It’s not often that you can say that once you’ve had a Moskito bite, that you want more.
That’s definitely how I felt after eating at Moskito Bar & Kitchen in Glasgow’s Bath Street, which officially re-opens its doors on July 1.
In the past, I have occasionally dined at venues where it’s very much stylish surroundings over the actual quality of the food, but Moskito hits the balance perfectly on the head.
The interiors, which have been designed to wow by Nicky Murray Design, definitely do their job, as the interior has a glowing warm and darkness to it – not too bright, but nor do you feel that you’re somewhere lost in the 1970s at a time of powercuts.
My companion and I were shown to our table (also well designed, with wooden slats on the surface), and brought the menu, which offers a different slant on the small plates fusion concept.
The food menu offers dishes from Earth, Sea and Land, as well as Tandoor Fire, with international influences from countries as diverse as Spain, Sweden, France, Japan, Malaysia, England, Thailand, Italy, Korea, India, New Zealand, North Africa, Peru, Argentina, and of course, Scotland.
We were offered a choice of flatbreads to begin with, and my choice was the edamame cashew pesto flatbread, which impressed me – it had a texture which I can only compare to a potato scone, and that’s not meant in a bad way – an absolute compliment. The accompanying pesto is beautifully fresh and set me up perfectly for what lay ahead.
My companion picked the tarragon and sea salt butter flatbread. It too had a similar texture and had a wonderful flavour, subtle yet enough to announce its presence on the palate.
We opted to pick one plate from each section per person, with a plethora of fusion foods to choose from, so from Earth, my companion went for the glazed beets (low and slow beetroot, garlic honey, pickled cucumbers, goat’s cheese mousse and puffed wild rice), and I chose the shaved mango salad (chilli, egg noodles and a peanut caramel dressing).
Our plates were served up incredible quickly, so I opted to leave my salad until the end so I could have the hot dishes first, and I’m glad I did – it’s full of flavour but the afterburn from it was very pleasant. The caramel peanuts provided a great contrast to the soft noodles – absolutely recommended, as the cool mango off-set some of the heat.
It’s hard to go wrong with beets, and these were full of flavour, with the mousse having a pleasant and cooling effect after some of the more spicy food.
As seafood lovers, we had a choice of five mouth-wateringly tempting choices in the Sea section, but in the end, I couldn’t resist the sea salt hake (orange and fennel salad, tomato and basil compote), while my companion selected the ginger chilli brown crab (crispy sushi rice, dressed Scottish crab meat and red pepper wasabi).
The hake is cooked to perfection, crumbling beautifully when cut, into perfect sections, allowing it to easily be taken with the salad, with the fresh orange washing it down beautifully.
The crab meat was perfect – full of flavour, and most definitely fresh, and was a marriage made in heaven with the crispy sushi rice.
For the Land section, we were spoiled for choice, and, after a long and difficult deliberation, narrowed our picks down to the yellow chicken curry (blended spices and coconut cream curry, with chicken and coconut rice, cashew praline and coriander), and a katsu sandwich (panko bread crumbed chicken, shredded cabbage, BBQ peanut sauce, and nam jim).
As someone whose curry tastes are so mild that anything beyond a korma causes me to become uncomfortable, this yellow curry was a wonderful step up to the next level, but not too far! This has all the flavour of a korma, but just a little bit heat more and edge – and if you order, make sure you keep a bit of flatbread to wipe around the inside of the bowl.
My katsu sandwich was everything I hoped that it would be – the chicken is perfectly coated, inside a thin toasted slice of bread, and the Japanese influence had my smacking my lips in delight. The BBQ peanut sauce was perfect. An absolute winner, and this lasted less than two minutes on my plate.
The venue also has a unique tandoori fire oven in the heart of the kitchen, which creates delicious specialty smoked dishes for the Tandoor Fire section of the menu.
I chose the hot peppered beef (peppered beef brisket, sweet pepper emulsion and chimichurri), while my companion went with the charcoal lamb rump (blackened Ayrshire lamb rump, salsa criolla and herb mayonnaise).
The beef looked incredible when it was served up, and tasted even better. Think of a perfect Sunday roast, that’s on the way to becoming like a pulled beef, and you’re pretty much in the ballpark for this dish. The glaze on the outside is subtle, but has enough flavour to announce its arrival upon chewing, but this was a real highlight of the meal.
I’ve never been a fan of lamb, but based on the way this was cooked, I could easily be converted. By being blackened, it was on the way to how I like my meat (got to be well done!), and had a flavour that left me wanting more. My companion, who enjoys lamb far more than I, said it was possibly the best she’d ever had. I can’t say fairer than that!
We were also served up a fresh juice, which was a real treat for the mouth – and kept up the heat. Nurture is a drink which includes cucumber, broccoli, pineapple, kale, coriander and green chilli. If you’re looking to try something a little different, with a pleasant kick that works either as a shot or one to be savoured, this is for you.
Just when I thought I was too full to have anything else, our first-class waitress suggested we try the desserts, and we were spoiled for choice. As soon as I heard the words chocolate orange ganache, though, I was sold. It was everything I’d hoped for – thick, rich and decadent. That’s how you do a chocolate dessert! My one issue with this was that cream with came with it was perhaps just a bit too full of citrus flavour – it was definitely the right side of not being curdled, but was perhaps just a little too sour for me.
My companion chose the charcoal pavlova (she can never resist something with meringue!), and it was perfectly cooked, with a gentle crispiness on the outside, but gooey and soft inside. The colour of it, and its whole appearance, was very appealing too.
Just as we thought we had finished with our selection, we were told that the basil panna cotta was worth trying – so I picked that as well, out of curiosity more than anything else. It’s possibly one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever tried – and in a good way – as I associate basil as being something I would put on a pizza as a topping, not as a flavour for a dessert. It also had the very pleasing effect of cancelling out the heat which had come from the previous course and had lingered on the lips.
Moskito – which also has a lounge and bar – is somewhere that works perfectly as a place to go and grab a quick bite, if you’re in a rush, and at the same time, has enough variety to tempt you back again and again, to want to sample the whole menu, before everything I tried was first class. I can’t say fairer than that.
Moskito Bar & Kitchen, 196-200, Bath Street, Glasgow G2 4HG
0141 331 1777