Eating out: more than just by the numbers

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Number 16 is something of an anomaly — a restaurant that not only survives, but prospers at the bottom end of Byres Road.

The Partick end of the street has become a merry-go-round for restaurants, not benefiting from the lunch time student rush of their geographically higher counterparts.

Instead, these restaurants have to survive on reputation and quality, and while many have fallen by the wayside, Number 16 continues to go from strength to strength.

The restaurant is small in comparison to many of its rivals, serving around 60 covers on a busy night.

Price-wise, this is not bargain dining, but you pay for what you get. Number 16 provides modern Scottish cooking at an excellent standard.

If the restaurant was any bigger, Number 16 might not have the same charm as it does now, and dishes might not be given the same special care and attention as they are at present.

While the menu is predominintally Scottish, that is by no means a limitation, as the starter can attest to. I had an Asian pork salad with cucumber, pak choi and chilli mint dressing. The pork was cooked to perfection while the accompaniments were the perfect complement to the dinner.

For main, I opted for a cassoulet of ham hock, summer vegetables, spelt, haricot beans, pickled soy mushrooms and salsa verde.

It was delicious and made me realise I have neglected ham when it comes to my own cooking!

So last weekend I tried out Nigella’s recipe of ham slow cooked in Coca Cola — not quite up to the standard of cooking at Number 16 but as far as my own humble ability is concerned, not too

shabby!

With a reputation beyond that of a hidden gem, Number 16 continues to quietly impress and excel in a difficult time for restaurants.

Rating: 8/10

Number 16

16 Byres Rd

Glasgow

G11 5JY

Tel: 0141 339 2544