We review the Made in Glasgow Food Trail visiting Vega, Swadish and the Gate
We’re always on the lookout for new places to visit in a city brimming with culinary talent.
So when we were invited to try three of the nearly fifty restaurants taking part in the #MadeInGlasgow restaurant campaign in one afternoon, we were more than happy to take on the challenge.
Here’s how it went:
What better way to start the day than by taking a bird’s eye view of the city we are about to explore in Vega.
It’s fun, flashy and just a little over the top in the best way as Sunday brunch crowds gather around us.
In keeping with the contagious party atmosphere, we are served a selection of snacks in the form of a “combination platter” including nachos with dip, olives and jumbo chili corn kernels.
Granted, it’s not the most gourmet stop on the map, but a visit to Vega is an experience in itself, especially if you’re bowling.
While hours could easily be spent spotting people from above on our Argyle Street perch, it’s soon time to head to Merchant City where we’ll be warmly welcomed in Swadish.
This Ingram Street restaurant was recently awarded the prestigious title of Best Indian in Scotland and, in our humble opinion, it’s a well-deserved victory.
As we sit, we find ourselves distracted by neighboring tables who have chosen to indulge in “big daddy” grilling, a pre-ordered special that arrives with a series of loud sizzles and air-filling pops. a heady swirl of spices.
Luckily, our own perfectly sized portions of curries and steamed rice arrive in no time, curing any sudden cravings.
A classic butter chicken hits the mark while Swadish earns extra points for a clearly marked vegan menu from which we order a punchy dish of mushrooms tossed in garlic and chilli with chunks of soy.
There’s no shame in admitting that there’s not a single piece of our crusty nan bread left as we say goodbye and head to the last leg of the day.
The only regret we have throughout the Made in Glasgow experience is wondering why we had never walked through the sunny yellow entrance of The Gate before.
Taking welcome refuge from the queues of teenage superfans who had begun congregating for a concert opposite the Barrowland Ballroom, the cozy interior of the ‘modern Scottish pub’ is an oasis of calm.
As for the drinks?
There aren’t many places that could serve up a cocktail list with ingredients like Washed Highland Park Miso Whiskey or Banana Rum “thrown away” with barely a whiff of pretension. The gate handles exactly that.
Their relaxed yet confident approach to service goes one step further as we scan the menu to find that the bar’s main food offering is a carefully curated selection of cheese toasties.
Comfort food carbohydrates and spectacular cocktails under one roof?
Just like that, we make an instant promise to come back.
There’s no need to take multiple locations in one day like we did when trying out the Made in Glasgow map.
However, in doing so we have discovered a fantastic way to enjoy the variety our local dining scene has to offer, which is ultimately the goal of the Made In Glasgow campaign.
From casual bar snacks in the heart of the city to irresistibly sophisticated cocktails in the East End, this has been a true showcase of what Glasgow brings to the table, even after two difficult years for its hospitality industry.
We end the day full, happy and in love with the city all over again.
The Made in Glasgow campaign runs until May 31. For more information, click here.