SEAFOOD remains an acquired taste — something people love or hate, like plump olives or a hearty glass of red.
Despite coming out thumbs up for fish and shellfish alike, it’s not often I get to a dedicated seafood restaurant — few dining companions are brave enough to stray away from the usual meat, meat and more meat options.
So, stealing a visit to city centre eatery Mussel Inn with my fish fan sister was a treat, with seafood as far as the new 2014 menu stretches and not a bad-sounding dish among them.
There’s a definite theme, with fish motifs in every direction, cool blues and glass everywhere — a bit like being in a tank yourself.
I started with crab salad; claw meat and crayfish tails in lime mayo (with a hint of cherry tomato) all stacked on a toasted focaccia and drizzled with basil oil.
It was a refreshing dish; juicy shellfish, zingy dressing and a nice crunch from the bread, although the basil was lost amongst other, more potent flavours.
On the other side of the table, a staple pairing of grilled queenies and black pudding (with pepper dressing and microherbs) was presented beautifully.
My guest bagged the shellfish pasta for her main (the perils of taking a fellow seafood fan to dinner) and received a heaving plate of mussels, prawns, queen scallops and crayfish, served with fettuccini in a shellfish bisque. The sauce was gorgeous; rich and creamy, with just enough of a taste of the sea — and there was plenty of the dish to go around.
I opted for pan-fried king scallops, served with a creamy chive and crème fraiche mash, sunblushed tomato, basil pesto and parmesan crisp. The scallops were cooked very well, with a good savoury coating around the delicate meat, and Italian-inspired flavours worked nicely alongside.
We had no room for dessert — but with a restaurant like this, the main attraction is the fruits of the sea, never mind the land.
It’s not the cheapest option in town, but then seafood rarely is — and Mussel Inn’s latest menu has the makings of a memorable fishy feast.
157 Hope St
Tel: 0141 572 1405