Eating out: top marks for city centre bistro

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ANY food fan will tell you: perusing a menu in advance of the meal is all part of the dining out experience.

Okay, so that might just be me (let’s call it an endearing trait and say no more) — but believe me when I say that Red Onion’s offerings excited me before I’d set foot in the place.

The kitchen may be city centre, but chef to the stars and owner John Quigley is a prominent East Renfrewshire man, as fans of last year’s feastRen festival will know.

I invited a friend to sample the dishes I’d been salivating over (for perhaps too long one lunchtime). Having politely debated who was trying what (the perils of having two seafood fans at the table), she opted for scallops with chorizo, rocket and balsamic vinegar; perfectly cooked, and generously proportioned.

I chose hot and sour broth with prawn and coriander dumplings; full of flavour, just spicy enough and brimming with veg and plump seafood.

The soup was delightful, but nothing compared to my main; a gorgeous plate of monkfish, king prawn and pea korma served with basmati rice and roti paratha.

The curry sauce was delicate (a far cry from the gooey takeaway version), the fish meaty yet soft, and I could happily have stuffed myself full of that fresh flatbread.

Across the table, my chicken-sceptic friend made a bold move and ordered garlic and roast thyme (you guessed it) chicken, with haggis croquette, champ potato, spinach and red onion gravy.

Consider the girl a convert, thanks to this moist,warming plate of food — the kind you want to curl up with on a rainy night. There was, she said, too much mash to conquer (but in my book, there’s no such thing).

We finished with a berry crumble and vanilla cheesecake with caramelised banana and salted caramel sauce — both happily devoured.

The second in particular was beautifully presented, and the nutty sauce (although not noticeably salted) struck a good balance with the sweetness of the dish.

This is special occasion food without the fuss; gourmet ingredients presented with skill, not pretension — and when it comes to more generous proportions, I say you can’t have too much of a good thing.

Rating: 10/10

Red Onion

257 West Campbell St

Glasgow G2 4TT

Tel: 0141 221 6000