Scotland's Year of Food and Drink may almost be at a close but October sees the country celebrating its 'Sustainable Shore', a perfect opportunity to shout about our incredible seafood. And here in Glasgow, we're spoilt for choice when it comes to brilliant seafood restaurants, a reminder of the fantastic fresh produce on our doorstep. Here's our pick of Glasgow's seafood restaurants, all of whom bring something unique and, most importantly, delicious, to the table.
Glasgow may be home to a whole shoal of hip new restaurants but one of our finest seafood establishments has been serving the best fish dishes since 1998. Fresh from winning UK Seafood Restaurant of the Year at the 2015 Seafish and Caterer Awards, Gamba has long been a Glaswegian foodie favourite, known across Scotland for chef Derek Marshall's stand out cooking. From classy amuse-bouches to varied starters such as the Asian-inspired sashimi of yellowfin tuna with wasabi and Gamba's signature fish soup, you'll be well set for bold main courses like crisp fried sea bass served with prawn. With a sustainable list of where every type of fish is sourced on the menu, this is ethical cooking at its finest.
Two Fat Ladies may be tucked away on the edge of trendy Finnieston but walking through the door feels like walking into a different era entirely. Gone are hipster cliches to be replaced by the look and feel of a 1930s Scottish film set. The restaurant itself is the very definition of elegance, the historic building's wooden pannelling given a contemporary lift with great artwork and quirky vintage table decorations. Thankfully the food matches the beautiful surroundings; the best Scottish seafood cooked with precision. The pan fried king prawns, satay style sauce, with lemongrass and coconut rice and a crab parcel is a particular favourite. A real bounty of treats and a true hidden treasure.
Since 1988, City Merchant has built a reputation as a restaurant that works with an impeccable list of Scottish suppliers and therefore with the best ingredients the Scottish larder has to offer. And seafood is key to the restaurant's success as you may be able to tell from the stained glass murals, fishing nets and oil burning lanterns that surround you. Salmon can come whisky-cured or with lobster pudding and potato bilinis. But this kitchen doesn't only do traditional; try the ginger-infused monkfish on wilted greens with a chorizo and mussel broth for something a little different but no less delicious.
While many fish restaurants indulge in the fancy and the formal, The Mussel Inn keeps it simple. And is much the better for it. The open kitchen helps gives a sense of unfussy freshness while mussels are, unsurprisingly, the star of the show here and are among the finest in town. The signature shellfish are straight from the West Coast and are grown on ropes in sea lochs. The tiger prawns and the shellfish pasta are recommended but you're probably just as well getting a big pot of mussels with some effortlessly tasty sides.
Celebrating its 80th birthday this year, Rogano was famously created in the same art deco style as the Queen Mary (which was being built on the Clyde at the same time), and is just as iconic in Glasgow terms. While it might not be the cheapest place to eat in town, the incredible interior guarantees an experience like no other in the city. From the curved banquette to the seaweed-green upholstery, the attention to detail is stunning, as is the smoked haddock and clam chowder, served in a sourdough bread bowl. And there's always the added bonus that you might spot a (semi) Scottish celeb; Rod Stewart is known to dine here when in town.
Finnieston may well be the epicentre of foodie cool in Glasgow today, but it started back in 2009 when Crabshakk opened up on Argyle Street, sending the city's trendy crowd into this neighbourhood. The restaurant itself is small but beautifully formed, whilst the menu isn't split into starters and mains, simply dishes that can be ordered in a size to suit you. The seasonal selection is suitably distinguished, with a specials board full of spectacular catches of the day. Our tip is to try the scallops served sizzling in garlic butter or monkfish scampi with homemade ketchup, both of which prove that Crabshakk really are the masters of the deep.
Located at Shields Road Subway Station on the Southside, The Fish People Café has developed from a successful fishmonger into a restaurant good enough to win the Best Seafood Restaurant title at the Scottish Restaurant Awards in 2013. This inviting and relaxed restaurant has attracted a loyal fanbase, and with some of Scotland's finest seafood being cooked to perfection in a simple style in the kitchen, it's easy to see why. Popular starters include Loch Fyne smoked salmon served with pickled cucumber and a dill mustard dressing, and the Greenland prawn cocktail with fennel shavings. Signature dishes include a chunky fish stew with saffron rouille, croutons and gruyere.
A classy contemporary restaurant and bar, The Finnieston has quickly become an anchor for the whole Finnieston strip and it's not hard to fathom out why. The historic, low-ceilinged building and nautical theme (and open fire), are perfectly complemented with fantastic small plates of Scottish squid and sea bream, and mains of fresh fish served with your choice of sides and sauce. You can also go for a posh fish supper, all to be washed down with The Finnieston's fantastic array of gin cocktails, for which it is becoming very famous indeed.