As the islands my family hails from, I have an affinity for the Outer Hebrides. The islands that I loved as a child, hated as an angsty teen and fell back in love with as an adult.
Up until fairly recently, the Western Isles had been slept on, a true hidden gem of Scotland. Flash forward to now, and it is near impossible to get a space of the ferry over during the busy summer months and the islands are flooded with tourists. This can possibly be attributed to the recent trend of ‘stay-cations’ or the newer and exciting brands to come out of the islands in recent years. The Western Isles are home to some of Scotland’s most desirable products/brands, including Stornoway Black Pudding and Harris Tweed, with newer businesses Isle of Harris Distillery and Essence of Harris really increasing the popularity of the islands. (Read my post about Isle of Harris gin here.)
Chef Nico Simone, from the iconic Six By Nico, is now getting in on the action and bringing the island favourites to the mainland in the form of the new Scottish Gastropub, The Hebridean. When it was announced that The Hebridean was opening in place of Nico’s Public House, fans of Public House were dismayed that their fave gastropub was to shut but I excitedly booked straight away.
My friend and I visited The Hebridean the Sunday after opening looking forward to hearty Scottish comfort food. The Harris Gin bottles, abundance of Harris Tweed and black & white photos of old cailleachs* collecting peat and spinning wool are all a clear indication that this is a Scottish-centric restaurant. However, I wouldn’t say the decor is something I would necessarily expect for a Scottish restaurant. Metallic wallpaper doesn’t scream cosy up and coorie in. But that isn’t to say that the place isn’t lovely!
Those familiar with Six by Nico or Supper Club by Nico will be used to the smaller tasting dishes usually on offer. Whilst I do enjoy the small dishes, I was pleased to see larger portions as would my Herrach** family be. Hearty traditional meals cooked with love have always been an intrinsic part of visits to the islands where tradition plays an element in everything they do. So it was great to see a somewhat traditional menu with some Nico twists.
The menu is extensive and offers a good mix that will please even the fussiest eaters (aka me). Since it was a Sunday, I decided I couldn’t visit and experience The Hebridean take on the beloved Sunday Roast. With a choice of starters and desserts, I chose the following:
HAGGIS NEEPS & TATTIES Housemade, Toasted Oats, Islay Whisky Sauce
SPEYSIDE BEEF Roasting Juices, Yorkshire Pudding, Beef Dripping Roast Potato, Cauliflower Cheese, Burnt Honey Glazed Root Vegetables
CRANACHAN Raspberry, Whisky, Honey Ice Cream, Toasted Oats
The meal was as to be expected from a Nico restaurant – delicious. My highlight being the Haggis, neeps and tatties. It was so good, I could have had a plate of just that. I truly appreciated that despite modern elements, The Hebridean serves meals that remind you of meals served at your granny’s kitchen table.
I really enjoyed my trip to The Hebridean – great food, decent portion sizes and a really nice relaxed atmosphere. I would definitely recommend and can’t wait for my next visit.
You can find The Hebridean at 333 Great Western Road, Glasgow, view their menu here.
Until next time – slainte,
*Cailleachs – Scottish Gaelic term for old women.
** Herrach – Scottish Gaelic term for someone from Harris.
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