Calling All Seafood Fanatics! - The Squid & Whale, Glasgow

It was my dear older sisters birthday last week.  At Christmas time, we always manage to spoil each other with way too many presents - so much so that we struggle at birthdays.  It has become our new tradition that we treat each other to a slap up meal of our choice instead, as we are both massive foodies.

Sharon decided that we would go to The Squid & Whale, a Mexican cantina set on Great Western road in Glasgow.  I was a little taken aback by the actual setting of the place; I had pictured a restaurant with interesting Mexican artifacts, which was quite classy and relaxed.  Instead, it is half bar, half restaurant, with  student-esque feel to it.



The atmosphere was very relaxed, and casual.  We had booked a table for 6:15pm but we sat at the bar and the friendly waitress said we could just eat there too if we wished.  We started the night off with some fabulous hand made mojitos...



This was really delicious, and made by the friendly waitress herself (unfortunately I never caught her name!).  We sipped on our mojitos, perusing the menu and debating what to have.  We chopped and changed our minds, discussing if we would share & try each others as we wanted everything!  The menu is a mix of both fish and meats, so if you're not big on seafood then there are alternative options for you.

As a massive fan of the film "I Love You, Man" it seemed stupid for me not to begin with the fish tacos...



These were absolutely amazing.  Chunks of salmon, seabream and seabass mixed with chimichurri and topped with what tasted like a kind of guacamole.  All of this was generously placed over two soft, warm taco shells, ready for you to fold up and devour.  Be warned that this is messy, and you really need to get your hands in it to keep everything together.  I loved it and I would definitely get them again!

Sharon decided to go for the gumbo...



This was absolutely delicious!  Chunks of fish and smoky chorizo in chowder, with rice and garnished with parsley.  It was also served with a buttermilk biscuit, which resembled a scone, to soak up all the beautiful stock in this dish.  The biscuit was soft and crumbled apart with no effort, adding a light, mellow taste to the powerful fish soup concoction.  Sharon said it was a winner, and I'm inclined to agree.

Choosing a main course was horrendously difficult.  I wanted to try something different, however the food contains it's own twists which made it painful to choose.  I decided to go for the tequila and lime chicken thighs...



The chicken, served off the bone, was amazing.  Rubbed with paprika, then glazed in the oven with tequila, lime, honey, pineapple, coconut AND agave, it had a strange taste (in a beautiful way).  Served with a side of roasted garlic scallion mashed potatoes and topped with crispy fried onions, this was an amazing dish and tasted phenomenal.  The chicken was so tender it fell apart in my fork and each mouthful was bursting with fruity flavours.  I never order chicken when I am out for dinner, and I'm glad I decided to this time!

Sharon's main however was the best.  If I return, I will be ordering it!  She went for the blackened seabass...



The fillet of seabass was pan fried, so had a crispy skin infused with blackened spice.  The fish itself was flaky and perfect, served with lime and coriander rice and salsa verde.  The combination of tastes were outstanding and it really was a great tasting fish dish.

We decided to get some side orders to try too.  We ordered jalapeno bread, coca-cola baked beans and southern spiced fries...





The jalapeno bread was rather dry, and it didn't contain jalapenos.  There was a side of a tomato based dip with the bread, but it didn't pack a punch and was rather bland.  The coca-cola baked beans were tasty, but they didn't go with what I was eating so Sharon took them away with her.  The chips were delicious and akin to those at Nandos.  I couldn't really decide whose were better!

Considerably stuffed full of Mexican/Southern carbs, we called for our bill.  For two cocktails, two soft drinks, two starters, two mains and three sides, our bill was a nice £55.  That worked out around £27.50 each, which is pretty decent!

Overall, the food was tasty and the staff were friendly.  The location is ideal, however the set up of the building itself didn't meet my expectations.  I would have preferred a bit more elegance and class, or a uniqueness to the place, rather than conforming to the student ways of Great Western road.  To me, you are either a pub that serves pub grub, or a restaurant with a bar.  I'm not a particular fan of the new hybrid of bar-cum-restaurant setting, but perhaps that's just me being pedantic!  Try it for yourself and see how you fair...



Contact Details:

The Squid & Whale
372 - 374 Great Western Road
Glasgow
G4 9HT

Tel: 0141 339 5070

Website: www.squidwhale.com

Wheelchair access: Yes