Category Archives: Glasgow bars

Lost and found at Mama San

Tucked below St Judes on Bath Street is Mama San.  If like us you don’t find it the first time, be persistent.  When we somehow missed the entrance and ended up in St Judes, we were warmly welcomed and escorted to our table.

The 5pm deal is a great way to sample the wares and includes two courses and a drink for £12.95.  Bargain – and particularly brilliant considering your drink can be one of their totally tasty cocktails.

The recently refurbished restaurant is slick and chic, complete with a larger than life naked lady adorning one wall.  Mama San perhaps?

Cocoon of calm and soothing cocktails

But the bum-bearing lady is surprisingly fitting, somehow adding to the calm cocoon-like space.   It oozes cool, yet has a warm feel – or perhaps that’s the cocktail buzz.

Pad Thai Spring Rolls at Mama SanNot forgetting the all-important food, Mama San offers a delicious selection of dishes from Thailand, Indonesia and China.

It’s admittedly tough to decide between the Thai Green Curry and Beef Rendang.  In the end I go with the luscious chicken satay starter and an equally enjoyable Basil Chilli Chicken.  I have slight food envy when I see my friend’s  Pad Thai Spring Rolls and Thai Green Curry.

If you want to stray from the 5pm menu, the Chilli and Lime Sea Bass or twice cooked Pork sounds just as enticing.

So if you’ve had a long week and need to unwind, take a wrong turn – relax, enjoy good food and soothing cocktails in welcoming surroundings.

-B

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Chandeliers and champagne

An old friend is in town and persuades me to check out Grand Central Hotel. Why?  The apparent must-see magnificent chandelier, of course.  So having decided our drinking locale purely based on light fittings, we set off.

Not my usual scene but I’m intrigued.  And the promise of champagne is too good to turn down.

Impressive chandelier at Grand Central Hotel  in GlasgowPrepare to be dazzled

From the bowing doorman at the entrance to luxurious decor –even the floor is impressive at the Grand Central Hotel.

And as promised the elegant chandelier in the hall with its long slim prisms of glass – well, it’s pretty spectacular too.  Standing directly underneath gives a wonderful view;  it stretches on and on past three floors at least.

We head up the stairs to Champagne Central where we’re greeted by another chandelier. More of a round-faced younger sister compared to the previous all-encompassing chandelier, but dazzling nonetheless.

Chandelier in champagne bar in GlasgowIn good company

It’s only 6:30 on a Saturday night but the bar is already heaving.  We manage to nab two chairs and settle in.  And then the fun begins.

We go for a classic glass of champagne, although there’s a myriad of cocktails as long as the chandelier to choose from.   And it’s absolutely buzzing inside – perfect for people watching.  Set against decadent wooden furnishings and trains puffing away in the background, anything goes –  zebra striped heels, fake furs, bouffant hair, jeans and trainers  – it’s all sorts and all good.

Here’s to us

Long before its swanky refurbishment, Grand Central hotel attracted a slew of other interesting characters including Laurel and Hardy, Winston Churchill and the Beatles to name just a few.   And I can’t think of a better way to join this illustrious group  (past and present) than indulging in a glass of champagne and simply enjoying the view.

– B

Looking for a place to happen

I’ve heard about Glasgow’s Poetry Club but never been before now. Tucked away in the SWG3, this captivating multifaceted hangout  is a  bar, art-hub performance space and general place to happen.

Smoking allowed

Flying Scotsman at The Poetry Club in GlasgowThrough the small entrance to the bar we’re greeted by billows of smoke and a welcoming drink.  An unusual combination  but in the Poetry Club smoking (of the train variety) is absolutely allowed – and I’m instantly charmed by the Flying Scotsman.

Behind the curtain is a world of Oz and open space.  It has an anything and everything kind of feel.  In one area a small stage offset by sofas to sprawl on – or when the mood and music takes me, a dance floor to show off my moves.  And when it all gets too much, I climb the iron staircase to the safety of the mezzanine and enjoy the enchanting feel from the safety of the shadows.

Anything could happen

Even though the hint of the arches that once were is still noticeable,  the venue feels very solid.  Anything could happen here – and does from private parties to performances, to gigs.   Its legendary early beginnings were born out of  Glasgow-based artist Jim Lambie’s need for a venue for his event with writer and punk-pioneer Richard Hell.  So he built it.  And that DIY determination and fun definitely live on inside these walls.

So if you’re looking for an intriguing venue with the added benefit of a unusual smoke machine – look no further.  And although the Poetry Club doesn’t offer food, the fish and chip van outside hits the spot when lounging becomes passé and you tire of dancing.

-B

Sleazy is best

Best Burger Champion - Nice N Sleazy, GlasgowClaiming to have the best burger in town is no small boast, yet there are oodles of braggarts in town.

So I decided to put these self-proclaimed champs to the test.

I’ve been sampling across the city and while others are good, there can only be one ultimate.  Many of you know Nice N Sleazy’s as a lively, loud night spot to swig beer and enjoy music of every variety; it also happens to offer up the best burgers in Glasgow.

Big-mouth burgers for all

Best burgers at Sleazy's in GlasgowThe mammoth size, delicious combinations and unbelievably fantastic flavours are simply unrivaled.  And there is truly something for every burger connoisseur in town.  And then some.

For the dare-devil beef eaters to the more eccentric – and even the traditionalist, Sleazy has something.  But why settle for a cheese burger when you could be enjoying the Red Mists – a mouth-watering chicken breast with sage, thyme and topped with smoked cheddar and caramelised onion.  Or dazzle your mouth with Four by Fifty’s smoked salmon combo complete with buttery mash, spring onion, lemon zest and beetroot salsa.

My favourite (and not just for the name) is the Heart of the Sunrise  – as if the perfectly-formed veggie burger  stacked with avocado, roast peppers  and tomato and on amazing bun wasn’t enough – they throw on a slice of grilled marinated halloumi just to send my tastebuds over the edge.  Fantastic!

All burgers are served with impeccably-cooked chips and at £4.95 – £7.50, you’ve still got change for a drink or two.

And in the light of day, Sleazy’s is actually is a pretty cool venue – has a kind of modern diner appeal, without the tat.

I said.  I stand by it.  Sleazy burgers are the best in town – quite possibly the world.

– T