Brel Bar – Ashton Lane, Glasgow

Where is good for Christmas parties and dinners in Glasgow? The eternal question. Up until recently I would have given a blunt and honest “No idea” as I have been relatively well behaved in terms of eating out for the last few weeks. I’ve been pretty busy with various bits and bobs and my foodie adventures have (reluctantly) taken a back seat to me working and sleeping! I got an invite to go visit Brel Bar & Restaurant in the über trendy Ashton Lane, and I really couldn’t be bothered. I hummed and hawed, and decided to “just go”. I am SO glad I did!

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Ashton Lane is a cobbled back street with a mixture of bars and restaurants in Glasgow’s West End. It tugs at my heart strings with it being lit with overhead fairy lights. Brel has carried this gorgeous atmospheric lighting in their restaurant – I felt immediately relaxed, warmed and just happy and cosy when I entered.

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I didn’t go out to sit, but how cute is their beer garden?!

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I was greeted by the lovely staff…so lovely that I was mocked my my ‘Sod’s law’ luck with car parking. The barman gave me cash back for parking. If you ask for a £5 note and £5 in coins, you know that the coin machine will want £6. So you take £10 in coins and it comes to £2. Typical. At least my purse feels heavier which is a boost to my self esteem, ha!

Brel’s new campaign is called ‘Brelliant Christmas’ and they have a ‘Brelliant’ menu, let me tell you.

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I will apologise at this point because the photo quality is about to face dive off a cliff. The first images are from Brel….the following are from my iPhone which had >40% battery. *Santa send me a camera*

Starters

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16 year old Tobermory Home Cured Smoked Salmon, Pickled Veg & Crème Fraîche

The salmon was really smoky – it was gorgeous. I loved everything about this dish apart from the bread which was too dense for my taste. I always prefer salmon with a soft or crunchy (as opposed to chewy) bread, and probably not a strong flavoured bread either.

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Caramelised Chestnut, Wild Mushroom & Baby Spinach Tart with Spiced Tomato Chutney

This was a great starter – the photo makes it look like an ASDA pizza which it looks nothing like! Sorry! I absolutely love mushrooms so this was right up my street. There were loads of different mushrooms which gave a great earthy flavour and texture, and the spiced chutney just sparked the entire dish. My plate was cleared.

Main Courses

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Everyone else received well dressed plates….I had a parcel delivered!

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Cod, Salmon & Clams en Papillotte, Saffron, Fennel & White Wine

“DING DING DING JACKPOT” she exclaimed as she opened her silver parcel! I was one of the only ones to order the seafood course, so everyone was tres intrigued about the contents of my package. The cod, salmon and clams had been gently cooked in this sealed foil bag of white wine et al to provide a beautifully tender set of fillets with tastes that compliment each other beautifully. I love that calms are that little bit more al dente and give you something to chew. I ate this with the roast potatoes to soak up the sauce. I was in heaven.

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Slow Braised Beef Brisket with Truffle Mash, Pancetta & Horseradish

I scored a taste of this from another guest and it was glorius. If I couldn’t pick the fish dish, then this for me was the winner. The meat was slow cooked to tender perfection and matched with gorgeous autumnal flavours. It was very luxurious, wintery and it’s a must-try Christmas dish!

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Sides – Roast Potatoes, Brussel sprouts, Parsnips & Carrots

Dessert

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Orange, Mango & Rosewater Pavlova

When this arrived I really was convinced that it wasn’t meant for one person – it’s huge. Despite its size, I can tell you all that after my extensive reasearch, it is suitable for one person. The pavlova is flavoured with Rosewater and is as light air. The sweetness is offset by the tart fruit pieces and coulis. It was the perfect end to a very heavy and very tasty meal.

The food was absolutely stunning, especially my parcel from the ocean. Every single course has something for everyone, and I didn’t try a single thing I didn’t like. For the quality of the food, £20/£26 for lunch/dinner is a bargain price. If you’re looking for a cosy meal in Glasgow’s west end, I whole heartedly recommend Brel!

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Brel Bar & Restaurant

Ashton Lane

Glasgow

G12 8SJ

(0141) 342 4966

http://www.brelbar.com

@BrelBar

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