REVIEW: The Butchershop Bar & Grill in Glasgow. The original Rusk & Rusk
3 months AGOIain Fenwick
I tend not answer the “which is your favourite restaurant” question, because in the interests of being impartial I think it best to keep that to myself. However, one restaurant I am a big fan of is The Spanish Butcher in Glasgow. The interior, the staff, the food, the drink, the complete dining experience is everything I look for when eating out.
The Spanish Butcher
The Spanish Butcher is a Rusk & Rusk restaurant. Restaurateurs of the Year 2018, and the company behind the very recently opened So L.A. on Mitchell Street in Glasgow. Along with The Spanish Butcher and So L.A., Rusk & Rusk also own Hutcheson’s City Grill and The Butchershop Bar & Grill, the original Rusk & Rusk venture. If you read my review of The Spanish Butcher, you will know I have a huge love for what Rusk & Rusk do. Each of their 4 venues are very unique, but each identifies with a certain demographic and provides something very special to them. I recently visited The Butchershop Bar & Grill with friends for lunch. My expectations were high, I was very much looking forward to it, but could it possibly live up to the standards set by its sister restaurants? Surely not.
The Butchershop Bar & Grill
The Butchershop is a different set up, more family orientated. More light flows throughout and it just seems like there is a different vibe. Hutchesons, Spanish and So L.A. are very cool, very hip, very Glasgow, but Butchershop is more neutral. What is the same though is the staff. As soon as you set foot in a Rusk & Rusk restaurant you are made to feel welcome. All wearing their blue and white butcher’s aprons (nice touch), the staff from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave are attentive, friendly, and go the extra mile to ensure your visit to their restaurant is special.
We were all pretty hungry and had been chatting about what we might have before we got there. The menu at The Butchershop is well balanced, a good selection that caters for everyone. Don’t be put off by the name, if you are not a huge meat lover there are veggie, fish and gluten free options. Me, I had my eye on the Tomahawk and nothing was going to sway me. Before the main event I needed to do some stretching though, so I ordered a Raspberry Mojito, munched on some delicious warm bread, and browsed through the starters.
Crispy Fried Soft-Shell Crab
I didn’t want to fill up too much, so to start I ordered some Crispy Fried Soft-Shell Crab, Apple & Celeriac Remoulade, Miso, Coriander, Chilli & Sweetcorn. Each Rusk & Rusk venue may be unique, but one thing that is constant is the food. The Group Development Chef is John Molloy who started out at the group as the Head Chef of The Butchershop. The menus are of course designed to match each restaurant and that is not an easy task. However, I can now say having eaten at all Rusk & Rusk restaurants is that they nail it! My crab was perfectly cooked, the batter was beautifully light but still crispy, the crab meat was full of flavour, but what I loved was the depth of flavour the dish as a whole delivered. The celeriac, the miso, the apple, the chilli, all blended so well together, the texture contrast of the batter, the crab and the remoulade worked. This was a very clever dish and the perfect start.
On the menu you will read: COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: 100% Scotch. BREED: Grass fed Black Angus & Limousin. SUPPLIERS: John Gilmour & Cairnhill Farm. I appreciate this. I think nowadays you have to treat your diners with a bit more respect when it comes to how knowledgeable they are about food and drink. We want to know where our beef comes from, where our fish and seafood comes from, if our scallops are hand dived etc. etc. I know how good John Gilmour beef is, so when I see it on a menu there is a good chance I am going to order it! Before you decide on what steak you want, the board of cuts is brought out for you to choose from, another nice touch. We decided to order some Porterhouse and a Tomahawk to share. I am not one to sauce my steak, but a little garlic butter sounds quite delish, and a side of hand cut chips and grilled tomato was obvious.
The steak arrived with a touch of theatre. Who says size doesn’t matter! Wonderfully presented and appreciated with a reverberating wow around the table. There wasn’t much else to do except tuck in. Ok look, I can sit here and type away about how good my steak was with a flurry of adjectives, but I’m not going to, it’s steak, how many different ways are there to say it was perfect. It was a fantastic bit of beef and it was cooked exactly how I like it, rare. The chips were crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, perfect for mopping up all the delicious steak juice, and the grilled tomato was wonderfully sweet. If you like your steak then guess what, you are going to love The Butchershop.
Chocolate & Peanut Butter Parfait
By this time, I was full, but I was enjoying my visit to The Butchershop so much that there was no way I wasn’t going to order a pudding. Chocolate & Peanut Butter Parfait, Salted Caramel, Peanut Butter Ice Cream, Peanut Brittle and Chocolate Truffles. Pretty much everything about the meal to this point had been a touch indulgent, so why would dessert be any different. This was a rich, seductive, luxurious, velvety, deep, deliciously sexy pudding, every mouthful was sensual, even arousing! It was a pudding you could fall in love with, one you want to take home with you for a steamy night in. They knew what they were doing when they created this dessert, this was what it was supposed to do…naughty!
James and Louise Rusk
All good things come to an end. Our visit to The Butchershop delivered everything I expect from a Rusk & Rusk restaurant. It stands alone as a unique restaurant, but stands shoulder to shoulder with The Spanish Butcher, Hutcheson’s City Grill and So L.A. when it comes to a memorable dining experience. Can these people do no wrong? It would appear not. When does restaurant number 5 open?
The Butchershop Bar & Grill website: https://www.butchershopglasgow.com
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