A few weeks ago I put out a tweet saying how excited I was that my hot 100 list is getting closer to being completed (although I have already started my next 100 list) my buddy Briony commented that she couldn’t believe I had never been to try Number 16 on Byres Road – one of her favourite restaurants.
Using any excuse to eat food with one of my favourite ladies a date was immediately set to pay Number 16 a visit for dinner.
The vibe in Number 16 is fairly relaxed, we visited on a Friday night and it was a pretty casual affair. The restaurant was nice enough, but nothing immediately jumped out at me decor wise.
It was a perfectly pleasant space to spend a few hours although it did feel a little cramped. The restaurant is pretty small and they have added a mezzanine level which just further adds to the feeling of being squeezed in by having a really low ceiling.
I didn’t take any photos of the decor because I was aware how close we were to the other dinners and I didn’t want to make people feel uncomfortable by very obviously take pictures of them.
The staff were very welcoming and friendly throughout the meal. Although because it was a busy Friday night we did have a little bit of a wait before we could order our dessert and my latte took quite a while to arrive. This isn’t a huge issue but I think it was worth mentioning because we did comment on it at the time.
To start the meal we ordered some mixed olives with Herbs de Provence and parmesan shortbread. I like olives but it was more the idea of parmesan shortbread which intrigued me. The olives were nice but the made in-house shortbread was so delicious that I actually asked if they could bring us another round, 1 just wasn’t enough. Which the waitress happily did without charging us for them.
I ordered the Chilli Salt Squid with organic leaves, crispy onions and Vietnamese dressing as a starter. Wow this was HOT….beautiful but H.O.T. The dish was overflowing with tender juicy pieces of squid, well dresses leaves and tasty little morsels of crispy onion. This was a beautiful starter and I would definitely order it again…but I’ll make sure I have a large glass of water near by when I do.
Whenever duck is on a menu I always find it hard not to order it. When I saw Seven spice roast breast of Gressingham duck, poached rhubarb, shallots and heirloom tomatoes, elderflower dressing and sweet soy on the menu I knew I had to order it – even tho rhubarb is one of my food nemesis.
When it arrived the plate was beautiful. The duck was perfectly pink and the fat was rendered nicely, and even though rhubarb is a food hate (along with brussels sprouts and mushrooms) I am a firm believer in trying things in nice restaurants just in case they have magically made it nicer and guess what – I didn’t hate the rhubarb!
I can’t tell you how much this is indeed high praise.
I only had a few bites of it with the duck but the soft bitterness from the ‘barb really added a lovely additional dimension to the well-flavoured duck.
I also had a side of sautéed potatoes which were absolutely glorious – crunchy and golden on the outside and soft on the inside. Delicious!
For dessert I decided in the interest of ProjectGeekFit to share my dessert with Bri and her lovely hubby G. We went for the Chocolate garden – Chocolate ganache, cocoa soil, yogurt sponge, forest fruits, raspberry foam and raspberry fluid gel.
I was so excited to try this.
Again when the plate arrived it was so pretty. The little squares of rich creamy ganache were smooth and lush, the cocoa soil gave the dish a little texture and bite, and the raspberry foam was amazingly light and packed a real punch of flavour. The yogurt sponge I found extremely confusing….don’t get me wrong it was tasty but it tasted and looked like bread, I didn’t really think it went with the dish and it didn’t add anything.
We split the bill but my meal came to £39.85 (excluding my wine and latte) I would say this was a fair price for the food that I received and I would happily pay it again.
I would highly recommend a visit to Number 16 and will definitely visit again….extremely enjoyable night with lovely people and beautiful food.
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