The Left Bank
- Telephone 0141 339 5969
- Opening times Mon–Fri 9am–midnight; Sat/Sun 10am–midnight
- Bar open Mon–Thu 9am–midnight; Fri/Sat 9am–1am; Sun 10am–midnight
- Food served Mon–Fri 9am–10pm; Sat/Sun 10am–10pm
- Pre-theatre times Mon–Sun 4:30pm–6:30pm
- Average price £13 (set lunch); £18 (evening meal)
- Pre-theatre price £13
- Website www.theleftbank.co.uk
With its bijou mezzanine dining area, outdoor bench and emphasis on accessible, creative cooking, this bistro is a West End favourite.
This review is taken from the current (2016) edition.
The Left Bank is the first outpost of a Glasgow triumvirate that includes the Two Figs and the Bungo. Now a well-established entity on the West End dining scene – its doors opened a decade ago – the Left Bank makes its presence known with a menu that maximises the boldness and spice of Asian cooking. Lentil sambar is a pared-down starter teaming with dry spicing – turmeric, cumin and fried coriander seeds – tempered with a cooling coconut raita. Just as fiery is a hoian chicken skewer, coated in a bona fide satay sauce (lime leaves, lemongrass, soy sauce and chilli all present), paired with crunchy peanut slaw. If one main delivers in restraint – a superbly charred and dry-aged Angus ribeye, served with rosemary chips and salad – the other, a rump of lamb, feels over-worked with chorizo, salsa verde, leeks and Parma ham. With large-fronted windows that open onto Gibson Street, a menu that runs all day and its location close to the University, the Left Bank is a welcome retreat for West End food-lovers, intellectuals and students alike.
- High point: Staff highly informed of dietary spec of dishes
- Low point: Mezzanine restaurant stiflingly hot
- Notable dish: Ribeye steak
The Left Bank’s natural tones and textures create a pleasant neighbourhood haven for relaxing with friends over a well-prepared cocktail, decent glass of wine, refreshing pint or cuppa. The brunch menu stands out with the likes of heuvos mexicanos, Lebanese breakfast of shakshuka (spicy chickpea ragout and baked egg), fried halloumi, sautéed potatoes and warm pitta, or poached eggs five ways. For starters, green chilli garlic tiger prawns taste as good as they look, served on a banana leaf with side of aromatic coconut chutney and wafer thin crispy papads. Coriander chickpea fritters, moist and crumbly inside and nicely crisped on the outside are balanced by cooling yoghurt mint raita. Main of pork belly and crackling is a feisty portion, overcrowded by one too many veg which detract from the central ingredient. Scottish-Asian fusion is celebrated in the delicious black salmon fillet marinated in mirin and sake or try West Coast mussels in tam yam broth – a nice diversion from traditional haddock and chips or burger. To round things off it’s a toss up between a hot toddy and warm pecan brownie – resistance is futile.
- Private dining: Up to 30 covers
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Pre-theatre menu, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Rhythm / Blues
- Capacity: 78
- Largest group: 30
- Open since: 2006
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 17
- House wine: £16.95 per bottle
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