HAVING never set foot in a casino before, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from my visit to the Red Leaf.
I may not be a gambling kind of girl, but the other half was immediately taken with his surroundings — in particular, a spectacular view of the Clyde and the squinty bridge.
And it’s hard not to be impressed by this opulent dining room — a rich, velvety setting ideal for special occasion dining (adults only, of course). The question is, can a two courses for £10 menu live up to such high standards? In a word, yes.
The OH snaffled the haggis starter; bon bons with a mustard and whisky dip. The dish is fast becoming a Glasgow menu staple, but these were particularly good; surprisingly delicate with a light crisp coating.
I chose glazed goats cheese with chilli and red pepper salsa. Again, it’s a simple dish, but was done well, with plenty of sweet sauce and added crunch from a hidden crostini.
My main was more elaborate; poached smoked haddock in a stack with crushed new potatoes, green beans, poached egg and plenty of chive hollandaise. The fish was flaky, full of smoke, and complemented perfectly by the oozing egg yolk, crunch of the bean and well-seasoned potatoes.
On the other side of the table, a main of pork loin, chorizo mash, squash puree, greens and gravy was presented beautifully. The pork could perhaps have been more tender, but the mash was a real highlight — slightly spiced and smoky thanks to the hint of sausage.
Two courses were probably more than enough for a Monday night, but we couldn’t resist the dessert menu.
The caramelised orange tart was a surprising delight; fluffy and crisp on top — like an orange creme brulee on a tart base — and the cheeseboard was generously proportioned.
A table with a view may be the first selling point of the Red Leaf — but at prices like these, and with high standards set during my first visit, there’s more than one reason to return.
Red Leaf at Alea Casino
Tel: 0141 530 1718