Last week saw our second visit in a month to Gamba, one of Glasgow’s premier fish and seafood restaurants. Both times we were with the same couple – one visit just hadn’t been enough!
First time round, I had the watermelon prawn cocktail and on our second visit, this was the starter that still most appealed, so I went for it again. The fresh juiciness of the watermelon was a great counterpoint to the creamy dressing and kick of fiery chilli. This is one I’ll be recreating at home, though perhaps with a bit less of a kick – my lips were on fire!
The mains were a success across the table, with the gents ordering the roast hake with a crab, saffron, leek, onion and mussel stew for both meals. My friend also repeat ordered, and went for the baked sole Thermadore. On our first visit I’d had Loch Duart teriyaki salmon with fragrant rice and wasabi – this wasn’t the most visually appealing choice, but the flavour far outweighed the aesthetics, with a reserved dot of wasabi adding a bit of heat and some needed colour on the plate.
On our second occasion, I was only one that deviated from my previous mains order, going for the sea bream, feta, asparagus and sesame salad. The fish was beautifully cooked, still retaining its moistness while having a gorgeous crispy skin – a combination that showcases the skills of the kitchen. The combination of in-season asparagus and feta was lovely with the flavoursome fish and felt like a really special, though healthy, option.
On our first visit, we’d pushed the boat out and gone for the soft chocolate cake, cheeseboard and white chocolate crème brûlée for our dessert course. This visit, only two of us were going for dessert, having spotted the passion fruit crème brûlée, which sounded just too enticing to pass up. Sadly, we then noticed the time and didn’t get to try it as we were rushing off to see Iron Man 3 (brilliant, sharp and witty – a must see, and one we’ll be purchasing on DVD. Plus, Mr Downey Jr is also rather alluring as the title character despite the questionable goatee).
On our first visit, my friend Jurgen was lucky enough to be given the Gamba cookbook after tweeting a photo of his main meal – sadly, the book is nearly impossible to get hold of now, but Jurgen has promised me the recipe for the hake with saffron sauce, as this was the star dish of the meal and one I’d love to recreate at home.
Staff were attentive throughout both meals, and in fact recognised on the second visit. A small touch, that really made us feel valued customers.
In all, Gamba is one we will definitely be visiting again, though we might wait until they refresh their extremely good value pre-theatre menu with some new options.