Monthly Archives: February 2012

Wagamama West George St Glasgow.

Wasn’t sure what to make of Waga before I arrived as I had heard good and bad reviews.

Without going into a shed load of detail I felt what they are trying to do requires real expertise in this field and on the plate it didn’t materialize.

As just one example we ordered ribs as a starter which looked very appetizing however they arrived  cold and when they brought another portion they were hot all right but looked totally black and way over spiced. In a venture like waga you need consistency.

Its obviously trendy but I can’t see it going the distance.

Score a 2

Wagamama on Urbanspoon

Scott’s Largs Marina, Largs

For a special meal I booked Scott’s based on previous experiences within the same group of restaurants and bars and a previous visit to Scott’s of Largs.

I wanted everything to be as good could as it could be as it was a belated Christmas get together with Maw & Paw.

We booked lunch and if ever a team put together a service under pressure of numbers this was it……….everyone of the staff were full on but not one was flapping!

Food was nothing short of perfect and on a special day for my parents all expectations were met and exceeded.

Scott’s……….today you get the cigar, well done and thank you to all the team there.

Scores a deserved 9

Scotts on Urbanspoon

Mother Indias Cafe Argyle St Glasgow (opposite the Art Gallery and Museum)

This is probably the best Indian Restaurant in Glasgow by a mile at this moment in time………an ever changing tapas style menu that is an absolute delight no matter how many times you go. The service is slick but definitely not pushy or intrusive and the fayre itself is sublime and amazing value for money.

Are there downsides? Yes, there are two to be precise, one you can’t book and two they allow children in. Can you minimise these problems yes you can…eat earlier than the prescribed busy times and secondly parents should take their children to the Art Gallery and Museum and tell them its Major League hide and seek and Mum and Dad are hiding first……..all be it in Mother Indias Cafe! They will be very tired and glad to see you when you return and chips and lashings of ginger beer should suffice to keep them happy on the way home.

A word of warning don’t confuse Mother India with Mother India’s Cafe.

Mother India Cafe on Urbanspoon

Scores a fabulous 9

Chutney Blu Westwood Square East Kilbride

The name Chutney Blu immediately conjured up in my minds eye an ultra-modern style temple and boy was I suckered when I arrived. Its probably the most bizarre eating experience I’ve had for close on ten years and 15 minutes into the experience I didnt know whether to laugh or cry.

The place was empty apart from one couple having a domestic in one of the booths and a birthday party of about twelve people plus a splattering of kids.

In hindsight we should have made our excuses and left but it was getting late we were tired and wanted to eat. Settled for the buffet which we thought was the safer choice however I couldnt have been further wrong.
Firstly we were told by an old Indian guy that shuffled up to the table that the starters were ready and of course they weren’t and he had done exactly the same thing when it came to the main courses. He either has a warped sense of humour or likes to see if punters will accept any old dregs left in the bain marie. I dont think I have to tell you which it is………….as for the interior it looks like the local primary school were responsible for the design, I could go on about how dirty the place was but I won’t.. just give it an extremely wide berth and stick to Asha’s or Spice if you want a quality dining experience in EK.
Oh almost forgot to mention, just after we got our main course an impromptu karaoke kicked in (no mention of this at the front door or when we sat down!) and things just went from bad to worse. It certainly wasn’t a “Westwood to Bollywood” experience.

Scores less than zero

Chutney Blu on Urbanspoon

Zaika Main St Stewarton

NOW CLOSED and I dont think we will see these operators for a while.

The site now has a for sale board up and I’m sure it won’t be long before a another operator takes over. Its a good site as Kilmarnock’s Indian restaurants are very poor.

I’ve been to Zaika 5 times, twice were very enjoyable but its lost its shine in recent times. At first the attention to detail and the quality and inventiveness of the dishes were a refreshing change however the last 3 times the quality seems to me to have deteriorated.
This is all to common if the “greedy bastard” mentality kicks in and the head chef is pulled from pillar to post trying to keep all plates spinning.

Have noticed that the boss at Stewarton would rather spend his time chatting with regular customers rather than directing the service for the evening and he always leaves any customers that have an issue to the young girls employed as waitresses.

About a year ago I sent an email regarding the problem that occurs when you put coarse sea salt into a normal grinder (you get slightly smaller rocks to chew on) however I didn’t get a reply and they are still firing the same course salt into the grinders………….add to this I think portion size has decreased also.

Zayka on Urbanspoon

Scores originally a 7 now a 5.

Frankie and Benny’s Queens Drive Kilmarnock

Having tried Frankie and Benny’s about 15 years ago in one of the very first F&B franchises in the UK it is interesting to see how the operation has developed or not as the case may be.

The décor which, even for a franchise I still admire the original attention to detail is impressive especially if you haven’t been before. (learn to speak Italian in the lavvy?)

The fayre is decidedly “Noo Joisey” That’s New Jersey to non Mafia types and it means that most things come covered in some kind of sauce although thankfully no blood and guts from machine gun fire. The menu is extensively Yankee Diner with ribs pizza pasta and steak featuring heavily.

Definitely a place for the younger set or groups with something to celebrate (and queue Cliff Richard.if you don’t get the joke just go and try it)

I cant say I love the food all be it its much better than Pizza Hut and a lot more fun. On refection it seems to make places like McDonalds seem like yesterdays place.

Rating on this occasion a 6.5 if you take all the elements including a very enthusiastic wee waitress into consideration!

Frankie and Benny's on Urbanspoon

Shimla Palace Titchfield 43 Street Kilmarnock KA1 1QS (opposite the old cinema)

Converted to an Indian restaurant about 3 years ago and until now has had a chequered history however it now seems to be getting established and overall the standard by Kilmarnock expectations is easily met.

They specialise in a large buffet which having tried 3 times now is far better and more varied than the boring Jewel in the Crown.
They do a 3 course business lunch for £3.95 plus a 5 courser buffet from 12 noon til 3 for £5.95!

The staff can’t do enough to help and nothing is too much bother. Not a showstopper but looking at a six with further progress on the horizon…….way to go Shimla!

Shimla Palace on Urbanspoon

Ruby Chinese Restaurant, Sandgate Ayr

One of the many Chinese restaurants caught in a time warp but still trading well enough to survive.

Visited this restaurant on a regular basis many years ago but I’m happy to say although it may not be a palatial interior, the level of service and more importantly the the food still passed muster for the price you pay. I had the combination lichee dish (not to be confused with lychee the fruit, lichee in this case meaning little chilli which was excellent but not too hot to send you into shock!)
Score out of ten……….a 5.5

Ruby on Urbanspoon

MacCallums Harbour Rd The Harbour Troon KA10 6DH

Sunday lunch that age old British tradition and the chosen venue none other than MacCallum’s of Troon (the dearest chip shoap in Scotland!) To explain MacCallum’s Oyster Bar is the restaurant and the “Wee Hurrie” is the chip shoap (next door) that if your in “a hurry” avoid…………. apart from the fact that you probably won’t find it in the first place!

If you don’t know where the restaurant is don’t look for their website it doesn’t exist……very strange I have to say as it has a great reputation.

As for my visit we were greeted by a waitress that had a distinctive “he’s chucked me” attitude which prevailed throughout our stay. We asked her for more bread which was obviously a real problem for happy harry the server.

I had the lobster bisque an all time favorite which was just ok, personally I think they have been making it to a classic recipe which has been improved on elsewhere……all in all too strong in flavour and I’ve made better myself. My wife had the cullen skink which was exactly the opposite and I wish I had plumped for that.

Main dishes I settled for the prawn and monkfish linguine and my wife had the cod and chips. The linguine was not bad but the token prawn was disappointing whilst the fish and chips hit the spot.

Young waiter was very helpful and was the only reason we left a tip.

Scores on the doors a dissapointing 5.0

MacCallum’s of Troon Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon</a

Shimla Palace on Urbanspoon

Charcoals, Renfield St, Glasgow.

Not an area of the City I feel particularly comfortable in on a Saturday night at 8.00pm however decided on this restaurant due to the number of positive reviews else where. In hindsight I wish I’d never come across them.

Booked a table and arrived on time but had to wait for a table admittedly not for long. Once seated I got a chance to look round and I can only describe the decor as a bit on the bizarre side and something told me things were going to go downhill from here.

The starters, when they finally arrived (we were contemplating sending out for chips by this time) were nothing to complain about however the main event i.e. the curry sauce had a strange broth like consistency and a taste that I’d rather not put my foot on or in.

The service was a shocker largely down to the fact that there were too many hungry punters and not enough Indians. I was informed that they were a member of staff short that night but he must have been an octopus as another 3 wouldn’t have gone wrong. Have to take my hat off to the head wallah who kept it going whilst taking a lot of heat from the “I’m no happy” brigade.
Scores a 3 and nothing would drag me back!…Abysmal

Charcoals on Urbanspoon


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