Well, I am only a week after the event which is quite good for me at the moment!
What better way to spend a sunny evening that having a civilised dinner on a historic Glasgow landmark??? I received the email from Section 33 about their latest pop up plans a while back and had spoken to some of my friends about going. It wasn’t until the venue was revealed that I realised it is both totally awesome and also very close to where I live. Drinks at mine beforehand then, and after possibly. I love the idea of something secret and transient like this. Was looking forward to an experience.
Yup, I am back in Glasgow having quit the job that took me away last year. I only need to worry about how I’m going to pay my mortgage, but it will all be fine. Won’t it? And to celebrate my total lack of any cash, why not go out for meal?
My friends and I all went on the last night, all 8 of us. The weather has been great recently but I was a little disappointed the day before that it looked like it was going to be cloudy which didn’t fit in with my idyllic fantasy of how the evening was going to go. Luckily it was still warm and the sun did make an appearance as we walked down to the Riverside Museum from my flat.
I have been to the museum many times before with friends and family, including the tall ship, the Glenlee. I particularly liked going round it with my little nephew who liked to sweep the deck. He is due to visit me again in a few weeks and I will have to take him back there now he’s a little bit older. You can read more about the ship and it’s history at thetallship.com
We arrived bang on time and immediately went to the bow of the ship for a photo before heading downstairs for dinner. The place looked amazing. Much more atmospheric than when I had been below deck there during normal visiting hours. I knew we were going to have a great evening just because of the venue. It was quirky and interesting and cool. On top of that we were all eating our dinner on the slant of the deck which was most obvious when looking at your drink in the glass.
On being seated we all confirmed that no-one was a veggie or vegan and we would have our meals as per the menu. I was pretty sure the waiter was the same guy that served me at the last section 33 event I went to last year. Maybe he just had a familiar face. We were then brought a plate of breads, oil & balsamic and butter.
Having pretty much devoured the bread we were presented with our arrival cocktail. An apple, cardamom and sage gin cocktail. This was in exchange for the £5 ticket price. I am not a fan of gin, but do like the odd gin cocktail. Largely if it masks the gin enough that it doesn’t taste like nail polish remover. So I am probably not the best person to review this. Half my friends at the table however are massive gin lovers. It was made with gin by One. You might have heard of them as the British ethical drinks brand that has put millions into providing sustainable clean drinking water to those without it. What a brilliant brand! They are now branching out into booze with Gin soon to be available to buy. It was sweet enough for me and I did quite like it. But as I said, I’m not the girl to review a gin. I’m hoping One create some different spirits so that I can get in on the party.
Now, one of the other things I was excited about was the paired wines. I bloody love a wine flight. About half of us on the table wanted the paired wines when we discussed the evening beforehand, and the others were not drinking due to buns in ovens or driving (don’t worry, there were non-alcoholic arrival drink alternatives). So, we got our first course really quickly after being given the arrival cocktail and most of us hadn’t finished it by the time we had already eaten this course. When coming back to clear our plates we asked “when would be the best time to tell you who wants the paired wine?” of the waiter. “Oh, one of them was supposed to go with the first course.” Great! Absolutely f**ing gutted. We weren’t really given the chance to ask about the matching wine before because our first course came just after our cocktail. We would have had to neck it like a shot to then be ready to have a glass of wine with the first course. I still had about half of it left after I had finished the course. Really bad planning on their part to give us the bread first and not the cocktail and then not give us time to drink the cocktail before giving us the first course. I really think he should have asked us about drinks with the meal when he asked if we had any dietary requirements knowing that paired wines were part of the menu. I would have left the cocktail to the side and sipped it between courses if I had known. Well done on the quick service, but you can be too quick sometimes. I was really disappointed about this bit, if you can’t already tell. So, we ordered a bottle from the small wine list instead.
The above mentioned first course was seabass, fennel and sweetcorn in a bisque. I love seabass as a rule and this one was cooked beautifully. I just wasn’t fussed about it for some reason though, I found the bisque a bit “meh.” I wonder if the matching wine would have made it pop more than having it with the sweet cocktail. Who knows. Don’t get me wrong it was nice. Just not a showstopper, in my opinion, which wasn’t shared by others around the table who really liked it.
Next was a course of beetroot, shallot, tomato and almond. It looked great on the plate and tasted tart crisp fresh and summery. Great for the warm evening. One of my friends commented that it had a real Mediterranean feel. The tomatoes were so sweet and I loved the look of the different coloured beetroots on the plate.
The main – lamb and lamb confit, burnt onion, and black pudding – was lush. The lamb was tender, the confit melting. Overall well seasoned and rich. I enjoyed it. The black pudding was in tiny little pieces almost like a dusting which was brilliant for me as I like it crunchy and not when it’s squishy. Tasty.
The watermelon and star anise was in the form of a sorbet. Very fresh, again fitting the weather but it felt like a palate cleanser more than a course. It fitted me with my sweet tooth and had a nice crunch from whatever sat beneath (I think it was more nuts).
By now our bottle of wine was finished and those of us drinking ordered another cocktail. I got the vodka cocktail with black raspberry, blood orange and peach, the Sláinte Mhaith Zara. Very sweet on the first try, right up my street I thought but lost its sugar kick a little one I stirred it with my straw. All the cocktails were £5.
The final course described as chocolate, banana, peanut also looked brilliant on the plate, especially with the nice touch of an edible flower. It was amazingly more-ish. Much nicer than I remember their chocolate and banana dessert was the last time I ate with them last year when I much preferred their tart which was wonderful (see my earlier review). I scraped the plate (I may, just may, have licked it a little). It was like a chocolate banoffee pie with caramelised bananas. Yum yum yum!
The food was £35 each. We settled our bill and made our way back on to the deck. Now having had a few more drinks we headed back to the bow for some more photies. One of our group who worked in a museum last year commented that we were the kind of people she used to have to tell to “get off the historical stuff.” We then headed out to the front for further pictures climbing on the giant grass chairs before heading back to my flat for some music and drinks before everyone left to hit the hay ahead of work the next day.
I had a really fantastic evening in an amazing venue with some brilliant company. The food was maybe not just quite as brilliant as my previous encounter but was still good. I left happy and with some brilliant photos with my friends which, alas, I won’t be sharing here. 😉
Foodie x x
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