Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Halloumi (Glasgow): Review

With 2017 off to a flying start and the promise of warmer months to come somewhere on the horizon (I write this whilst its blistering winds and torrential rain outside), reminiscing about a previous holiday to Greece got me thinking back to a recent visit to Glasgow. 

As far as I'm aware Glasgow and Greece really don't have too much in common. When it comes to heatwaves Scotland sees very few in comparison, and when it comes to a quick dip in the sea, you'd be mental if you dared sit near The Clyde, never jump in the damn thing. However, there is one place which springs to mind when I think of Greece and Glasgow, and that's Halloumi.

A young restaurant only a few months old, Halloumi, which is based on Hope Street, has made a name for itself in the vibrant city, offering up some of the best Greek-Cypriot mezze in town. Specialising in fresh, authentic food, the eatery is all about sharing dishes, and diners are encouraged to pick three or four dishes to share amongst one another to get a real taste of Greece.

Stepping into the restaurant it immediately transports you to a warmer, more familiar surrounding. With painted white stone walls, and treacles of greenery and foliage meandering throughout, I felt like I was back in Greece, soaking up the countries culture in the Mediterranean heat.

Opting for cocktails we treated ourselves to the Saint Basil; Martin Millers gin, Chambord, strawberry puree, black pepper, basil and cranberry juice (£7) and the Watermelon Punch; vodka, Filfat, fresh watermelon, guava juice, and lime juice (£7). Both were deliciously fresh and really hit the spot.
For lunch we had opted for six dishes between the two of us. We were pretty hungry, however even though the waitress had encouraged us to order more, we decided to stick to six dishes which ended up being more than enough for us.

Arriving one after the other the dishes filled the table. From humous made with ground chickpeas, fresh garlic, olive oil and lemon juice (£4.45), to Keftedes; homemade lamb meatballs (£5.45), to King prawns with chilli and garlic, and cooked in chilli garlic and olive oil (£6.95), I just couldn't get enough.

Then our stiffado; a rich beef and shallot strew (£5.95) arrived, as did our grilled octopus with smoked paprika (£6.95). The octopus looked incredible and I was totally caught off guard when we were presented with a tentacle. Nevertheless it was sublime. Last but not least we chomped on our halloumi fries (£5.95). A first for me, they were pretty delicious and if you love salty foods they are a must-order.
Slowly but surely one by one the plates emptied and although we never actually licked the plates, we scooped up all of the leftover sauce with the ends of the pitta bread. Bellies full, we politely said our farewells to the attentive staff  and were on our way. The perfect spot to grab a quick bite for lunch, or meander through dinner, I would definitely recommend Halloumi and all it has to offer. Something completely new to Glasgow, it was refreshing to try somewhere that wasn't a burger bar and served up something rather special. efcharistó!

   For Now...

  Just Julia
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