Restaurant review: The Scullery

Restaurant review: The Scullery

A bright and buzzing atmosphere offers food designed for casual dining

Another café-bistro of the contemporary, casual kind has opened in Glasgow. Jay Thundercliffe went to Finnieston (again) to see what’s new

Finnieston’s latest opener, The Scullery, is every bit as hip-looking as the numerous newish spots up and down the road, with an attractive, crisp and modern interior with big windows and period detailings, all done up in wood and brick. Time-served Ubiquitous Chip manager Kathleen Sheridan and husband Scott Burgess have set the place up with chef Laurie McMillan, quickly establishing a bright, buzzing atmosphere that clearly appeals to the young professionals and Finnieston’s better-heeled residents (let’s face it, there are still plenty who are not) who are willing to meet the upward-reaching prices.

Not that the food doesn’t justify the costs, in the main. A bacon buttie might startle at £3.50 but it is Puddledub bacon on a brioche roll, and that’s the sort of place this is: quality local ingredients prepared by a conscientious, ambitious kitchen. The compact pan-European main menu is joined by imaginative sandwiches and lighter bites for lunch, helping the Scullery straddle the economically important café / bistro frontier.

The food is designed for casual, often comforting, dining – fairly safe crowdpleasers rather than risky groundbreakers, rustic satisfaction with a smattering of finesse. Fried halloumi sticks are an excellent starter, light and fluffy, lit up by a fiery chilli and lime pickle with a zingy salad. Gin-infused salmon is another hit, its smoky notes mingling with pickled cucumber strips and tangy capers. Beetroot hummus, served as a dip with local bakery bread, is intriguing as much as gratifying.

Mains continue the edifying, occasionally exciting and generally very enjoyable experience. A main course of roast chicken breast is well cooked with a satisfying creamy mushroom and Madeira sauce, squeaky beans and crushed potatoes. A lovely slow-roast pork belly comes with black pudding and separate pieces of skin which should have more crispy crackle. It’s an imaginative pig three ways idea, let down by overwrought mash.

Desserts seem quite reliant on outside suppliers, such as ice-cream from Lanark that can’t carry its weight of expectation or elevation on the menu. That said, a rather odd vegan chocolate brownie could have done with a scoop of it or anything else creamy to cut through the rich cocoa and amaretto sauce.

+ Casual, comforting dining at (almost) its best
- Occasional ambushes by underwhelming elements

Ave. price of a two-course meal: £8 (lunch) / £19 (dinner)