We've been a bit Edinburgh focussed the last couple of reviews so our after our annual sabbatical we are back, and let's head back to the bright lights of Glasvegas for our review of the marvellous Mini Grill.
If you've read our review about for 48below you know we are quite fond of basements, the cosiness , the fungeon-esque atmosphere that makes any restaurant feel more intimate than being in a wide open space. We took Mini-SFR with us to Mini Grill and were thoroughly impressed with how they looked after the little person. Mini Grill is family friendly, that doesn't mean it has soft play, or that bogey nosed, gap toothed little monsters will be running, screaming in a banshee-like wail around your feet. It just means that at Mini Grill if you want to have a nice relaxed dinner you don't have to be afraid you and your child will be stared at as though you've just come back from Planet LV-426 and are complaining of a sore tummy…
The staff are friendly and also very helpful and knowledgeable, able to talk us through the menu items and what is good and what is very good. Unsurprisingly, given the name, the menu is meat heavy and there is loads of twists and turns to look our for.
For starters we went with a chicken liver parfait, although this was like no parfait I'd seen before, I mean it was green! Usually this would be a bad thing, but not on this occasion - it was because of the crisp coating of pistachio crumb, which provided a huge texture contrast to the smooth contents. If you like bread with your pate you'll be particularly happy about the mini brioche loaf that comes along too. A fruity red onion marmalade and the brush of cherry puree works well to bring in some fruitiness.
The other starter was a Haggis lovers dream, with the delicacy served three different ways: in puff pastry, filo pastry and also coated in sesame seeds, although the classic battered and deep fried option is not one of them! They are served with a neep puree (of course) and creamy pepper sauce. This terrific trio is a simple but an effective dish.
Two good starters, each with a traditional foundation and a cheeky twist, just how we like things. Service remained excellent as starters disappeared, more drinks were offered and appeared and Mini-SFR got more refined attention. Then a reasonable amount of time later the main courses arrived.
If the trio of haggis was a triumph, then the celebration of swine was a sensation. Great cubes of slow cooked belly pork and pork cheeks, the sesame seeds get dug out again, this time giving a black pudding ball and warm embrace. How do you balance out all that rich meaty goodness? A tangy pear puree and a bold Cider jus perfectly temper the pork flavours.
Then there was the “Glasgow Burger”, a monumental tower of treats dripping with essence of weeg (figuratively, not literally, I mean what would that even be like, doesn't bear thinking about) The brioche bun is made with Irn Bru and the bacon jam laced with Buckfast. Throw in some Haggis and Lockerbie cheddar, and of course a 7oz beef burger and you would think that would be a burger and a half. But there was no mini happening at this grill. Nope they've managed to squeeze in some radish slaw and my favourite touch, braised beef cheek cooked in the epic St Mungo's beer from the West Brewery. It's completely ridiculous, as a burger there is no way you can wrap your laughing gear around it, you need to have a damn good try and then don't get too upset as your plate ends up catching the meateorites* as they return back to earth. (*created a new word?) A very tasty burger indeed, if that wasn't enough for you, they throw some chips into a bucket and serve them up with it.
Whilst all this nonsense burger eating was going on Mini-SFR was kept occupied with a cracking Mac and cheese, with chips and garlic bread. It was good to see as much effort going into the kids meal as went into the adults. Minimal remaining space in the belly limited to us to one dessert to share, so the Honeycomb Puff Candy with hot caramel sauce was chosen and a stunner it was too.
The dessert pretty much sums up the meal, great dishes, with cheeky twists and turns. Loads of ingredients fighting with each other on the plate, but never one dominating as a clever balancing act of tastes and textures kept everything in order. Prices are just as sensible, a two course pre-theatre can be bagged for as little as Fourteen quid during the week. Brilliant service, great welcoming atmosphere, what more could you want…?
Super highly recommended.