Browns - Reviewed by Dinertec, Jul 2, 2015

Rating: 4/5

  • 1 George Square
  • Glasgow

The sun had its hat on and so had I. I was all dressed up and nowhere to go. So there I was decorating George Square like the other statues when into view came my fair maid of Midtown Glesga.

The Moll shimmied towards me like a china doll, bri-nylon extension eyelashes fluttering in the gentle breeze. “Hallo, Toots!” I softly breathed. “I’ll Toots ya!” she hollered. “I’ve been halfway down Robertson Street and beyond trying tae find Broon’s. And when I got to Aikenhead Road, I discovered it was demolished in 1999. So help me, I’m fit to demolish you, Tec.”

“Hold the bus, my little tarantula. I said Browns, not Broons. We’re booked into Browns. Look. It’s there ... on the square.”

“Oh, nice,” said ma belle, switching looks faster than a riverboat gambler switches his cards. And so we ambled into the elegance that is Browns Brasserie, just diagonally opposite the City Chambers.

We were treated like stars, which is right up Toots’ street. She dines out on attention. “Champagne, Madame?” inquired the charming waitress. “Why not?” came the reply. “And give him one, too!”

Housed in the 130-year-old former GPO building – site of my postal order caper bust of ‘98 –Browns is a stylish, wood and brass mélange with high ceilings and higher class lights. The champagne flutes tickled Toots. Well, actually, it was the green calyx, the leafy stem of the strawberry perched on the rim that did that.

Browns has quickly stamped its style on the old building with menus designed to satisfy appetites from très petite to, well, Desperate Dan. “What are you fancying?” asked my faithful fusspot.

But before I could reply she was opting for the goat’s cheese and walnut salad because it reminded her of “the walnut whips Marks used to do”! Her salad duly arrived, mercifully sans chocolate and went down a treat.

“Lovely, Tec,” she cooed tucking in merrily while a leaf of rocket rested on her cuddly cheek. I took my life in my hands to sample the rhubarb dressing drizzled on her plate. “Here, you! It’s manners to wait til you’re invited to touch.”

I recoiled as she winked, smiled a little too widely for my liking and reached out her long, elegant – well actually, ever so slightly wrinkled – fingers intent on stroking my hand.

“Cheers!” said I, as I raised my champers just in time. I tucked back into the chargrilled chicken breast with Somerset Brie which touched the spot (unlike Toots) and got set for the main event.

Her Nibs ordered bubble & squeak with an exquisitely crisp prosciutto ham, perfectly poached free-range eggs and a hollandaise sauce. It had to be the most magical dish in all the land ... for she uttered not a dickie bird as she fluttered her way through each forkful.

My fish pie consisted of smoked haddock with a soft poached egg, topped with English mustard mash. This came with a tomato & samphire salad that also managed to silence me into food heaven. The samphire goes well with a gumshoe. Externally tough-looking, internally soft, a little sweet. Just a joy.

“Hey, you! Dreaming again?! I loved that, but I’ve a wee happy bus to catch to get back to the nest.”

“But, my sweetness, do you not fancy a wee sherry next door? We have the whole afternoon ahead of us...”

“As I said, dreamin’ again. I’ve got a box set of Take The High Road to get through.”

Maybe next time, because one thing’s for sure about Browns – we’ll be back.