As we may have mentioned previously, Glasgow has gone seafood crazy of late with fishy new openings including Shucks, Kelp, Fat Lobster, Scallop’s Tale and Crabshakk Botanics. To these we can add Scamp which launched on Renfield Street earlier this month. It’s the sister operation to the hip and happening Hooligan and Eighty Eight operations and it has their seasonal small plates with big flavours ethos at heart.
The sharing menu includes scallop toast with satay and kaffir lime, fish skin crackling, Cumbrae oysters with pineapple and jalapeno plus sea bream ceviche with strawberry and elderflower dashi.
“With Hooligan being wine-focused and Eighty Eight vegetarian-led, we wanted to create a space that was seafood-led, with a focus on open charcoal cooking. We want to keep our dishes light, fun and most importantly, tasty. We’re all about big flavours, modern techniques and sustainability.”Head chef Craig Maclennan
On the other side of the M8, certain sections of Edinburgh society are preening themselves in anticipation of Perthshire’s grand old Gleneagles Hotel opening an extension in the Scottish capital’s St Andrew Square. Gleneagles Townhouse is billed as a hotel and all-day restaurant along with a rooftop terrace bar which will be exclusive to the venue’s members’ club.
Open to all, The Spence restaurant is led by Dunblane-born Jonny Wright who promises ‘seasonally-inspired modern classic cuisine’. Think along the lines of West Coast langoustines in their shell with crispy seaweed, roasted garlic Dijonnaise or wild Sika deer haunch with spinach, roasted morels, asparagus and pickled baby turnips.
The Lamplighters rooftop bar – the name is a nod to a Robert Louis Stevenson poem – will be open to residents and the members’ club. Annual subscription is £2200 plus a joining fee of £350. Which will have most of Edinburgh spluttering into their morning porridge.
With stints in Japan, France and Sweden plus a CV that includes Ramsay, Angela Hartnett and Galvin brothers restaurants, it is fair to say that the Neapolitan chef Carlo Scotto has been around the block. His Xier restaurant in London’s Marylebone may not have survived Covid but its demise has not dampened his enthusiasm for the multi-course tasting menus which made a splash when it first opened.
Based on Sackville Street in Mayfair, his new venue is called Amethyst and, among other options, a twelve course tasting menu is at the core of the operation. For the ultimate experience, book in for the full shebang at the quartz and amethyst chef’s table with its views of the pass. Drawing on Nordic, Japanese, French and Arabic flavours, diners can expect courses such as black cod with burnt hay, caramelised miso and nagananegi dashi. Expect to pay £150 plus drinks and service.
Naturally, Mayfair is not the only part of the country to have such opulence at its fingertips. In Newcastle, Kenny and Abbie Atkinson have branched out from their well established House of Tides restaurant and launched Solstice on Side in the Quayside. With just fourteen covers, it promises to be an intimate experience serving a single tasting menu of 15-18 courses. The menu gives little away, listing just the main component of each plate. Think Wagyu beef, mackerel, goat’s milk, honey and so on. Expect to pay £140 plus wine and service.
Stockport’s Exchange Square has a new speakeasy-style bar courtesy of music impressario Benji Taylor. As well as beers from around the world, cocktails and an outdoor terrace, guests at Bask can look forward to regular live music, DJs and, from Tuesday 5th July, a fortnightly open comedy comp which is being launched by local lad Justin Moorhouse.