Even before August started, we had a busy month lined up with trips to Dundee and Belfast already in the diary, so had planned on having a couple of free weekends. However, that plan changed when we were asked if we would like to come along to Trading House on Glasgow's St Vincent Street and review their new dinner menu. Myself and Nicola love Trading House and often pop in for craft beer for me and gin for her but as of yet, we hadn't gotten round to eating there yet. The main reason for that is that we felt that Trading House offered more to us as a bar rather than a restaurant so getting the chance to try out the menu would be the perfect opportunity to see if we had gotten that wrong.
After spending a little time wandering around the West End Festival, we made our way to Trading House thinking that as we were a little early that we could grab a drink before dinner, however we were efficiently shown to our table in the upstairs section of the restaurant and quickly ordered a well priced bottle of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc. The wine list isn't huge but there is still plenty of choice on red, white and rose by the glass or bottle. This came in handy later as we worked our way through our bottle of wine whilst we ate our appetizers and starters which allowed each of us to enjoy a glass of red wine with our steaks.
The menu at Trading House offers a huge selection of starters priced from £4.95 - £6.95 and as we took time to work out what we were going to have to start, we ordered some olives and salt & pepper onion petals from the nibbles section. The Castelvetrano olives were plump and juicy with nice sweetness that worked well with our crisp white wine. The onion 'petals' were thick slices of onion dusted with flour, salt and pepper before being deep-fried and tasted fantastic. I loved fried onions anyway but the addition of the salt and pepper coating lifted them to another level.
After much deliberation, Nicola ordered the Smoked Haddock Fishcake with poached egg, watch tercress and curry sauce to start. The fishcake was well seasoned and packed with big flakes of delicately smoked haddock. The obligatory soft poached egg sat proudly on top of the crispy fishcake whilst the spicy curry sauce helped give the starter an almost kedgiree feel.
Despite the large number of options on the starter menu, my choice was easy. My Scotch Egg with piccalilli was delicious. The perfectly soft boiled egg was wrapped in well seasoned sausage meat and encased in a crispy crumb coating. I'd like to think that the piccalilli was home made but I'm not sure that it was but regardless, it was a good sharp balance to my Scotch Egg. My only critisism on my starter would be that the kitchen had decided to garnish my dish with a solitary radish with enough foliage to fill half of the plate. I don't mind a radish but not one that's just been pulled from the ground!
The main menu has a wide selection of salads, home comforts, pies, steaks and hanging kebabs. Nicola ordered the flattened rump steak, seasoned with chilli & garlic, served with roasted mushroom, tomato and watercress. The steak was beaten to about 7mm thin and cooked medium with a nice smokiness from the grill. The steak was nice and juicy and well seasoned, the garlic and chilli seasoning added a spicy kick to the prime rump steak. Nicola didn't touch the mushroom or tomatoes but that's no surprise, restaurant will eventually realise that she's not a fan of garnish. However, the accompanying cup of perfectly seasoned chips (which were exactly that) were enough to keep her occupied. We both agreed that at £11.75, the flattened rump steak offers fantastic value for money.
I really struggled to choose my main as there were a few things on the menu that caught my attention but in the end I plumped for the day's Special, an 10oz fillet steak served once again with roasted mushroom and tomatoes but with julienne fries. My steak was fantastic. Some people reckon that a fillet steak doesn't have much flavour but that wasn't the case here, the thick slab of beef was juicy and well seasoned, cooked to a perfect medium rare finish with a slightly charred edge from the grill.
As it turned out, neither of us could finish our steaks so we asked for the leftovers to be wrapped up to take away. The kitchen staff neatly boxed up the remainder of our beef along with a little rocket, tomato and ale mustard which we used to make up a delicious steak sandwich for lunch the following day.
After two hearty courses, we didn't have room for dessert but decided to relax with a couple of espressos served in cute little porcelain espresso cups with little butterfly wing handles.
The night was still young so we ordered one last drink before we made our way home. One of the reason that we revisit Trading House so often for drinks is down to the fact that they have a brilliantly stocked bar with a massive range of gins and with this in mind, Nicola ordered a G&T made with Silent Pool Gin and a very citrusy tonic from Franklin & Son. My final drink was a refreshing Raspberry Amaretto Sour, the Amaretto Sour is one of my favourite drinks, the perfect balance of sweet and sour but the addition of raspberries added a fruity depth of flavour to the classic sour cocktail.
Suitably well fed and watered, we decided that it was time to move on. We had given thought to grabbing a final drink downstairs at the bar but the bar was full, as has been the case almost every Saturday night since Trading House opened its doors last October.
We had a great meal at Trading House and would certainly recommend to others as somewhere to try out. Would we return? Absolutely! The food was fresh, tasty and great value for money. The restaurant and bar were busy all evening but the level of service deliver to ourselves and other diners was friendly, attentive and efficient. All of our food and drink across was complimentary but my review above is a true write-up of our experience across the evening.
I would like to thank the management and staff at Trading House Glasgow for their kind invitation and their hospitality on the night and look forward to catching up soon.
With so many places to eat in Glasgow, it can be difficult to choose somewhere to go but you won't be disappointed if you end up spending the evening at Trading House. Keep up to date with news and offers from the team at Trading House Glasgow on Facebook and Twitter.