Review: The Gannet

If you managed to catch this month’s Chef’s Table feature, you’ll know it was all about The Gannet, and today the theme continues! This restaurant has been on my Bucket List for such a long time, and after my chat with Peter, I was even more keen to eat there, so Sam and I decided to have dinner there as a treat for my 27th birthday.

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Located in Finnieston, The Gannet is located between the Ben Nevis pub and Kelvingrove Café, and the interior of the restaurant really makes use of the space, with mezzanine level seating towards the back of the restaurant and surprisingly spacious seating at the bar. I loved the décor, lots of exposed brick, which I know some people think is overdone, but I love it. It felt trendy but also very relaxed, and the staff only reinforced this atmosphere, as everyone we spoke to was friendly and keen to talk about the food, the wine, and to Sam’s delight, the whisky selection.

We started off with a glass of bubbles to celebrate, and my eyes quickly went to the specials board, where they listed Hand Dived Barra Scallops with pig’s head and nasturtium as one of the starters of the evening. I have a scallop obsession, and knowing the effort the team here puts into sourcing the best quality Scottish ingredients, I knew they would be good! Before we could devour our starters though, we received an amouse bouche of Pea Mousse with a pork crisp, as well as fresh bread and butter. I know it’s an odd thing to rave about, but the bread was incredible. The crust was lovely and crisp and the dough soft and airy, plus the butter was obviously very good quality, it was so rich!

When my scallops arrived, I couldn’t believe the size of them, they were huge! They had great caramelization on top and were perfectly cooked and the nasturtium wasn’t too bitter or overpowering. Surprisingly, my favourite part of this dish was the pig’s head element, which was hidden underneath the delicate scallops. The meat had obviously been slow cooked and shredded and it had a phenomenal flavour.

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Perhaps even more incredible though was the Pigeon starter, which I think is still one of the highlights of the meal. Served with cured egg yolk, brambles, roast hazelnut, and radicchio, it was one of the best pigeon dishes either of us had ever eaten. The meat was so tender and perfectly cooked, the cured egg yolk was just like a rich sauce, and I loved the added crunch of the roast hazelnuts, plus the whole dish was plated like a work of art. I mean I know I’m probably going on a bit here, but seriously, it was delicious and we’re only on the first courses, so get ready for me to go on and on about the mains and desserts!

I went for the Perthshire red deer for my main course, which was accompanied by burnt carrot, potato terrine, girolles and game sauce. The meat was incredibly tender, a perfect medium rare, and the vegetables were a perfect accompaniment. The potato terrine though, was outstanding. I honestly don’t know how they got the top of it so crisp…it was like puff pastry, but made of potato?! It was incredible, so perfectly crunchy on top, then buttery and soft underneath. Sam’s dish of Scotch beef diamond fillet wasn’t quite as delicious as my deer dish, but the Madeira sauce on his plate was so full of flavour, it was a real winner!

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Even though by this point we were both pretty full, we were both determined to try a dessert. I have a serious sweet tooth and I needed something, no matter what my stomach said, to round off the incredible meal I’d had so far. I got in trouble here with Peter as neither Sam nor I ordered their signature salted caramel fondant, we were both in the mood for something a bit lighter, but that’s ok, it just means we need to go back to try it sometime 😉

I ordered the milk chocolate feuilletine with malted barley ice cream, while Sam opted for the Mille-feuille of Perthshire raspberry mousse & woodruff patissiere with crème fraiche ice cream. I mean just typing them makes my mouth water…do they not both sound epic? And trust me, they were. The milk chocolate feuilletine was stunningly rich, but also surprisingly light, and was sprinkled with a touch of sea salt, which really made the whole thing come to life.

Sam’s mille-feuille was a deconstructed version of the classic French dish, and is one of the freshest raspberry desserts I’ve tasted. I find sometimes the berry flavour in desserts can taste quite artificial, but the mousse on this dish tasted so fresh, and the woodruff patissiere was so delicately flavoured. I could go on and on about how good it all tasted, but I’m probably beginning to sound a bit pretentious and repetitive, so I’ll try to wrap it up.

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Essentially, my dinner at The Gannet was one of the best meals I’ve had in Glasgow in a long time. The staff were so friendly and knowledgeable, the service pretty much flawless, and the atmosphere was really relaxed and lovely. The bill wasn’t cheap, with three courses and a bottle of wine each, it came to £113, but I believe it was worth every penny. I’m definitely coming back so I can keep my word and try that salted caramel fondant, I saw someone at the next table get it and it looked incredible. I think next time I’ll take advantage of their incredible value champagne Sunday deal, where you can dine on three courses and a glass of champagne for £30! Yes please!

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