Restaurant Review: a sign of good taste at Shawlands cafe

editorial image

It’s funny how things change. What used to be a riverside bicycle shop in the middle of Shawlands is now a little bistro called Bell and Felix.

It’s a change too for one of the proprietors, Richard Bell, a former managing director of this newspaper’s publisher Johnston (Falkirk) Ltd.

John Devlin 02/09/14. GLASGOW. Kilmarnock Road. Bell & Felix review.

John Devlin 02/09/14. GLASGOW. Kilmarnock Road. Bell & Felix review.

Back in the day, Mr Bell would hand out slips of paper with numbers on them. I was always looking for the number at the bottom to have as many figures as possible. In his new role he’s still dishing out slips of paper with numbers at the bottom — though this time I’m looking for fewer digits.

But don’t worry, this bistro isn’t going to burst a wage packet.

Bell and Felix looks like a coffee shop but when Mrs Oliver and I were in it had a fresh, almost continental air.

The specials board caught my eye with Stornoway black pudding and haddock fishcakes, which also came in Mrs Oliver’s From the Sea board.

John Devlin 02/09/14. GLASGOW. Kilmarnock Road. Bell & Felix review.

John Devlin 02/09/14. GLASGOW. Kilmarnock Road. Bell & Felix review.

My fishcakes were lovely. A crispy fried outer — not soggy in any way — cracked into a fluffy mixture of black pudding and fish. It looked like a tortoishell cat’s fur, but tasted delicious. Of course, I was purring — just like Felix the cat would?

I was pleased with my food, but Jennifer hit the jackpot with her tasting board; a stunning slab of salmon, plus two-thirds of my fishcake portion, sweet beetroot, tasty smooth pate and bread. The prawns were the stand-out; meaty and buttery with a hint of garlic. The quality of the butter slithered through each mouthful and the fish came from local stockists, according to Richard.

The coffee, well that came from further afield but was lovely, and once it secures an alcohol licence this little bistro will do a roaring trade.

One thing that hasn’t changed is Mr Bell’s taste. It was exquisite when it came to employing sports editors, and now he’s proving he still has it in abundance in this restaurant business.

Rating: 8/10

Bell and Felix

248 Kilmarnock Road

Shawlands

G43 1TT

Tel: 0141 649 1684