When the Richmond restaurant on Park Road closed down two years ago it kind of broke my heart. I used to eat there at least once a week because it was always delicious, plus it had such a great vibe. It was my go to reliable restaurant….can you tell I still miss it even now two years later?
I’ve never really found anywhere to replace the Richmond. Sure there are places I love that I happily go back to often, but I haven’t round a regular contemporary Scottish restaurant with a cool vibe and a menu where I will always find something I want to eat regardless of my mood….that is until now (maybe)!
Last Sunday afternoon I found myself walking into Chelsea Market in Finnieston with MrG and PaGeek, who was visiting for the weekend. We didn’t have a booking or any real plan to go, we just headed to the area for food and this is where we ended up. And having heard a fairly mixed bag of reports about this new spot I was keen to give it a bash for myself.
The decor is pretty damn cool – it had a vintage, undone, shabby chic but glamourous kind of vibe. There is painted and exposed brick walls, a cool wood paneled ceiling, huge picture windows (my fav) and funky park bench style booth seats. It’s chic and relaxed, and had a perfect lazy Sunday lunch atmosphere.
The staff are really knowledgeable on the menus and drinks available. Our waitress was mega friendly and nothing was too much trouble. I thought they were fantastic actually, and so incredibly welcoming.
Menu wise – I would describe it as modern Scottish, similar to a gastro pub but so much better. It’s the kind of restaurant you can take anyone too and they will find something they are happy to eat.
To kick our meal off MrG and I decided to get two starters to share, because neither one of us could make a decision on what to order.
I started off with the Warm Ham Hock Terrine,Pickled Pineapple and Nigella Seeds. Okay so let’s start with a couple of little negatives – the terrine wasn’t warm, it wasn’t even tepid, it was much closer to room temperature. Now that’s maybe what they were going for which is fine but it definitely wasn’t warm. Next small niggle, it was served with a quarter of a slice of bread toasted which aesthetically looked lovely but in reality it wasn’t really enough to go with the terrine – maybe a half slice of bread would have been better.
Other than that though this was a nice dish – the terrine had a gorgeous rich smoky ham flavour, and the pickled pineapple which sat like little yellow jewels on the plate really brought the dish a hit of sweetness.
I then swapped with MrG to try out the Crispy Shortrib, pink grapefruit, pomegranate, hoisin and honey dressing. This was 100% my dish of the day. First off the bat it looked like a work of art, it was just so pretty I almost felt bad digging in and destroying it…almost!
The ribs were crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The grapefruit and pomegranate made the dish really interesting, because every time I bite into one of the small nuggets my taste buds were flushed with a zesty, citrus burst of freshness. This was such a clever dish which I utterly adored.
Next up I went for the Free Range Roast Chicken with black pudding bubble and squeak croquettes. Lets just get the small negative out of the way first – it’s a super dish….damn near close to a perfect Sunday roast, if only it included some kind of potato on the plate (I did have mash potato but it was a side order)
The chicken was large, moist and incredibly tender with a golden crunchy skin, it was cooked very well. It was the little croquettes really made the dish for me tho. They were dense, packed with flavourful pudding and utterly divine….man I love Black Pudding!
Sides wise I tried the fries which were just frozen fries – they were fine nothing massively exciting. The mash potato however was brilliant – it was smooth, creamy and I think had garlic or something in it because there was a flavour I couldn’t put my finger on. It went wonderfully with my dish, in fact if I was ordering the chicken again the mash would be a must order side because it went beautifully well together.
Obvs there was pudding! I went for the Chocolate Mousse Cake, creme fraiche ice cream and blackberries.
A super end to a super meal – the cake was heavy and decadently lush. It wasn’t too much tho because it was a well proportioned slice, and the creme fraiche ice cream which was smooth and light, with a really unusual but delicious flavour really lightened the whole dish. The blackberries were a fantastic addition to the plate – as with the starters they gave a wonderful pop of sweet juicy goodness every time I bite into one.
Price wise for 3 people having a 3 course meal we were £105. I thought this was great value for money for the standard of food, I was more than happy with the bill.
It’s possibly too early to tell if it’s going to be honest-to-god true love between Chelsea Market and myself, but I would say based on our first date that they stand a pretty damn good chance of filling the Richmond shaped hole in my heart.