Side Dishes (16 October 2009)
Glasgow’s curry scene is as active as ever with the opening of Dining In with Mother India, essentially an expansion of the Mother India Café on Argyle Street, offering takeaway food, a mini Indian deli and a handful of tables serving a simple menu. In the Merchant City, the large Urban Pind has opened at 18 Candleriggs, while the most glamorous of the new arrivals is Slumdog, a bar and restaurant at 410 Sauchiehall Street named after the Danny Boyle film that marks the return of Charan Gill four years after he sold the Harlequin Restaurants, parent group of the Ashoka chain.
Fondly regarded Spoon Café on Blackfriars Street in Edinburgh’s Old Town is on the move, taking over the first-floor restaurant opposite the Festival Theatre where Nicolson’s was located until a few years back. Ritchie Alexander, who was head chef at Fitzhenry and Rogue before setting up Spoon, will be cooking alongside long-term colleague Rory Fulton in an expanded operation that will be opening in the evenings as well as daytime. The new Spoon Café and Bistro plans to be open by late October.
Following the recent refurbishment of the Turnberry Hotel, the new signature restaurant 1906 is offering an unusual Chef’s Table experience in a glass-walled private dining room. Hosted by executive chef Ralph Porciani and his team, a classical Escoffier-inspired degustation menu at £90 for six course is served including dishes such as white Alba truffle risotto and local pheasant with four textures of beetroot. www.turnberryresort.co.uk
At the end of October New York publishers Phaidon are releasing a glossy new hardback entitled Coco in which ten of the world’s most prestigious chefs nominate 100 ‘chefs of tomorrow’. Among the ten chosen by Gordon Ramsay is Martin Wishart, while Tom Kitchin appears in Alain Ducasse’s selection. Heady times for Leith, put into context by the diplomatic incident the book has sparked by failing to include any chefs from Canada.