Two Fat Ladies At The Buttery
Dec 22 2007 By Tam Cowan
Tam’s Christmas Present To Saturday! Plus Readers Is Another Frontrunner For The Next Hot Plate Award Two Fat Ladies At The Buttery 652 Argyle Street, Glasgow
Seeing as you’ve all been good little boys and girls throughout 2007 - a genuine thanks for all the great restaurant recommendations, folks - I’ve decided to adopt the Santa role today and give you an extra-special Christmas present.
Yes, I’m going to point you in the direction of Two Fat Ladies at The Buttery.
The recently opened Glasgow restaurant is now favourite for our next Hot Plate Award and, once all the festive cheer has disappeared quicker than your granny’s bottle of Bertola Cream, I suggest you try this excellent eaterie for the perfect pick-me-up in January.
I’ve already made a return trip to Two Fat Ladies at The Buttery (a great choice for my father-in-law’s 70th birthday bash) and I know for a fact I’m going to keep going back.
But, hey, don’t just take my word for it. This restaurant has already been given the Royal seal of approval.
Yes, I went with my pal Tommy Gilmour - the Scottish boxing promoter recently awarded an MBE - and he absolutely loved it.
But even more significantly, perhaps, we were joined by our mutual mate Chris - a Glasgow restauranteur who’s been involved in the family business for donkey’s years - and I can tell you he was hugely impressed.
You’ll find the restaurant (actually, it might be easier trying to find Osama Bin Laden) on the bit of Argyle Street next to the motorway that time - and the city planners - apparently forgot.
Lovely inside, it boasts an old world charm and there’s a real cosy atmosphere courtesy of the 1930s music and the excellent array of snug booths.
While you should expect to pay about Â£30 a head for an evening meal, the lunch and pre-theatre menu is a steal at Â£16 for three courses.
Talking of prices, Chris was astonished to discover a top restaurant offering a whole page of wines under Â£20 and the one he chose - a crisp, cold Albarino - was apparently “a steal” at Â£21.
The one-page, easy-toread menu features eight starters, nine main courses and seven desserts - plus a couple of daily specials - and you’ll appreciate the little freebies (garlic croutons and olives) as selecting from this list of goodies is hungry work.
I’m going to stick my neck out and more or less guarantee you won’t go wrong no matter what you choose.
But here’s a rundown on the stuff that really tickled our fancy on this particular night. The Cullen skink - nice and chunky with lots of fish - was one of the best I’ve sampled.
If you like risotto, you’ll love the butternut squash variety served with plump, juicy king prawns in garlic and chilli butter.
And the steamed Loch Etive mussels with Thai curry sauce were superb.
Moving onto the main courses, the whole sea bass stuffed with fennel, red onion and basil was sensational and the beautifully cooked, pearly flesh simply fell off the bone.
The scallops were also very good, overshadowed, perhaps, by the Stornoway black pudding. But you really must try the monkfish.
The oatmeal and black pepper crust works a treat and as for the amazing creamed savoy cabbage… let’s just say you definitely won’t sleep in for your work the next morning!
The grand dessert - a platter of sticky toffee pudding, chocolate cheesecake, chocolate mousse, brandy basket with ice-cream and lemon tart - costs Â£14.50 but I reckon it’s more than enough for six people (or two sweet-toothed women).
We finished a great meal with coffees and handmade chocolates which, if you can suffer one more Christmas cracker joke, you should try to eat in moderation.
Otherwise you could end up at the Petit Fours Clinic. Ach, suit yourself…
TAM’S HOT PLATE AWARD
TWO FAT LADIES AT THE BUTTERY
Address: 652 Argyle Street, Glasgow
Tel: 0141 221 8188
Open: seven days for lunch and dinner
Wheelchair access: Yes
Bill for three (with wine): Â£130
Food: 5/5 - a fishy feast
Service: 4/5 - very professional
Decor: 5/5 - great atmosphere
Toilets: 5/5 - faultless
Value: 4/5 - top nosh at fair prices