They couldn’t get out of the restaurant quick enough – but that’s a good thing when it comes to No.10 hotel and restaurant in Glasgow’s southside.
The Victorian mansion is just a long goal kick away from Hampden Park, meaning it’s a great stop-off en route to some of the big events happening at the National Stadium this summer – but not restricted to that venue for the gig-going public and has tapped into the popularity of the Hydro as well.
It’s got an off-street car-park and also handily next door to a fairly frequented train station but No.10 itself has been running special packages including transport to and from selected events, a meal with wine beforehand and then an overnight stay, with gig tickets thrown in too.
And the transport operation we witnessed was as slick as the food was good, for the meal Mrs Oliver and I had will take some trumping by the artists (or football teams) as highlight of any evening spent there.
We arrived as staff were organising a taxi for a troop of four sisters to be whisked to Bruno Mars’ concert. And before we’d had a chance to order they were gone – talk about swift service!
Our food wasn’t far behind and the staff at the tranquil little restaurant couldn’t have been friendlier.
For a little recess for around 20 people off the hotel’s bar, the attention wasn’t too overbearing and the presentation on the plates was of a high calibre restaurant too.
My scallops and Stornoway black pudding with pea purée was spot on, but my wife was subject of my food envy with her Gambas Pil Pil starter.
I’ve seen chicken legs smaller than these gargantuan king prawns – never mind dressing in chilli garlic oil, these hulking crustaceans looked like they’d been dressing in gym-vests and working out before succumbing to the chef’s cooker !
It was my turn to dabble in seafood for the main course and raise my perennial question – do you eat the skin on the salmon, or not?
I didn’t but cleared the plateful of salsa, fondant potato, green beans and the fillet itself in no time.
Mrs Oliver took the interesting option on the menu – and after the huge prawns a welcome meat-free vegetarian option – of butternut squash risotto, which she was mightily impressed with – including the perfect poached egg on top.
However, she needed help to finish – no wonder given the starter course – and her dutiful husband obliged.
We witnessed more of the hotel’s speedy transport service for more concert-goers on the table adjacent but were coaxed into a look at dessert by the friendly waitress mentioned earlier. We ended up torturing the poor soul on the final days of Lent by choosing her favourite, and recommended chocolate dessert – just what she’d been avoiding for the previous month. She was missing out. And she knew it.
To steal a line from Bruno Mars it was “24 carat magic” and No.10 is easily among my own Hit Parade of restaurants visited this year.