The legacy of the Vikings who once ruled much of the north of Scotland lives on in some surprising ways.
Snippets of the Old Norse language that the Scandinavian warriors spoke, back when they occupied Dublin and York, can still be found in our everyday parlance.
One such word is steak, which translates, somewhat unsurprisingly, as roast beef.
I thought about the Vikings when I visited the recently opened Marco Pierre White Steakhouse in Glasgow’s Waterloo Street. With his long hair and stern demeanour, Marco looks like he could have swung a broadsword in a previous life, instead of becaming one of the most acclaimed English chefs of the 1990s, running a string of hugely successful restaurants, and becoming perhaps the first true celebrity chef of the modern age.
Like many people, an expertly-cooked steak is one of my favourite meals, but one that I enjoy only on those rare special occasions.
Upon entering the dining room of this particular steakhouse, I could tell this would be one such memorable event. Forming part of Hotel Indigo, the ground floor restaurant is lavishly decorated with soft furnishings and starched white tablecloths - with more than a few pictures of the man himself on the walls.
Although not part of the kitchen staff, Mr White’s high standards are very much on display.
My partner and I began with tomato and mozzarella salad and potted duck to start.
The salad was tasty, with tomatoes of every colour vying for attention with delicate little balls of creamy cheese.
The duck was even better; a rich meaty paste paired perfectly with crisp toast points — although the accompanying piccalilli proved a tad sharp.
The menu has a surprising range of mains, with plenty of seafood delights and grill staples to tempt you — but on a miserable Monday night, neither of us could resist an 8oz fillet steak.
Both were cooked to perfection — even the order for rare — and each sizeable side proved a treat; huge, crispy onion rings, plump grilled tomato and real chips, dark brown in colour and perfectly fluffy, not to mention dark blue cheese sauce across the table and sumptuous truffle butter on my end.
We finished with generous portions of bitter chocolate mousse and Eton mess (with added tang, thanks to the addition of blackberries) — both completely unnecessary, but well worth the bloat.
Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill
75 Waterloo Street, Glasgow
0141 226 7726