The Glasgow Veggie Diaries: Tempus at Grand Central Hotel

grand central hotel

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

One of my favourite things about Christmas time is the food! I love the extra indulgence that comes with the season, whether it’s from snacking on a chocolate Santa or sitting down with friends and enjoying a festive feast.

Recently, I did the latter (though there has been the odd chocolate Santa, too!) at Tempus, the restaurant at Grand Central Hotel in the city centre, after Laura suggested that a few of us should get together for Christmas dinner.

grand central hotel

The Restaurant 

Grand Central Hotel has been in Glasgow since the 19th century and has welcomed the likes of Frank Sinatra when they’ve visited the city. And if it’s good enough for ol’ blue eyes then it’s good enough for me! Tempus, their in-house restaurant, strives to show-off fresh, locally-sourced food to give visitors a taste of Scotland.

Like our very own blogging Rat Pack, myself and the other girls arrived on a cold, dark evening at Grand Central Hotel, which looks extra luxurious when it’s all dressed up for Christmas (don’t we all?!)!

The Menu

The three-course festive dinner menu at Tempus has around five options per course, two of which are vegetarian. The team were very helpful when checking for dietary requirements and made sure that everyone in our group was catered for.

It was really encouraging to see a set menu with more than one meat-free option for each course, especially at this time of year when you half-expect nut roasts on every menu!

grand central hotel

What I Ate 

I was very tempted to order the butternut squash soup as a starter (is there anything better on a winter’s night?) but decided to go with the goat’s cheese instead – and boy, am I glad that I did. Presented beautifully with a generous amount of soft and firm cheese, this was a lovely start to the meal. I’m not ashamed to say that I used a piece of cheese as a ‘cracker’ and topped it with soft cheese – like I said, ’tis the season to indulge! #cheeseoncheese

For my main, I picked out the woodland mushroom and spinach strudel which was served with crushed buttery potatoes and truffle cream. I loved the way this dish tasted (I mean, TRUFFLE CREAM!) but it would have been even better if the pastry was a little more exciting to look at – when I read strudel, I was expecting some fancy latticing or similar. Regardless, it was cooked to perfection and I would definitely order it again!

grand central hotel

When it came to desserts, things got a lot more difficult for our group! Everything. Looked. So. Good. Even our waitress was laughing as we struggled to decide what to order, and kept changing our minds every two minutes. How come I can make fairly adult decisions about mortgages and such but, throw some salted caramel and cheesecake into the mix, I get all Sophie’s Choice?

Eventually, I decided to order off-menu after we found out about a special dessert that wasn’t listed. A Taste of Winter sounded delightful – and it was! Brown sugar meringue, mascarpone and plum together with candied clementine and sorbet even smelled like the most perfect snow-capped scene. I could have happily eaten a plate of the meringues alone to be honest, they were divine!

grand central hotel

The aftermath…

Final Thoughts

There’s a certain feeling of ceremony when it comes to eating Christmas dinner in rather grand surroundings and it doesn’t come much grander than Grand Central Hotel at this time of year. A few hours of delicious food, nonsense chatter and good company with my own little blogging Rat Pack was a wonderful way to toast the season.

You can enjoy the festive set menu at Tempus with your own nearest and dearest until 30th December. Click here to find out more and book a table.

What are your thoughts on Christmas food? Do you love it? And which member of the Rat Pack would YOU be?

The Glasgow Veggie Diaries: Epoch

Epoch

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

Recently I went along to a special tasting evening at Epoch, a new restaurant and lounge on the ground floor of Princes Square. I hadn’t heard too much about Epoch since they opened their doors a couple of months ago, other than the menu being inspired by dishes from around the world. So, I was looking forward to finding out a little more (and trying out some of their vegetarian dishes while I was at it!)…

Epoch

The Restaurant

Occupying the space of two former units, Epoch’s spacious restaurant flows through to a comfortable lounge area (or is it the other way around?) decorated with pops of colourful contemporary artwork and stylish furniture.

We started our evening relaxing in the lounge before heading through to our table.

The Menu

Made up of small plates, Epoch’s menu is separated into meat, vegetable and fish sections – making it easy to navigate and pick out a few to your taste. Two or three per person are encouraged, as is sharing!

There are four vegetarian, five meat and four fish dishes. All in all, I think that this is a fair and balanced approach with the small plates – the veggie dishes don’t feel like an afterthought and there aren’t less options than with the other sections. In addition, there are the usual breads and olives to nibble on and all of the side dishes at Epoch are meat-free.

Epoch

If wine is your bag, the restaurant does plenty of that too (and the team really know their stuff when it comes to the ol’ grape juice, so don’t be shy to ask them!). I skipped on the wine (surprise!) and instead enjoyed a lovely pomegranate faux-hito with my food.

Epoch

What I Ate

I started the meal with a vibrant plate of pickled seasonal vegetables, which were served with a herby mayonnaise. As well as looking very pretty, this was a fresh, summery dish. Real talk: it’s not one to pick if you’re really hungry, but it would make a tasty accompaniment to something more substantial, like the gnocchi. Speaking of which…

Ah, the gnocchi! This was hands-down my favourite part of the meal, and I even cheekily enquired if you could order a large portion from the regular menu (you can’t, BUT I am not above ordering three plates of the same thing, believe me!). I’d never had gnocchi with a filling before, but this came filled with roasted gorgonzola and walnut – it was a game-changer! I loved the squash puree on the side too.

Epoch

I also tried the broccoli dish, in which tender broccoli came with peas, fine beans, coconut and curry leaf, before finishing up with peach rosemary ice cream. The ice cream was made in-house, and served with shortcake and creme anglaise. As some of you will already know, I have a huge sweet tooth and really enjoyed the dessert at Epoch!

One thing that I DIDN’T eat, but I really want to go back and try, is the ‘Epoch eclair’, which sounds like a chocolate, hazelnut and caramel dreamboat that I would like to to get to know a little better.

Epoch

Final thoughts 

Epoch have created an inviting space where you could happily spend a few hours catching up with friends and not feel hurried out of  the door. I could see myself spending more time in the lounge area than the restaurant (either with friends or just having some alone time with an eclair and coffee…), but I have no doubt that I will be back for more of the gnocchi sometime soon too.

I’ll be interested to see how the menu changes from season to season but, for the time being, there’s a good selection of flavours to please most and a decent amount of the menu is vegetarian.

Have you checked out Epoch in Princes Square yet? And tell me, have you ever ordered three of the same dish while dining out?

 

The Glasgow Veggie Diaries: Bread Meats Bread

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

Today’s edition of my Veggie Diaries takes us to Bread Meats Bread, something of a Glasgow success story. There are very few places in our city that people will happily wait in line for, especially as there is so much choice available. But the original Bread Meats Bread (on St Vincent Street) STILL has people regularly queued out the door, dying to get their hands on their famous burgers or a plateful of poutine.

Now, that’s all very well and good for our meat-eating buddies, but what about the vegetarian options? Actually, I’d heard pretty great things!

We headed up to Bread Meats Bread’s newer Great Western Road restaurant for lunch over the weekend to check it out…

The Restaurant

Bread Meats Bread has a big, sunny corner unit just a hop, skip and a jump from the Botanic Gardens. There are plenty of tables inside, which meant we could be seated right away (even though they were very busy!) amongst the cheery yellow booths, smart tiles and industrial light fixtures. The restaurant is also ideally placed on one of Glasgow’s busiest streets – with plenty of windows for people-watching.

The Menu

Let’s get down to it: does an award-winning restaurant with a focus on meat (well, it IS in the name!) have much on their menu for veggies? Surprisingly, yes! As well as seven specially-created vegetarian and vegan dishes and a dedicated section of the menu, some of the grilled cheese sandwiches and sides are also meat-free – so all in all, a pretty decent amount. No token sad salads here!

That being said, a large amount of the meat-free options at Bread Meats Bread are made up of meat alternatives, such as seitan, pastramheat and vegan bacon. It’s not really my cup of tea, but there were still a couple of options that were just vegetables so I wasn’t stuck. I also liked that the menu (and the staff) offered vegetarian and / or vegan alternatives to a lot of what was on there.

What we ordered

The BBQ pulled mushroom bun sounded so tempting that both Gary and I ended up ordering it! And it did not disappoint – a massive portion of sweet, smoky oyster mushrooms served in a fluffy brioche bun with house slaw made this dish a super indulgent treat. I’m not ashamed to say I finished the lot!

We also ordered some sides – Gary went for the maple vegan bacon sweet potato fries and I picked out some good ol’ onion rings. Gary loved the flavour combo on the fries, which came topped with candied vegan bacon, cayenne pepper, maple syrup and coconut. Sweet n’ salty at its finest! My onion rings were also awesome – battered, not breadcrumbed (an important detail, trust me!) and a really generous portion size.

Final thoughts

The food that we had was amazing and we would 100% go back again. The fact that a place that specialises in meat dishes has been considerate enough to have a ton of veggie and vegan options on their menu is nothing short of rad. For most vegetarians, the menu presents a lot of choices! I would like to have had more options that didn’t involve seitan (not today, seitan) but that is just down to personal taste and I’m sure most people would really enjoy Bread Meats Bread’s vegan take on buttermilk fried chicken – after all, how many places in Glasgow are offering that?!

Have you tried out Bread Meats Bread? And I just gotta know: when it comes to onion rings, are you team batter or team breadcrumb?