Review: Cafe Strange Brew

We really love our brunch in Glasgow, and lucky for us, we are spoiled for choice these days, particularly in the Southside. There are so many incredible brunch spots located within Shawlands and beyond: Pot Luck, Gnom and, of course, Café Strange Brew.

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I’ve been meaning to visit Café Strange Brew for years, and over the past month, I visited twice in the space of a couple of weeks because it was SO. DAMN. GOOD. Despite the fact that my first visit was on a Thursday morning, the café was totally packed and I was lucky to get a table. When I came back with Sam on a Sunday, we turned up just at the right time, grabbing the last table and watching as more and more people stood queuing outside. I mean, that tells you all you need to know about the quality of the food if customers are willing to stand outside on a cold September morning.

On my first visit, I was swayed, as I often am, by the sweet options. The menu is pretty extensive, and there are always specials on, especially at weekends, with plenty of sweet and savoury options. I opted for the American style pancakes with vanilla whipped mascarpone, fresh strawberries, toasted almonds, dark chocolate sauce and chocolate soil.

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The pancakes were beautifully fluffy, the dark chocolate sauce was beautifully rich and the strawberries added freshness. It was quite heavy, and if you don’t have a sweet tooth you might struggle, but I totally devoured it. I loved the crunch of the chocolate soil and the lightness of the vanilla mascarpone.

When I returned a couple of weeks later with the husband, I was determined to go for a savoury option, despite the fact that there were some incredible-looking raspberry curd pancakes on the specials board!

Luckily, the other special of the day was BBQ ox cheek French toast with fried eggs, crispy onions and sriracha. I mean…this is brunch, but not as you know it! Sam, on the other hand, opted for the baked eggs with cream, wild mushrooms, truffle and taleggio cheese, as well as sides of both bacon and black pudding…because why not?!

Ox Cheek French Toast

On this busy Sunday morning, the service was a little on the slow side, but considering how busy they were that’s not entirely surprising. Despite this, the staff were incredibly friendly and helpful throughout and I can’t fault them for their positive and inviting attitude.

When our food did arrive, it was well worth the wait. The ox cheek was beautifully tender, the eggs had perfectly runny yolks and the French toast was soft and perfect for soaking up the sriracha and ox cheek juices. It was incredibly filling and I couldn’t quite finish the whole plate, but I have zero regrets about choosing the savoury option, it was phenomenal.

I can’t fault either of my experiences at Café Strange Brew, in fact after our last visit we were both so full we didn’t eat again until about 8pm in the evening – the sign of a good meal, surely? There is something so wonderful about this area of Glasgow, full to the brim of cafes and coffee shops run by passionate people who support rather than demean their fellow business owners and competitors. If you haven’t visited yet, I suggest you do, and soon!

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