One of our best meals of 2016 was a fantastic lunch at Two Fat Ladies at The Buttery so when we were asked if we would like to review their sister restaurant Two Fat Ladies in the City, we jumped at the chance.
Two Fat Ladies in the City opened in 2005 and is located within a few minutes walk from Glasgow's famous Sauchihall Street, and perfectly located for the nearby theatreland too.
The restaurant is a must for fish lovers as the menu is heavily weighted towards fresh seafood, with daily changing fish platters alongside favourites such as plaice fillets with brown shrimp, capers and parsley butter or a magnificent whole Cornish sole.
We were booked for 1.00pm and arrived just as the lunch service was beginning to pick up. After being shown to our table, we were quickly offered a selection of homemade breads including a hearty olive bread and a three cheese & jalapeño bread. Each of the breads were delicious and packed with flavour although I was slightly disappointed that the accompanying butter was unsalted. No big problem though, it wouldn't be the first time that I've resorted to salting my own butter in a restaurant.
The wine list has a brilliant range of wines to suit all budgets but after much deliberation, we decided to try a bottle of the house white wine, Fauno Viura Sauvignon Blanc. The wine was very easy drink, full of fresh peach and citrus flavours and at £18.45 it represented good value for money.
In addition to the a la carte menu, Two Fat Ladies also serve a set lunch menu offering two courses for £16 or three courses for just £18 and after glancing our eye over both menus, we decided to order from the set menu.
Nicola didn't take too long to settle on the Cullen Skink, hoping that a seafood restaurant would serve up a knockout version of the classic Scottish soup. Did they live up to expectations? Absolutely! The Cullen Skink was packed with smoked haddock, potato and leek, finished off with a garnish of spring onion. The soup was well seasoned and although it was rich and creamy, the Cullen Skink wasn't too heavy.
For my own starter, I ordered the St James Smoked Salmon with celeriac remoulade and pickled shallots. Three mounds of smoked salmon were joined on the plate by a creamy remoulade of grated celeriac bound in a light mayonnaise. St James cure their salmon in salt and Demerara sugar before cold smoking the fish over smouldering oak chips. This smoking process results in the salmon having a complex flavour with a subtle sweetness which was balanced perfectly by the pickled shallots. This was a great way to start my meal and I can honestly say that I've never had so much Smoked Salmon in one sitting!
The set menu had four choices including two fish dishes, a vegetarian option and a chicken dish. Nicola opted for the Supreme of chicken, haggis & walnut crumb, beetroot purée and red wine jus. The chicken breast had been cooked to perfection, moist on the inside with a delicious crispy skin. Chicken skin might not be the healthiest thing in the world but when it tastes as good as this did, it's difficult not to scoff the lot. The accompanying crumb of spicy haggis and walnut worked well with the chicken and rich red wine jus. The purée was packed with the earthiness of the beetroot although it was a little too sweet for Nicola's taste. Overall, this was a hearty plate of food and Nicola was pleased with her choice.
Despite the fact that I had salmon for my starter, I was drawn towards the Fillet of salmon, broad bean houmous and buttered leeks for my main. The huge wedge of salmon was seasoned well and cooked perfectly with a crispy blackened skin while still remaining moist and flaky in the middle. The salmon sat on top of bed houmous made using broad beans instead of chick peas which worked really well with the fish. I really enjoyed my main although it's only as I write this review that I realise that the buttered leeks weren't on my plate. I'm not sure what happened there but as I never noticed at the time, I can't really criticise the kitchen for the omission.
One of the great things about dining at any of the Two Fat Ladies restaurants is that no matter what you order to eat, they always serve a side dish of roasted potatoes, carrots and courgette as standard. I get really annoyed when restaurants insist on charging £3 or £4 for a small side plate of buttered greens or hand cut chips, so it's refreshing to see a restaurant serving vegetables as a given.
With three courses for just £18, I was looking forward to tucking into the sticky toffee pudding or lemon posset but after our hearty lunch, neither of us could fit in a pudding. In the end, we rounded our meal off with a shot of espresso before making our way into the cold January afternoon for post lunch drinks.
I would like to thank the staff and management for inviting myself and wife along and although our lunch was complimentary, my review above is an honest account of our experience. With great food, generous portions, attentive service and a well priced set lunch menu, I would have no hesitation in recommending Two Fat Ladies in the City.