Last night I finally got to have a lovely catch up with the gorgeous Glasgow Dragonfly. We have been trying to get together since the start of November, but as is always the case when you are a grown up life got in the way. I had the renovations going in full swing, then it was December when no one has time for anything it seems, then it was christmas it’s self – a time for family and lying about, which finally brings us to now…seriously where does the time go!!??
Dragonfly and I decided we would try out somewhere new and made a beeline straight for Chinaski’s on North Street. We had heard a couple of reasonably good reports about the food and thought it would be fun to check it out.
So there is no name on the door (god forbid people should find your bar!) it is the green bar literally right next door to Black Sparrow. My first impression was it was SUPER dark which was kind of cool for date night and drinks with friends, but for reading a menu and eating it wasn’t the best as I could barely read the menu or see what was on my plate. It also makes for awful pictures, so I apologise for the quality of these images. They are clearly going for a cool Brooklyn Bar kind of vibe, wooden tables and chairs and lots of candles making it very moody and atmospheric. I would say that they have achieved the effect pretty well and I certainly enjoyed the feel of the bar.
The staff were nice enough, they were neither friendly or rude. They just brought us drinks and food in a timely manner and weren’t rude doing it. No complaints with this, but no gushing compliments either.
Menu wise, comment has to be made about the filthy, ripped menus which were presented..yuck! Anyway the menu was pretty good, there was lots of options I would be happy to try out. In the end I settled on the Oven Baked Camembert served with bread, chutney and crudities. The starters arrived pretty quickly and I got a massive portion, there was a huge ramekin of delicious slightly spicy chutney and lots of bread and crudities for dipping. A great starter and I would happily have again.
There was huge debate on what to try for my main and eventually I settled on the Treacle Roasted Beef Shin served with dauphinoise potatoes and glazed carrots, I also ordered my standard mac and cheese side (god only knows what I’ll do if G-Town decides mac is no longer a cool side dish!) Again, this dish arrived in a very timely manner and was a good-sized plate of food. There was 2 large chunks of beef skin and a large slice of dauphinoise potato, I would say that the carrots were slightly lacking with only 3 small slithers on the plate – they were delicious tho. The Mac was more creamy than cheesy but I like it like that and was perfectly happy with it. While everything tasted good my general feeling by the time I had finished the dish was that it felt unbalanced, there was SO much meat that I was kind of sick of it by the ended and left about half of the second piece of shin. I definitely would have liked more carrots to freshen up the dish a little.
I decided I would go the whole hog and order a dessert. The options were definitely lacking with only 4 to choose from, and one of those was ice cream. I get the feeling the desserts might be a bit of an after thought here. I opted to try the Sticky Toffee Pudding served with ice cream and hot caramel sauce. Again another massive portion, the sticky toffee felt quite heavy in the my mouth but I think that might actually have more to do with the fact that I shouldn’t have ordered a dessert after my meat overload rather than the pudding it’s self. The ice cream was lovely and light and the caramel sauce was utterly scrumptious.
My food bill came to £25.25 and I was perfectly happy to pay this and didn’t feel it was overpriced.
I would definitely visit Chinaski’s for drinks but not sure I would make an effort to visit again for food. However if I was passing and hungry I wouldn’t hesitate to pop in on a whim.