A Belated Mother's Day Treat - Browns Restaurant, Glasgow

I absolutely adore my mother, but I hate Mother's Day.  Not because I don't want to celebrate the fact that the fabulous woman brought me on to this Earth, but because prices go up, and quality goes down.  So many restaurants have a decidedly small and pathetic set menu that apparently is great value for money.  Nay!  I want A La Carte, I want relaxed service, and mostly I want fantastic, high quality food.  We decided, as offspring (the offspring being myself, my sister Sharon, and her boyfriend Mark) to take our mothers out the week proceeding Mother's Day to really treat them.  Treat them we did, at Browns bar and brasserie.

Browns is one of the lucky restaurants to be settled in George Square.  Right on the corner, adjacent to the Glasgow City Chambers, it is housed in a beautiful sandstone building and is elegantly lit up at night.  When you enter, there is a classic look to the interior.  A beautiful black jazz piano sits nestled at the front of the bar, and the décor appears to be a mix of contemporary and vintage - almost a 1920's feel to it.

The interior at Browns

We were seated in a comfortable booth that accommodated 5 perfectly.  Our waiter, Gary, was extremely pleasant, enthusiastic and oh so polite.  If I were to return to Browns (which I will) I would love Gary to be my waiter again.  We perused the menu, which is so full of delicious options that it truly is a struggle (you can view the A La Carte menu by clicking here).  It was so much of a struggle, that I almost forgot to look at the cocktail menu!  What they do have, that I want you to know about, is 'Sunday At Browns' which has a selection of starters at a lower price, and also your choice of a roast.  It all sounded delicious too, and I can assure you that you'll have a tough time choosing something!  If the Sunday menu is something you like the sound of, why not have a look and see!

It's thirsty work trying to sort out your starter and main, so we decided to get the drinks in.  The special cocktail was a passion fruit daiquiri - rum, passion fruit, syrup and lime juice.  Three of the ladies ordered this, whilst I went for a berry and pomegranate Martini.  The special cocktail was bitter and sour, and not particularly to my taste.   The berry and pomegranate Martini was very fruity and strong, which I loved.

After much deliberation, we had chosen our respective starters and mains.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to grab a bite of everyone's meal to test it for you.  I've given you a lovely big description and an even bigger picture for you to drool over for each choice though, because I'm just so kind.

Liz (my mother) decided to have the roasted goat’s cheese with a walnut crust, pico de gallo salsa, golden beetroot and a sweet pomegranate molasses vinaigrette to start.  For her main, she chose the supreme of baked salmon served on a bed of chick peas, red peppers, tomato, onion and garlic, topped with a yoghurt & caper dressing.

Goats cheese starter
Supreme of salmon main course

Janette (Mark's mother) decided on a starter from the Sunday menu: salmon, smoked haddock & lobster croquettes topped with a yoghurt & caper dressing.  I wasn't entirely impressed with the presentation of her starter, considering how beautiful everything else that came out was.  They still tasted fantastic, though!  To follow, she went with the lamb shoulder served with a Yorkshire pudding, honey roast carrots & parsnips, green beans, peas, braised red cabbage with apple and gratinated cauliflower with a cheese & mustard sauce.  Please note that on the roast menu, it does state that it is a rack of lamb, however they didn't have any of this available.

Salmon, haddock and lobster croquettes
Lamb shoulder roast

Mark had a box of baked Camembert topped with an apple & raisin chutney, served with warm bread slices for his first course.  The rosemary seasoning on the warm bread made this taste absolutely amazing, and slightly smoky.  Absolutely delicious starter, which I would definitely consider getting the next time!  For his main, he had 21 day aged sirloin steak, cooked medium-well done, served with anchovy butter, watercress, a roasted plum tomato, baked flat mushrooms and chunky chips.  He also chose to have a peppercorn sauce with this.

Camembert Starter
Sirloin steak with a peppercorn sauce

Sharon chose to have the croquettes, the same as Janette.  I'd like to note that this is because they didn't have any of her first choice, which was the Carpaccio of seared tuna (which was devastating as we planned to share our starters!).  Again the presentation wasn't great, but the taste and quality was definitely there.  For her main, Sharon also had the steak, medium cooked and with the béarnaise sauce and a side of honey roast parsnip and carrot.  The béarnaise sauce was absolutely amazing, although a bit cooler than I would have personally wanted.  It was very creamy, slightly buttery and wonderful with a flavoursome steak.  Sharon found the sirloin a bit too fatty, however I blame her for not ordering a fillet! 

Salmon, haddock and lobster croquettes
Sirloin steak with a béarnaise sauce

I opted to begin with the crab and avocado stack, then follow it up with the fillet of venison rossini with a brioche crouton, chicken liver pâté and a madeira jus served with honey roast parsnips & carrots.  The crab and avocado starter was really refreshing and wonderfully tasty.  The crab was whipped with mustard crème fraîche, and a mildly spiced coriander.  This was then sat on top of a combination of chilli salsa with an avocado & potato salad, which was so light and easy to eat.  My main course has to be my favourite meal of this year, and that includes the steaks I've had.  The vension was beautifully marbled pink, and tender to cut. The meat was also still juicy and just perfect.  On a bed of smooth chicken liver pate, and a soft brioche slice, this was absolute heaven to eat.  The honey roast parsnips and carrots were al dente, so added a light crunch to the combination.  Well done to the chef at Browns for this masterpiece - both inventive and confident!

Crab & avocado stack

Fillet of venison rossini

Whilst grazing through our wonderful meals, I stumbled upon what has to be my favourite cocktail that I have ever had.  I have a fondness for champagne, and had previously been alerted that they offer champagne cocktails.  It's called a Rivoting Raspberri (the spelling is deliberate) and it is absolutely AMAZING. Absolut Raspberri Vodka, Chambord, raspberries and lime topped with Champagne - it was blissful to drink, and I may have had one too many!

Rivoting Raspberri - my new best friend

Once our plates were cleared away, the lovely Gary provided us with the sweet menu.  Again, so much to choose from!  They also have cleverly came up with a 'blondie' - the white chocolate version of a 'brownie' (get it?).  The dessert menu can be seen here, however don't read it if you're feeling peckish!  Once we had a look, we all had made our decision.

My mother chose the sticky toffee pudding, which came topped with a rich toffee sauce and some clotted cream.  Gary did advise my mother that there were mixed spiced fruits in the toffee pudding, such as dates and whatnot, which she thoroughly looked forward to.  As she ate it, she didn't find any of these fruits, but said it was still delicious.

Sticky toffee pudding

Janette decided to go for the white chocolate and raspberry 'blondie', which was topped with raspberry coulis and some strawberry ice cream.  Janette said that the blondie was lovely, and it didn't taste heavily of white chocolate, which can be rather sickly.  Again, Browns have came up with something quirky and simple, yet absolutely amazing!

White chocolate and strawberry blondie

As part of their brownie menu, they also offer a dark chocolate brownie, dripping with chocolate sauce.  As a fellow chocolate lover, this is what Mark decided to go for.  Instead of fruity ice cream however, the dark chocolate brownie is served with vanilla ice cream.

Dark chocolate brownie

Sharon went for one of her favourites, creme brulee.  I was lucky enough to try some, and it was absolutely divine.  A light and fluffy vanilla custard with the consistency of mousse, hidden beneath a window of caramelised sugar.  It was quite a large serving, but it truly was delicious and I would definitely recommend this as a dessert.

Creme Brulee

I'm not much of a dessert person, and as I was already feeling comfortably full, I decided to go a little juvenile.  My dessert was three scoops of chocolate ice cream, served with a home-made chocolate cookie. The ice cream was amazing, and had curls of milk chocolate laced through it.  The cookie was really soft and chewy, and amazing with the ice cream.  It was simple yet exactly what I needed to polish off a perfect meal.

Chocolate ice cream with a home-made cookie

With our desserts washed down with the last of our drinks, it was time to call it a night.  The plates were all cleared away, and Gary ensured that we were happy with everything.  For seven cocktails, two soft drinks, five starters, five main courses and five desserts, our bill came to just over £230.  This works out at about £46 a head, which is pretty good for a three course meal including alcoholic drinks.  The menu is decently priced, and although the portions don't look massive, they do fill you up!

If you want to treat a loved one, or even just go for some nice drinks somewhere, I would definitely recommend that you give Browns a try.  Plus, their cocktails are only £4.95 Sunday to Wednesday, if you fancy a little mid-week happy hour.  Cue the beginning of my new weekly routine!

Contact Details:

Browns Restaurant
1 George Square
G2 1DY

Tel: 0141 221 7828

Web: http://www.browns-restaurants.co.uk/

Wheelchair access: Yes

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