Bo & Birdy at the Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel is the newest dining experience to be had in Glasgow.
Over £1m has been spent on creating the new 146-cover restaurant, which has opened under the culinary guidance of the first female 5-star hotel exec head chef in Scotland, Gillian Matthews.
The new restaurant offers a relaxed, informal and luxury brasserie feel, with the feel of 1930s America with its subtle and beautiful lighting. The central bar has an art deco feel to it, making for a relaxed, timeless setting. It could be anywhere in the world.
My companion and I were welcomed and taken to our table, and quickly offered water for the table, as well as having our drinks order taken, and these arrived quickly.
I chose the Ardunan Farm pork pie, with pickles and mustard, as my starter, which was a pleasant surprise when it arrived. Having expected a small, carefully made pork pie, it was a pleasantly large tranche that arrived. The jelly between the crust and the meat was pleasantly flavoured, and the pastry was satifyingly crisp.
As for the meat, it comes with a thin layer of asparagus, which was another surprise, and adds an extra flavour to the well-packed pork. When I was left wanting more, that was a good sign.
My companion chose the green pea soup for his starter, and, he reported, it was delicious and thick, and, in his words, hit the spot. Smoked ham is an optional extra, but he declined it.
The main courses on offer were a good mix – half lobster thermidor, with frisee salad and skin on fries; roasted celeriac, with Scottish mushroom polenta and broad beans; or the Bo & Birdy shortcrust pie, with truffle and Parmesan skin-on fries.
We both chose the lobster. We both made the perfect choice, as it was wonderfully cooked and beautifully presented. The lobster meat was left inside the shell, and the thermidor topping was perfect, with a delicious sauce on top. It worked in harmony with the seafood, which easily came out of its shell. No questions asked – the best lobster I’ve had.
The fries were delicious too, and the skins gave them a little extra crunch and flavour of their own. And the salad? It didn’t last long, with a tasty dressing on it.
A choice of sides were available, with broccoli and feta, but I opted for the truffled cauliflower cheese. This is one of the most beautiful sides I’ve had in years – the cheese was wonderfully creamy, without being too strong in flavour. I could quite happily have eaten a huge bowl of this on its own.
For dessert, we both declined the lemon curd tart, with brambles, meringue and mint, and opted for salted caramel, which came with a glazed banana and wafer. The wafer comprised the caramel, and we found a tasty sponge underneath the ice cream layer. The bananas in the caramel sauce were a wonderful addition, having never tried bananas with salted caramel before. An inspired creation.
Bo & Birdy ran as a slick operation – the food was brought out quickly, the staff were fast, friendly and efficient, and clearly knew their menu. The drinks list, although we didn’t fully sample it, is extensive, and Bo & Birdy makes for the perfect venue for a special meal.
Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel, 11 Blythswood Square, Glasgow, G2 4AD.
0141 248 8888