Regular readers of this column may have noticed that several of my recent reviews have featured restaurants in the southside of Glasgow.
I appreciate that many folk from the Falkirk district might not be familiar with the area, but before you consider turning the page let me make my pitch on why it’s somewhere you should consider visiting for a meal next time you’re visiting Scotland’s biggest city.
I have no ties to the southside other than I know someone who works there (not in the restaurant business, I hasten to add).
But there’s no denying that some of the brightest and best places to eat out in Glasgow are south of the river, away from the more familiar haunts in the city centre and West End.
Now, you could argue all day about what constitutes the southside proper. I’m not from there so I won’t pretend to be any kind of expert, but it’s safe to say that it’s beating heart lies in Shawlands.
The area lies to the south of Queen’s Park, which is far bigger than its more famous equivalent in Kelvingrove.
Along Kilmarnock Road (past The Shed nightclub, former employer of Herald sports supremo David Oliver) is Eat Cafe. It’s one of the longer-established independent eateries in the area.
I went for a first visit with my partner Gillian, who likes reading menus for days in advance of going out for a meal. She takes indecisiveness to a whole new level.
This time her preparation was wasted as we both ordered from the regularly-updated specials menu. I chose the steak burger, which was topped with onion rings, cheddar cheese and bacon jam (instead of the usual gruyere, gherkins, salsa and chipotle mayo).
Gillian, after some lengthy deliberation, chose two of the smaller mains to sample. She said her Thai spiced crab cakes were good; delicate, lightly spiced meat surrounded by a hefty breadcrumb coating and accompanying chilli jam.
She claimed that the butternut squash and feta fritters were even better; crunchy on the outside and delightfully soft and melting in the middle — and complemented perfectly by an ample supply of sweet chilli yoghurt.
My burger was a towering triumph; the thick, juicy patty well made, and with some of the best fries I’ve tasted – extremely crisp, fluffy and very well seasoned.
This was an excellent meal and another reason to take yourself south of the Clyde when looking for a quality dining experience in Glasgow.
69 Kilmarnock Road, Shawlands, Glasgow
0141 649 6705