The Kelvingrove Cafe

7 April 2016

Lynsey and I tend to get into a rut of visits the same three or four places on rotation, so when CitizenM got in touch and offered to send me to one of the places that's been featured in their magazine the CitizenMag I grabbed the chance and whisked Lynsey and myself over to Glasgow's West End to try out The Kelvingrove Cafe.

If you've read this post you'll already know that the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (or KG, as pretty much everyone I know calls it because, let's face it, that's a mouthful of a name!) is pretty much my favourite place in Glasgow, so when I saw a place called The Kelvingrove Cafe on the list of options I totally zoomed in on it.

We made a reservation for 7.30 on Saturday and headed along - soon to find out we'd have been better jumping off the train at either Anderson or the Exhibition Centre and not taking the subway to Kelvinhall and wandering back - should have probably looked up the address in advance! Rookie mistake! With the name being the Kelvingrove we were expecting it to be right across from the museum - which was a silly presumption to make. Whilst in Edinburgh the majority of the things you want to see in the city and grouped together Glasgow is very much more spread out - the city centre seems small, but that's because there's various pockets of the West End and the Southside that keep many, many secret gems hidden in them and you do have to be prepared to explore Glasgow a little more. Just something for visitors to our fair city to keep in mind!

We still managed to arrive totally early and were able to be given our table at 7.10 rather than having to wait at the bar for 20 minutes, which was a really nice touch when you've been walking along in the famous Glasgow rain!

The review on the CitizenMag of The Kelvingrove describes it as 'The Elsewhere', and that's totally the most accurate way to describe it - there's something magical in that doorway because when you walk through it you're no longer in Glasgow's West End. You're transported somewhere else entirely - to me it felt incredibly cool, very laid back and very down town New York. There was just the right mix of casual scruff with that super cool attitude it takes to make casual scruff look elegant. At the same time though even for someone as ridiculously uncool as me, there was nothing intimating about the place.

We settled in and pursued the menus...

The green one is the food menu, but the little red one is a book of drinks. Not so much a menu, a book. I am totally guilty of getting into a completely predictable routine of ordering drinks but I'll be completely honest and say that half the time I'm too intimidated by not knowing what half the ingredients are. Food I'm an expert in, drinks not so much! This menu actually contains an official Glossary at the beginning that explains what a lot of the ingredients used in their cocktails and drinks are, which was so helpful for a noob like me!

Food wise Lynsey was totally intrigued by the mention of bacon jam...

And therefore plumped for the Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich

She said it was very very food, and her empty plate at the end indicated she wasn't just being polite by telling me she liked it!

As you can see Lynsey's sandwich came with a salad on the side, but it was Saturday night and I obviously couldn't let there be two salads on the table so I went for a Great British Classic - Fish & Chips!

Can we just take a minute to appreciate the beautiful golden colour of that batter! The fish was perfect - the batter had a slight bit of chew to it (which I like!) and the fish just fell apart once it was out the batter cocoon. Perfect! The chips were also very, very lovely.

This Mac & Cheese on the menu also sounded pretty mouth-watering...

KC mac & cheese.... I will be back for you! As well as several of the offerings from the Small Plates section - salt cod fritters sound incredible and I can never turn down calamari!

With our mains we were very stuffed and started to make our way through the drinks menu... by which I mean we ordered a large glass of rose each and were so impressed we completely forgot about the rest of the menu and ordered them for the rest of the night!

A glass of rose may be our standard order but this was no standard rose - it was entirely far too drinkable, I definitely had one too many of them and not even the fact that this tanker of water is on your table to be had with you meal and drinks saved me from feeling pleasantly woozy as we wandered back to town to get our train home!

Our bill in total was just under £60, though for the life of me I can't remember if that was before or after the tip - but the food was incredibly reasonably priced and if you can resist getting suckered in by their delicious wine you could definitely dine here on a budget.

Given that this place is right next door to The Gannet and The Finnieston, and across the road from the institute that is Old Salty's it's an area where you're going to have to perform or else you're getting kicked out - I predict a long stint in this area for The Kelvingrove Cafe.

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