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Friday, 29 June 2012

Celebration Food

It was my daughter's graduation on Monday.  The weather decided that for one day, and one day only, it would be sunny and bright so that made a huge difference.  The main building at Glasgow University and the cloisters and quadrangle are stunning at any time but more so in the sunshine.

We went for lunch at the Pelican Cafe - opposite Kelvingrove museum.  I have read glowing reviews of this place and probably expected something a bit more special.  We were on a tight schedule as we had to be back at the university for the afternoon ceremony (vets - not content with one ceremony have another one in the afternoon!) so we only had an hour.  As we were the only people in the place that wasn't challenging!  I had croque monsieur with skinny fries and the others had burgers. It was OK - but I wouldn't go out of my way to go back.

The evening dinner was in a beautifully decorated marquee and the evening sunshine made it a lovely setting. The food was awful - you would have been disappointed if you had been served this quality of food on an airline.  Cynically - I think that caterers do this because they are unlikely to get complaints from people because nobody wants to spoil the night for their graduating offspring.  What a missed opportunity!  Anyone looking for a caterer (and there were around 500 people there that night) would steer well clear of these caterers.  The soup looked nothing like carrot and coriander - more like dirty dishwater, the smoked salmon starter was minuscule and had a pile of really sad salad with too much red onion on it.  The beef was the worst I have eaten in ages - and I have eaten some awful things - I went to boarding school and also my mother was not known for her culinary skills!  The vegetables were of the type that you sometimes get in restaurants as a side dish.  A couple of new potatoes, some tasteless cauliflower and broccoli and a piece of carrot.  The trio of desserts consisted of a chocolate brownie that was more like a flapjack, a small meringue topped with some cream and a single raspberry and a tiny cheesecake in a thimble sized plastic cup.

On a different level entirely is David Bann in Edinburgh.  I took my daughter there for lunch for her Birthday on Wednesday.  The food is amazing.  It is a vegetarian restaurant in Edinburgh (St Mary's Street).  I had a hot tart with dunsyre blue cheese filling for my starter - the pastry was the best I have ever eaten - it was crisp and buttery and the filling had just the right amount of blue cheese flavour.  I then had a pea and mint risotto with asparagus and a poached egg which was also delicious.  If you haven't tried David Bann then I suggest you give it a go.  Vegetarians get such a rough deal in most restaurants with the one or, if they are lucky, two choices (usually involving ricotta or goats cheese) it's good to go somewhere where there is imaginative and tasty vegetarian food and a whole menu to choose from.

I'm looking forward to Taste in Edinburgh next weekend.  We have tickets for Saturday.  I love grazing round the stalls and trying things I would never pick from the menu if I were eating out.  Last year I took a chance on the lobster bisque creme brulee - it was horrible!!  Let me tell you that is an experiment too far and should never make it onto any menu.

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