Inside one of the city's newest restaurants, diners are whisked away to a parallel Glasgow.

Hazel, the first restaurant to open as part of the Love Loan project, is true to the developer's vision of a stylish and contemporary oasis in the city centre.

I'm told the Scandi-chic interior is inspired by the legend of St Mungo complete with a Hazel tree, bell and bird-shaped lights and a fish sculpture.

While the interior is impressive, I find the legend aspect quite dull - the food, however, was incredible.

Glasgow Times:

Glasgow Times:

Glasgow Times:

I was invited to try the seasonal Scottish menu and, bringing along my dining partner (named Hazel), we descended the steps into the dining room on a weekday evening.

It's quiet but amid the festive bustle of the city centre, the calm restaurant is a welcome escape with atmospheric lighting to boot.

To start, we test out Hazel's new festive cocktails. Hazel goes for the winter-in-a-glass spiced Negroni. For me, the Panettone, an apricot and brandy tipple topped with creamy egg white foam.

The menu is split into small plates and large plates, inviting tables to choose their own adventure.

We go for the traditional three-course combination (starter, main, dessert).

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Glasgow Times: Merguez sausage and haggis croquettesMerguez sausage and haggis croquettes (Image: Newsquest)

Glasgow Times:

I ordered the Merguez sausage and Campbells’ haggis croquettes (£8) served on a bed of romesco sauce and topped with pea shoots and smoked paprika aioli.

Crispy, salty and smoky, the croquettes are a winning introduction to the menu.

My dining partner orders the seared Scottish king scallops with Iberico black pudding (£14.50).

Served with romesco and salsa verde, we decided they were some of the best-cooked scallops we have had in the city.

For mains, we share the pan-roasted hake (£22) and roast haunch of venison (£24).

Again, someone in the kitchen knows what they are doing. Each dish is done just right.

Glasgow Times: Roast haunch of venisonRoast haunch of venison (Image: Newsquest)

Glasgow Times: HakeHake (Image: Newsquest)

The hake is served with charred hispi cabbage, sweet peas, lilliput capers, tempura samphire and a side of lemon hollandaise.

Venison is pared with a creamy potato gratin, puy lentils, baby beetroot, kale crisps and a rosemary jus to drizzle on top.

After tucking into the first few bites of the venison my dear friend tells me she regrets that we have to share.

The portion sizes are generous but it's the Christmas season so dessert we must.

Glasgow Times: Sticky toffee puddingSticky toffee pudding (Image: Newsquest)

Glasgow Times: Crème bruleeCrème brulee (Image: Newsquest)

I don't usually like sticky toffee pudding but served with salted caramel butter sauce and vanilla ice cream (£8) I'm converted to the cause.

My creme brulee with homemade shortbread (£8) is creamy and balanced with crunchy burnt sugar glass - a classic done well.

It's the kind of restaurant you want to bring your relatives to for a special occasion.

"It's a place you can come and feel bougie but still find something you want," Hazel says.

The service is incredible with each staff member genuinely concerning themselves with our experience.

Glasgow Times: Festive cocktailsFestive cocktails (Image: Mark Gibson)

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At the end of the night, our waiter appears with a surprise for my friend - a miniature bottle of Hazel gin, made by Barras-based Crossbill Distillery.

He says it's something they like to do for fellow Hazels.

Expect the menu to change when the restaurant welcomes a new head chef in January following the departure of Eric Avenier - though I'm eager to see what Hazel does next.

A cosmopolitan place to eat and drink, it's somewhere I would return to slip away from Glasgow city centre - if only for an hour or two.

Hazel is located adjacent to the AC by Marriott Glasgow at 65 John St, Glasgow G1 1JP.