A new restaurant and bar is to open at Royal Exchange Square in Glasgow.
Glaschu will bring a taste of modern-Scottish fine dining and a sophisticated new bar to the heart of Glasgow at the end of March.
Launching on the premises of The Western Club, Glaschu will offer an enticing brunch, lunch and dinner menu at the historic private members club, established by traders and merchants of Glasgow in 1825.
The new endeavour celebrates its heritage and links to Glasgow in its name, Glaschu (pronounced Glas-a-hoo) which is the Scottish Gaelic for Glasgow, meaning ‘dear green place’.
The menu embraces its local roots, showcasing the best produce Scotland has to offer. Gigha halibut and Loch Tay trout are freshly sourced by local fishmonger Bernard Corrigan, while Finnieston’s Stuart Wilson brings crustaceans and oysters to the table. Family butchers Alan Davidson’s supply beef from Lanarkshire farms and Ailsa Craig goats cheese and Katy Rogers crème fraiche are the cream on top.
There are special nods to Glasgow favourites within the menu; the house pickled mussels, whelks and cockles appetiser will evoke memories of trips to the Barras market for many Glaswegians.
A beautiful pineapple carpaccio dessert explodes with flavour reminiscent of retro pick-n-mix from Glickmans.
While the cocktail list celebrates special people from the city’s past, for example a Marrochetti, made from basil, Limoncello and Beefeater gin salutes the Italian-born sculptor who created Glasgow’s much-loved Duke of Wellington statue, which sits a stone’s throw away from the restaurant.
Leading the kitchen at Glaschu is acclaimed chef Dion Scott, who honed his skills in Heston Blumenthal’s kitchens. Previously Head Chef at one of London’s finest French restaurants Racine, he steered the team at infamous London haunt The Anglesey Arms and closer to home, as head chef for Glasgow’s Spanish Butcher.
Dion said: ‘This menu has Glasgow at its very heart. Like the building we stand within, its roots are in Scottish history, traditional cuisine and cooking. But like the city around us, it has evolved, reflecting the brighter multi-cultural hub Glasgow has become.
‘We celebrate Scottish produce at the centre of the plate, but I’ve drawn on international influences and experience from kitchens I’ve worked in to truly enrich the food with knowledge and flavour.
‘I want people to be surprised when they devour the dishes at Glaschu. We’re doing deliciously different things with ordinary produce. The menu reads “venison loin with sweet potato”, but this isn’t sweet potato as the customer knows it.
‘Our vegetarian main course of chickpea panisse, confit violet artichoke and smoked aubergine draws on Moorish, North African influence and is so filled with flavour, it’s not an after-thought, it’s the star of the show.
‘Sometimes I dislike this term modern, because all cooking is not modern, it draws on experience, age-old techniques and what we’ve learnt before. For example, we follow traditional fermenting to create the pickled mussels, cockles and whelks, but instead of using brown sweet vinegar, we draw upon the flavours of cinnamon, star anise and cloves. Trust me, this is unlike anything you’d pick up at your local chippy.’
General Manager Scott McLean has extensive experience having worked with the front of house teams at Gleneagles, Grand Central Hotel, One Devonshire and The Rusacks in St Andrews.
Scott added: ‘For years it seems people may have been under the perception The Western Club restaurant is just for members. Now under new ownership and bringing the incredibly talented Dion Scott into the kitchen, we can throw open the doors to Glaschu and invite people to come inside and enjoy a taste of fine-dining in the heart of the city, at any time of day.
‘Our brunch menu carries all the classics, from epic morning rolls to be enjoyed with a pot of tea, to delicious buttermilk pear and frangipane pancakes and prosecco.
‘We will offer a seasonal prestige menu of Bibendum wines, which has been specially selected by ambassador and expert David Prow to complement the delectable à la carte offering. There will be a wide range of premium wines available by the glass and an exciting cocktail menu to be enjoyed. Customers are welcomed to join us in our new bar, even if they don’t plan to eat, making Glaschu the perfect place to stop on a night out in the city.’
The ‘dear green place’ will come into full bloom over the coming weeks, as Glaschu teams up with Glasgow independent florist Flowers Vermillion, Terri Hawkins, who will create must-view window pieces and Instagram worthy installations in the restaurant of dried flowers.
Scott concluded: ‘We are truly hoping to host something special in the heart of Glasgow, for the people of Glasgow and visitors alike.’