, an 8oz beef patty heaped with smoked ox cheek, hash brown and jalapeño cheese sauce. Veggies can sample innovative options such as the whole smoked cauliflower with celeriac puree, thyme and black garlic.
This recent customer was:
'Really enjoyed The Duke! Friendly staff; lovely and new food (as well as all the old favourites!) in a really interesting and stylish restaurant. Loved the pics on the wall - captured the Glasgow sense of humour perfectly!'
Book Duke's Umbrella with 5pm, order two or three courses on the a la carte menu and receive a complimentary 125ml glass of house red, white or rose wine.
Ralph & Finns
Fancy a spot of city centre chic? Ralph & Finns is a sleek and gleaming 180-seater brasserie and bar on St. Vincent Place. Housed in the former Scottish HQ of the Bank of England, there is a feeling of timeless elegance inside (partly thanks to award-winning designer, Mark Brunjes). Yet playful touches like the parrot wall art show that this dining spot doesn’t take itself too seriously either.
Head Chef John-Paul Lappin promises classic dishes, bold flavours and an added international influence. Menus change but typical dishes might be the beef carpaccio starter with charred artichokes, pickled walnuts and peppered goat’s cheese, and a couple of retro classics with a contemporary twist, including the signature chicken Kiev with curry butter.
You can also dine on oysters from Cumbrae and supreme cuts of Scotch beef sourced from local farms, as well as vegetarian dishes such as the mushroom, goats’ cheese and romesco puff pastry tart.
Does that sound as though it might make your autumn all the more enjoyable? This 5pm booker enjoyed their experience of Ralph & Finns:
'Looking forward to returning. Thoroughly enjoyed our dinner and experience. The staff were really lovely and attentive. Food was delicious, good menu choice. Classy restaurant!!'
If you book Ralph & Finns with 5pm, you can tuck into two courses from the market menu for £17 or three courses for £21 along with a complimentary glass of house wine. Main pic shows bar at Ralph & Finns.