- Telephone 0141 338 6606
- Food served Mon–Thu 11am–3pm, 5–9pm; Fri/Sat 11am–2.30pm, 5–10pm; Sun 11am–7pm
- Pre-theatre times Mon–Sat 5–6.30pm
- Average price £14.95 (set lunch); £24 (evening meal)
- Pre-theatre price £15.95
- Website www.an-lochan.com
Just a couple of months after taking over the former An Lochan on Crow Road, husband and wife team Aisla and Rupert Staniforth are already filling the tables with enthusiastic diners. It’s hardly surprising: the couple know the business pretty well and ran the much-loved No 16 on Byres Road until a couple of years back. Front of house, Aisla chats cheerily to diners – families, birthday parties, friends and couples – praising their food selections or sharing behind-the-scenes tales. The relaxed informality out front is contrasted by things in the kitchen. There Rupert creates imaginative and beautifully presented Scottish dishes. Gone is the emphasis on fish – although there are several seafood choices plus a daily fish soup on offer. The menu now allows quality Scottish meat from the Aberfoyle Butcher to be showcased in roast barbary duck with sweet potato puree and ginger and lime sauce, a meltingly soft 24-hour roast shoulder of lamb with mash, and in traditional roasts served every Sunday. After such winning starters and mains the puddings are perhaps not quite on the same plate. But they are still good, and overall this is an outstanding neighbourhood restaurant.
In the depths of the West End, Wee Lochan feels set apart from the trends of other areas. Instead, it quietly gets on with turning out delightful plates of food, showing genuine skill and more than enough flair. Cured shreds of smoky venison are flanked by pulled leg meat shaped into crispy bon-bons, dots of mustard, berry sauce and juniper all ping-ponging around the plate and the palate. A typically skilful assemblage with massive tastes. So, too, scallops with pork belly – heavyweights that might overwhelm each other, but a delicate hint of five spice bridges the meat into shellfish that’s cooked as well as you’ll get. Hearty refinement defines the mains – a lovely big bit of lamb, fatty and juicy in all the right ways with a sauce of glossy accomplishment, or salmon en croute with buttery pastry surrounding tender, generous fish, in a classic one rarely encounters. There are other dishes that you will see elsewhere – but seldom executed as well. It’s a great showcase for our nation’s natural larder. All that, and it’s an unassuming neighbourhood restaurant with an interesting little wine list. There’s much to love.
- High point: The kitchen's sensitivity to their top notch ingredients
- Low point: It's a taxi or train journey from the main thoroughfares
- Notable dish: Seared scallops and sticky pork belly, with cauliflower puree and apple & vanilla dressing
Similar to the locally sourced produce on the menu at the Wee Lochan, the small, boutique interior is akin to a gallery for quality local artists, showcasing a mishmash of hand-picked evocative art on the walls and even a shelf of jams and jewellery for sale. The menu evolves regularly with the seasons and the produce, but could include a starter of smoked trout, with poached egg, lashings of hollandaise sauce and an artichoke to provide a sharp contrast to the smoky, creamy flavours. The plump pan-fried scallops come with a delectably different accompaniment than the black pudding that’s seen so often across the city: instead they come perched upon small, tender chunks of pork belly cooked in a sticky, lightly spiced Asian sauce. Main courses include fillets of sea bass, the fresh, soft flesh contrasting with perfectly crisp skin, served with a fricassee of mushrooms and crushed potatoes. Haunch of venison comes pink and is served with colcannon and port and orange sauces. A trio of desserts includes a passion fruit flan, which is like a tropical explosion of sweet, luscious flavour in your mouth – the perfect crescendo to an excellent meal.
- 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: soul, funk, r'n b
- Capacity: 40
- Largest group: 49
- Open since: 2011
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 20
- House wine: £17 per bottle
Reviews & features
Q&A: Aisla and Rupert Staniforth – Wee Lochan27 Oct 2014
How does your restaurant change in look and atmosphere in December? What effect are you hoping for? The restaurant gets all twinkly. We have these fabby porcelain lights on each table The are lithographs and the light shines through the different…