Last night, I was delighted to finally get down to The Drake for a bite to eat.
This place is just a stone’s throw away from my apartment, and although I walk past it everyday and peer into the windows longingly, there’s never quite been that opportunity to pop in.
Given that I was to have the pleasure of an awesome dining companion in the form of Pam (aka Glasgow Food Geek), who also lives in the neighbourhood, the perfect excuse to give it a whirl had presented itself. Hoorah!
Taking our seats
Regular readers of my blog will know that first impressions of restaurants seem to mean quite a lot to me, and so I am pleased to report that The Drake’s ergonomics were right up my strasse (so to speak).
There is a formal restaurant upstairs, but we opted to go for a more relaxed gastropub experience in the bar this time. The bar area is in the basement of a traditional Glasgow tenement and the interior decor is a classic stripped stone and dark wood look, which gives it a really cosy Scottish feel.
Access to both the bar and restaurant is via stairs and so would be tricky for anyone with mobility issues or in a wheelchair.
A waitress popped over nice and promptly upon our arrival to ask if we were eating or just in for drinks and gave us the menus (plural) to peruse. Yes – three menus: one general a la carte dinner menu, a specials list and a prix fixe.
Like true food bloggers, we quickly established that were both in the mood to go the whole hog with a three courser.
Between the three menus, there was quite a lot of reading to be done. I’m not normally a fan of having to read war and peace when out socialising, but there were so many unique and interesting sounding dishes on offer that I am actually prepared to let The Drake off the hook for this.
The fab choice and variety made it really hard to settle on what to have. I think the best way to describe most of the dishes on the menu would be “hearty,” which is exactly what I would expect from a good Scottish gastropub.
To start, I chose the Smoked Mackerel and Dill Pate, which was accompanied by some horseradish infused sourdough bread and a pickled cucumber salad. I absolutely love a fish pate and its pretty rare to find one on a pub menu here.
The presentation was in keeping with The Drake’s Scottish rustic vibe: the pate was in a glass jam jar and the sourdough bread lightly toasted. I don’t much care for cucumber, however, the salad set off the sourdough bread rather nicely. The pate itself was absolutely DIVINE, and of a really nice coarse “home made” consistency.
Pam went for the Pigeon Breast Salad special, which looked so fresh and succulent when it came out. She confirmed that it tasted just as good as it looked.
For my main, I opted for the Goan Style curry which came with a home made chapati and aromatic rice. There was the option to have the curry made with chicken, prawns or vegetables and so I went for the chicken.
Given that Glasgow is renowned around the world for its amazing curry houses, I tend not to pick it when not in one of said houses for fear of disappointment. I need not have been concerned though – my curry was absolutely delicious.
The portion size was just right for me after my pate extravaganza, and contained a decent amount of succulent chopped chicken swirling around in a creamy thick sauce. The sauce itself had a hefty spice kick to it (which is what I like from a curry) and the rice was nice and moist. The chapati proved really useful for “mopping up.”
Pam ordered the Loch Duart Salmon, Mussel and Spinach Pie which was topped off with a crusted Dunlop Cheddar and Chive Mash and sided with seasonal veg.
You can see from Pam’s picture that it had a real home made look to it, which I just love and the smell was just divine.
Glasgow food geek and I both went for the Summer Berry Iced Parfait for desert. It was beautifully presented with hazelnut praline and drizzled with raspberry coulis.
Im more of a savoury than a desert person and so whilst delicious, I found this a wee bit on the rich side for me, particularly given the generous portion size. I still managed to eat it all mind you!
My one comment on this is that because it was frozen, it proved a wee bit tricky to cut into without it flying off the plate. Not a criticism per se, it’s just an occupational hazard associated with this kind of pud.
Service was prompt and friendly throughout, yet avoided being either too fast or too slow.
The bill came to £30pp including a couple of glasses of vino plus tip.
You really cant go wrong with this place if you are looking for an excellent standard of gastropub with a local feel.
Overall it was an awesome night with some really tasty food and fantastic company.
Its also worth mentioning that there is a secret beer garden at the rear of the bar area, which I’m told is a fab sun trap in the summer months.
Thanks to Pam for a great evening. It should go without saying that neither of us were paid nor did we receive any freebies in return for doing this review. The Drake did not even know we were there. Just worth mentioning this, given all the gushing. 😉
Have you been to The Drake? Did you enjoy you experience as much as I did? Im always keen to receive any tips about places to go and eat out in both in Glasgow and beyond.
Please get in touch with any suggestions, my tummy is already rumbling at the thought!
Ps: If you enjoyed this review, please consider voting for me to win “BEST BLOG APRIL 2014” as nominated by Glasgow Blogs (@glasgowblogs). I would be enterally grateful and forever in your debt if I won 😉 Click here to vote: VOTE GLASGOWDRAGONFLY
Have a great day!