As much as I adore formal dining experiences, there’s something to be said about occasions which are more casual.
Platform in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest casual restaurant and event space recently celebrated its four year anniversary.
Kathryn McCormick, owner of Platform said: ‘The last four years have been a rollercoaster for everyone in hospitality, us included. Whether you’re starting or ending your day or night out with us, we’ve got something for everyone this spring.’
Platform has an entirely unique feel to it, as it is located under the catacombs of Glasgow Central Station, and during my group’s meal, we could feel the regular rumble of the trains passing overhead, which made for a pleasant and unique experience.
We were welcomed and taken to our table, set within the arches below the station (and the name of the restaurant makes perfect sense). The ceiling is high, and it’s very spacious, with plenty of space around. Pleasingly, some people have even brought their dogs along, adding to the informal feeling of the surroundings.
We were presented with the menu, and the pizza menu was very tempting – margherita (sugo, basil, mozzarella and evoo). salame (sugo, salame napoli and mozzarella), salsiccia (sugo, housemade sausage, spinach and mozzarella) and funghi misti (sugo, garlic and thyme mushrooms, and mozzarella), but, somehow, I was able to decline (and a vegan option is available).
Instead, my eyes – and stomach – were drawn to the cochinita pibil sliders (£8.50), as I do like a good burger. These featured pulled pork, citrus, coriander, salsa verde and pink pickles, all contained in a brioche bun. Sometimes, pulled pork can cause a brioche bun to distintegrate, but both of these were able to maintain their structural integrity, and were packed with flavour, the citrus and coriander, plus salsa and pickles, giving a real mix of flavour to the palate. First class.
As a side dish, I picked the elotes (£6), which had grabbed my eye straight away. These are charred pieces of corn, covered in parmesan, paprika and chipotle cream. I love sweetcorn, and this flavour combination was wonderfully refreshing. It was cooked to perfection and the paprika and chipotle married perfectly. It was hot, without being overpowering.
The machacha brisket tacos (£8) were my companion’s choice, comprising beef brisket, pico de galio, burnt spring onion cream, and jalapenos. These were served up on tortillas, so she was able to roll these up and consume that way – but there was so much content, that it was hard to roll it up and eat it without spilling a little. However, the flavour mix was first class, with a mixture of textures and complex tastes for the tongue.
My companion’s choice was the honey fried halloumi (£6), which did exactly what it said on the tin. The coating was thin, and pleasantly sweet, and they didn’t last long. It wasn’t a surprise when she asked for a second helping of them – and they were just as good as the first batch.
Our junior diner was taken with the Korean Fried Chicken (£8), but she isn’t a fan of hotter food (given this is buttermilk boneless chicken bites, the sweet and spicy glaze put her off). However, our superb server, Lauren, ensured that the glaze came separately, and our dinner was able to tuck in, happily. Although deep fried, the batter was crisp, without being riddled with fat and overcook. A success.
As a side plate, she had the skinny fries (£4), which was perfect – lightly cooked, not burnt, and just the way she liked them.
The dessert menu was short and, literally, sweet. There were four options – when the one that missed out is a which chocolate and raspberry brownie (£6), that shows just how good the choice was.
I went for the caramel chocolate brownie, served with vanilla ice cream, dulce du leche on the side, chocolate sauce and peanut praline. This was heaven – my sweet tooth was well and truly sated. Our brownies were just the way I like them – wet and slightly dense, making for a more filling feed.
My companion opted to have the coco loco, which was the same brownie again, but served with a vegan coconut ice cream, chocolate sauce and toasted coconut. She was impressed by the ice cream and felt there was no difference between it and dairy ice cream. Another success.
The junior diner went for the mint choc chip, which was also served with the same brownie as mine – and she was a happy little person.
Platform operates every Friday and Saturday from noon until late, complete with a fully licensed bar offering up a revolving list of cocktail classics, guest beers and a range of Scottish gins and whiskies, and local craft sodas.
We were well looked after during our visit, with the staff more than happy to help accommodate any requests, and also knew the menu inside out, able to make recommendations to suit us all. First class food – full of flavour, and a great selection on the menu.
Platform, 253 Argyle St, Glasgow G2 8DL
0345 241 6253