Two Fat Ladies

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My first night in Glasgow was blessed with a last-minute concert offering by a favored band, Zero 7. Because the show started at a surprisingly early hour of 7:30, I had to find a restaurant that could accommodate an early dinner. During my Kelvingrove museum trawl, I spied the menu at Two Fat Ladies and was already sold on returning there, happy they could seat me upon opening at 5:30. The restaurant was warm and inviting, painted in lush golden yellow tones with a frieze surrounding the room of a bas relief ocean motif. The thematic room provided a great atmosphere for the gastronomic delights that were to come. In my usual fashion, I ordered a handful of starters so as to give me to optimum number of tastes without filling up too much on a single entrée.

With only a waitress to serve and a single woman chef in the front kitchen (you can watch her from the outside window), I was very well taken care in my choices to eat as many tastes as possible Reading through the menu, I was unfamiliar with a soup known as “Cullen Skink” and the waitress advised me that it was very filling and hearty. I asked if it would be possible to just have a taste and they were very gracious in offering me a small teacup full. Essentially a chunky potato, leek chowder, this intensely rich offering was simply butter-sautéed leeks, potatoes, and smoked haddock in milk and cream (at least that is how I made it when I got home in a desperate attempt to recreate the lusciousness I fell in love with).

While I would have happily munched away at this soup for an entire meal, but too many other goodies awaited. First up with tuna carpaccio. Well, that is what they called it but but I am accustomed to carpaccio being thinly-sliced raw meat. Here, the slices were thick and generous – more sashimi like in their heft. Served with a caper-based dressed greens, thin slices of cheese and cracked pepper gave it all a well-rounded and balanced flavor.

From the waitress’ recommendation, the next course were three magnificently large Scottish langostines. With the same caper dressing, the only way to tackle the beasts were to rip them apart and gnarl in to extract out the sweet goodness. During my tuna course, a young couple arrived and sat across from me. She was unsure how to eat the langostines and I heartily recommended sucking out the eyeballs and making sure to get the brain material. Her boyfriend wasn’t sure she would but watching me do so, she gained some courage and chowed in herself. We were both rewarded with our hard work; the flavors in the eyes, the legs, the head, and the claws were all remarkably different and worth the effort to extract.

The final course was roasted scallops wrapped in bacon served with mushroom risotto and roasted vegetables. The difference in English bacon versus American bacon is width. Here, the smoky flavor of the thick ham-like bacon overwhelmed the delicacy of the scallops. I tasted them together, but opted to unwrap my succulent morsels to enjoy them in their naked splendor. The mushroom risotto slightly on the thick side, but I didn’t seem to mind. Coupled with the sweetness of the perfectly-grilled scallops, the rich flavor provided a great counterpoint of earthiness to the brightness of the sea.

Sadly, I had to dash to get to the concert, or I would have liked to stay to enjoy some cheese or dessert. But this meal was the definite highlight of my Glasgow trip.

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