Sometimes visiting the newest, shiniest restaurants on the block means that I have to miss out on the older, established places. Not that I am in anyway grumbling about that in the slightest. Nope it just makes me even happier that today I get to write a quick review of a Glasgow classic, Guy’s in the Merchant City.
The interior is a weird and wonderful collection of interesting bits and pieces, new and old, covering almost every available inch of space. I could use the same adjectives to describe the eclectic menu. In the same way you'd never expect Arnold Schwarzenegger to star in Swan Lake, or a worker for the council to take lip from anybody, you wouldn't predict Guy's menu. I can't think of many places where Gyoza squares off against Mince and Tatties, but on Guy’s menu all genres are on the cards.
The service was polite and friendly, but also knowledgeable of the menu and the ingredients. Drinks arrived quickly and orders taken efficiently, all with a smile and some banter. We all ordered off the Market menu and despite the choices available, whilst we all picked different starters we all independently chose the exact same main course.
The Vegetable Gyoza was well flavoured with a decent punch, which is what you need to stop the whole thing becoming a depressingly bland, flaccid mouthful. These were spot on.
The Ham hough terrine was a rich chunky preparation, well seasoned and rich, but accompanied with nowhere near enough bread! What it did come with was a taste bud tingling piccalilli, boom, party in your mouth!
The Prawn cocktail was a masterclass in delivering this much maligned, but nonetheless culinary classic. When you have two ingredients, Prawns and lettuce which you cover in sauce, it always astounds me how many places can still not get this right. Quality and freshness are the key, none of this frozen prawn and brown lettuce nonsense at Guy's, nope this was awesome, and the Marie Rose sauce was smooth, sharp, tangy and creamy all at the same time! The simple, in a sea shell, presentation and the ubiquitous slice of bread and wedge of lemon rounded out a near perfect starter.
Plates were cleared, with more of the cheerful pattern and a short time later the genius Glasgow Tapas arrived. On the one plate: three classics. Steak pie, mince ‘n’ tatties, Macsween’s Haggis, along with a fourth staple: Chips! A fantastic way to enjoy a taste of Scotland, each shrunk down meal tasted wonderful, for me the steak pie was the one I wished was full size, the meat was so tender in a rich gravy.
We skipped dessert, which was a real shame because if the other two courses were anything to go by they would have been right belters. Two courses off the Market menu was great value at £14.95, I've paid more than that for a bad burger before!
Next time you're in the Merchant City looking for dinner venues you could try one of many new choices. But instead perhaps try visiting an old classic, and head for Guy’s.