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…
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.
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.
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.
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?