I’D handled my fair share of late night stakeouts, waiting and watching for criminal activity in the kitchens of some of New York’s finest diners. Food dropped on the floor that made its way back onto the plate before it was taken out to unsuspecting diners. I made my name on it.

But this was taking the biscuit.

Our “quick bite” before taking in jazz at the Blue Arrow club in down town city centre was fast turning into a nightmare.

But let’s start at the beginning.

We had stopped by at Machair, a new joint owned by the people behind the Ben Nevis, that’s newly-opened on Great Western Road.

The building has housed more bars and restaurants than the Vegas strip over the years and I couldn’t help but wonder if this joint would end up the same way.

It’s was a fine evening so Toots and I took a pew on the benches outside to catch some late night rays.

Looking at the menu, there’s a Scottish theme running through it with choices including macaroni with Ayrshire ham, Venison cheeseburger and Portobello mushroom on charred sourdough. I had my eye on the tattie scone nachos but it’s obviously a popular choice among the munching students as they had run out.

There is a choice of small and big plates, which seemed quite reasonably priced at between £5 and £10.

It’s not table service so I headed into the bar to order our choices. I’d decided to test out the vegan fried chicken burger with smoked tomato chutney, followed by beer battered fish and chips and Blondie plumped for the smoked potato and black pudding pakora, followed by the Machair stovies.

It was 8pm when I ordered and the kitchen staff warned us it would be “a 20-minute wait.”

Enough time to enjoy an Old Fashioned and some quality time with Toots, I figured.

By 8.30pm, Blondie was getting restless, the sound of her talons tapping on the table was driving me stir crazy. It was a full half an hour before our first course arrived and only after I had cornered the waitress. I figured the food better measure up or this might turn into a crime scene.

Thankfully, Toots was quite taken by the black pudding pakora with guacamole and devoured every mouthful.

My vegan chicken fried chicken burger was nothing to write home about but the relish was decent and I was Hank Marvin so I made fast work of it.

Our plates were cleared quick smart and we settled back to enjoy the open stage entertainment. It’s a nice idea to showcase the local talent but I was struggling to hear the Moll – it’s not a joint to go to if sweet nothings are on the cards.

The bar was fairly quiet by this time but we had another lengthy wait for our mains.

Toots wasn’t blown away by the stovies, which for those who don’t know is a traditional dish made with leftovers including potatoes, onions and pieces of meat. She said the portion size was a little on the small side.

The beer battered fish and chips was nicely presented with decent sides of mushy peas and tartar sauce but sadly the taste didn’t make up for our wait.



Vegan fried chicken £5.50

Smoked potato and black pudding pakora £5


Machair Stovies £7

Fish and chips £10


Pint of draft lager £4.75

Total £32.25


Food - ⭐⭐

Atmosphere - ⭐⭐

Service - ⭐⭐

Machair, 372-374 Great Western Road, G4 9HT, 0141 337 3111