The Glasgow Veggie Diaries: Crossing the Rubicon

crossing the rubicon

New to The Glasgow Veggie Diaries? This series is where you’ll find me sharing the most awesome meat-free food options around town, so whether you or a member of your posse are vegetarian, feel free to use this as your official guide to who is doing it right!

You can also catch up with all of my previous Glasgow Veggie Diaries entries here.

Let’s get this out of the way: as some of you might already know, when it comes to spicy food I am a total wimp. I’m the gal that loves burritos, but only if I can cover them in sour cream, rendering them virtually unrecognisable! I’m also the gal that had claimed to dislike Indian cuisine – deeming it far too hot (and meaty!) for my taste. That is, until recently.

crossing the rubicon

When Crossing The Rubicon initially opened their doors on Great Western Road at the end of last year, I didn’t rush to go right away because I wasn’t sure if there would be much on their menu for me.

However, over the weeks that followed I heard AMAZING things about their modern street food-inspired take on classic Indian flavours. And since I always like to keep an open mind, Gary (a die-hard curry connoisseur!) and I went along to a special evening put on by The Glasgow Food Company to try out some of their vegetarian dishes…

crossing the rubicon

About Crossing the Rubicon

On the surface, it’s clear that Crossing the Rubicon are passionate about Indian tapas and craft beer, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find out that they are also about much more than that. Taking their brand name from the concept of taking risks in life, the menu is filled with a range of Eastern flavours from the likes of Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bangladesh and more.

Most of the dishes are smaller in portion, allowing guests to build their own feast, pick n’ mix their lunch or jump straight to pudding if they want to! Crossing the Rubicon’s relaxed approach to dining also aims to reduce food waste, and it’s refreshing to see a restaurant consider this issue.

crossing the rubicon

So, how was the food? Well, firstly I was really pleased to see an easy-peasy ‘traffic light’ system on the menu. Dishes that were not spicy at all are denoted by a little green dot, super hot options were red (of course!) and the ones in the middle were amber. And there were plenty of green items to choose from, hooray!

On our first visit, we agreed that the roasted carrot and sweet potato korma was a firm favourite. There was something incredibly moreish about it, and we loved the sweet, buttery taste! We both ordered it when we went back to Crossing the Rubicon a couple of weeks later for lunch, but had it served in different ways – Gary had it as part of a hearty naan-wich, and I enjoyed it as a small dish served with chana chat, chapatti and basmati rice. Delicious!

Another non-spicy, vegetarian curry that I really enjoyed was the dhal makani, which was made with lentils and beans. The sauce was rich and a bit tomato-ey – flavoursome but not spicy, which was ideal for me.

crossing the rubicon

Sides are also very veggie-friendly, and the crispy onion pakora was probably my favourite of all the sides and light bites we tried. It’s the perfect bar snack if you aren’t in the mood for a proper meal too! Gary also reported that the vegetarian haggis pakora was very good. A few other sides we tried included the pickle tray, hot buttered chapatti, naan, raita and salad.

The chapatti is dangerously addictive, especially when dipped into the korma sauce – is there any other way to deal with leftover sauce?

Overall, the range of meat-free options at Crossing the Rubicon is really impressive. There’s 24 tasty vegetarian items on the menu before you even get to the desserts, and a good amount of vegan choices too. Coupled with the fact that you can choose how spicy (or mild!) you want to go, there really is something for everyone!

I’m already planning my next trip, partly because I need more of their korma and chapatti in my life and partly because there are so many dishes I still want to try that sound so tasty (like the baingan bharta – made with smoked aubergine, tomato, onions and peas).

crossing the rubicon

Our repeat visits to Crossing the Rubicon just go to show that you need to push yourself out of your foodie comfort zone once in a while to discover something really great. I never thought I’d ever catch myself daydreaming about curry but there you have it – I’m a changed woman!

You can find out more about Crossing the Rubicon, and check out their full menu here.

Have you visited Crossing the Rubicon yet? When was the last time you tried something outside of your foodie comfort zone?

Love,

Signature

The Glasgow Veggie Diaries: Gin71

Gin71

New to The Glasgow Veggie Diaries? This series is where you’ll find me sharing the most awesome meat-free food options around town, so whether you or a member of your posse are vegetarian, feel free to use this as your official guide to who is doing it right!

You can also catch up with all of my previous Glasgow Veggie Diaries entries here.

As a big fan of CUP tea rooms (because, cake!) I’ve always been curious to try the brand’s chic, sister restaurant, Gin71. Now, on the surface of things, I may not be their target audience (on account of my not being able to distinguish a good gin cocktail from a glass of bottom-shelf mouthwash) BUT, one thing is for sure: I love food. Not only that, appreciate good food and any menu that has been crafted with a bit of care and consideration.

So, when Gin71 recently invited me to visit their newest Merchant City location, I had a feeling that there would still be a lot for me to get excited about…

Gin71

About Gin71

Where you find CUP tea rooms, you’ll also find Gin71 – at least, you will after 5pm! When CUP finish serving their usual array of afternoon teas and light bites, the full food and drink menu of Gin 71 becomes available. Gin is clearly a huge passion for the team as it makes an appearance in many forms! Several botanical infusions flavour the food on the menu in an imaginative, yet subtle, way that doesn’t feel forced. The menu has a good, varied spread – including meat, fish and veggie options.

Tucked away in Virginia Court, just around the corner from Miller Street foodie favourite Paesano Pizza, the new Gin71 building looks contemporary from the outside (almost pod-like in appearance!), but once I got inside it was all dim lights, palm leaves and speakeasy glamour!

It was just the right environment for a night of gossiping and life talk with one of my top dolls, Casci. After starting the night with a gin cocktail (Casci) and a fruity cocktail (me) from the extensive drinks menu, our starters arrived.

Gin71

I ordered the goats cheese and beetroot pannacotta – a dreamy little concoction that was lightly whipped into a soft, smooth consistency.  It was served cold, with a topping of pear and candied walnut, making me think I’d enjoy it even more in the warmer months.

Picking a main course was quite difficult as I was torn between the mushroom-based Blue Murder Gnocchi and the Botanical Mac and Cheese. On the basis of ‘when in Rome’, I went with the latter this time around. The fun part about ordering the macaroni is that you get to completely customise it, picking as many fillings and botanical flavourings as you wish! I decided to go with classic mac and cheese (no meaty fillings of course!) and enhance mine with rosemary and fennel.

Before long I was tucking into a very generously-portioned plate of creamy, comforting macaroni. The flavours were delicious and not too overpowering – I’d be keen to try a different combo next time to see how it measures up.

Gin71

Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t finish my main and our lovely waiter suggested we have ‘a break’ before coming back to chat dessert. A man after my own heart. How’s that for great service?

And the thing is, the dessert menu at Gin71 is something special and I would have hated to have missed it! My dark chocolate pot with a layer of gooey salted caramel hidden underneath and crumbled chocolate ‘soil’ (AKA biscuit) sprinkled on top was utterly divine! Decadence at its very best.

Gin71

Next time, I might need to start with dessert and work my way backwards because there’s no way I’m going without this chocolatey delight.

Casci’s rhubarb fromage frais looked equally tasty but I was far too wrapped up in my own dessert to try it out!

Feeling very full and very happy, we called it a night and (slowly!) walked through George Square agreeing that catching up over a yummy feast is surely one of life’s greatest pleasures.

You can find Gin71 Merchant City at 4 Virginia Court, with a range of dining menus and offers. As soon as this food baby wears off, I have a feeling I’ll pay them another visit!

Have you been to Gin71? What is your all-time favourite comfort food?

Love,

Signature

The Glasgow Veggie Diaries: Temaki

TEMAKI

New to The Glasgow Veggie Diaries? This series is where you’ll find me sharing the most awesome meat-free food options around town, so whether you or a member of your posse are vegetarian, feel free to use this as your official guide to who is doing it right!

You can also catch up with all of my previous Glasgow Veggie Diaries entries here.

TEMAKI

Sushi burritos? Is this a thing now? Well, if Temaki’s success is anything to go by (that’s over 2,500 sold in just under a month, folks) then the answer is a resounding YES! I love sushi, and seriously consider burritos to be one of my main food groups. So when Temaki officially launched their new Hope Street restaurant last month, I couldn’t wait to visit, try out this popular new dish for myself and report back.

TEMAKI

About Temaki 

Temaki opened its doors in December last year after drawing inspiration from the healthy, tasty street food served in New York and San Francisco. As well as sushi burritos (which come in an impressive selection of vegetarian fillings like spicy mushroom and sweet potato tempura), their extensive menu also includes bento boxes, steaming bowls of ramen, sashimi and hot rice dishes (hello, avocado fried rice!).

The restaurant is incredibly relaxed, making use of its compact space by offering side-by-side dining at its long wooden tables. It feels like the ideal place to grab a casual bite to eat with friends and the super central location makes that even easier (I’ve already been back since the launch!).

TEMAKI

Hanging from the ceiling are pretty paper lanterns which draw your eye upwards towards the ornate original ceiling from the building’s previous life as a hotel.

I’ve tried a few different dishes so far, and I have been really impressed with the range of meat-free options at Temaki. Sushi-wise, I’ve tried a few different maki and nigiri orders, including cucumber and avocado maki and sweet tofu nigiri. I’ve also tried the miso soup (SO GOOD on a cold day!) and the spicy edamame – they were too spicy for me but I’ve been assured by my less wimpy compadres that they are very addictive!

TEMAKI

The ramen bowls are enormous, filled with lots of fresh, locally produced ingredients and warm broth – making them great value for money and amazing comfort food. There are two veggie options – a chilli version and a miso one.

But what about the sushi burrito? I gave the asparagus tempura filled sushi burrito a try and really enjoyed it! The burritos are kind of like oversized hand rolls, but with a thinner layer of sticky rice and much more filling. Along with the asparagus, mine was filled with crunchy fresh vegetables and the entire thing was coated in crispy seaweed.

TEMAKI

The sushi burritos at Temaki have a focus on filling and majorly cut back on rice, making the entire dish seem lighter.

The menu gives you plenty of scope to eat like a king, building your very own Japanese feast to share – or you can grab a sushi burrito for a quick (but still satisfying) lunch on the go.

TEMAKI

You can find Temaki nestled in at 113 Hope Street, and check out their full menu online. I’ll certainly be back to try the avocado fried rice soon, will you be paying them a visit?

With love, chopsticks and paper lanterns,

Signature