Restaurant review: Black Dove

Restaurant review: Black Dove

Glasgow’s Southside dining credentials continue to rise, as Andrea Pearson discovers a chef spreading his wings in Shawlands

When considering the benefits of living in the age of the internet there is, obviously, the ability of school pupils to chat live with astronauts and surgeons to carry out delicate remote operations. But the ability of small, independent restaurants to build sizeable fan bases and compete with chains on the high street must be up there on the list. Specials, freshly baked cakes, and cocktails of the day are snapped and uploaded, and within minutes are liked and shared among hundreds. Facebook could be renamed Feed My Face Book.

Black Dove has only just opened in Shawlands in the Southside and yet it is already turning away diners at weekends. Social media is helping but only because there is real substance behind the playful posts. Chef and proprietor Chris Rouse has a strong pedigree – he was head chef at Celino’s in the East End and winner of Chef of the Year at last year’s Italian Awards – and he has managed to attract staff from the likes of Martin Wishart’s The Honours Glasgow and Cail Bruich.

The contemporary bar would be an ideal place to sup craft beers and their signature cocktails, but food is a must. The menu recommends two or three small plates in a tapas style. But before you cry ‘Hmm, so derivative’, there is also plenty to please the more traditional diner – pasta dishes (al dente) and haddock and chips feature, as you would expect, along with some extravagances such as lobster thermidor.

But at the heart of the menu, and what keeps bringing people back for more, is the exciting array of small plates including perfectly cooked scallops with Stornoway black pudding in Glayva cream, a sushi of the day with an exquisitely delicate wasabi, handmade ravioli, beef tartare with tarragon aioli capers and a sublime plateful of lamb rump with carrot purée. Puddings include a range of homemade ice-creams and sorbets, and a delicious deconstructed cheesecake (the gluten-free option substitutes the base for a crispy peanut crumb). Every dish is expertly cooked and beautifully presented … to like and to share.

+ Lamb rump with carrot purée and shelled broad beans
- Al dente pasta can be challenging for the unwary

Average price of a two-course meal: £14 (lunch) / £21 (dinner)