Why’s it so dark in here? I must remember to come back just to get a drink at the bar and some snacks. Are the tables a bit close together? Estrella is a fine pint. The group beside us is a bit boisterous, even for a Thursday in the city centre. There’s an embarrassment of riches on the wine menu. Oh look, you can see into the kitchen. The staff are very efficient and polite, if a bit cold. Maybe they’re told to be like that…
All kinds of thoughts run through your head when you are seated in the sophisticated surroundings of The Spanish Butcher. Then the food arrives and captures the imagination. We’re immediately transfixed.
We focus our attention on our shared starters. The idea of ordering the platter of sliced meats was that we could pick away at the jamon, chorizo and salchichon (£11). The fine cured portions didn’t last long, they were pretty much eaten on sight.
The Spanish Butcher Scotch egg is a curious, dainty and very satisfying starter. We order one to share.
Don’t order one to share. Get one to yourself and protect every morsel. There’s secreto Iberico and morcilla wrapped around a perfect runny egg with a dusting of pork crackling as a crust. Then there’s chorizo jam to dip and a garnish of pickled apple and radish. Wonderful.
This was merely a prelude to a sublime main course. Meat, as you can imagine, dominates the menu at The Spanish Butcher. We ask for a Galician blond fillet of beef served with Manchego truffle fries and a choice of sauce. It’s a more expensive item at £30, but proves to be a sound investment.
The beef is from 12-14 year old cattle from the north of Spain. Most UK-reared beef is slaughtered before it is 30 month old. The more mature, tender, rich Galician beef is in demand from chefs seeking ingredients with an extra layer of complexity.
I sliced into this 230g hunk of steak and was immediately struck by its appearance. Good things were ahead. With the addition of some chunky chips topped with cheese and truffle, plus a PX jus sauce, this was a true taste sensation. Savouring the soaring flavours, we ate small slivers to prolong the experience.
Before we arrived for dinner, we had visited Rab Ha’s for a a pint. The pub is named after the famous competitive eater, nicknamed The Glasgow Glutton. If you feel like embarking on your own dining challenge then tackle the whole roasted suckling pig here, which should be ordered 24 hours in advance and can feed 4-5 people.
A sister restaurant to Hutchesons Brasserie and The Butchershop Bar & Grill, The Spanish Butcher is fast carving out its own reputation as one of the city centre’s leading restaurants.
We are discovering Glasgowist’s Best Dishes, in no particular order, as a showcase of what’s good to eat right here, right now.
The Spanish Butcher
80 Miller Street
T: 0141 406 9880
On the Menu: The Spanish Butcher
Galician sourdough bread with EVOO and px vinegar (£3.50)
Iberican bellota sliced Meats – Jamon, chorizo, salchichon (£11)
Secreto Iberico & morcilla Scotch egg, pork crackling crust, chorizo jam, pickled apple & radish (£8)
Galician blond fillet of beef 230g, Manchego truffle fries, choice of sauce (£30)
Secreto Iberico de Bellota, Manchego truffle fries, Mojo verde (£18)
Asparagus, wild garlic, peas, broad beans (£4.50)
Bottle of Damana Reserva Ribera del Duero (£42)