The Gannet is a medium sized place that opened in 2013. It is named for the Gannet, a diving bird. Sitting at the small wood tables guests can enjoy windows to the street, a wide planked wood floor and music in the background. A corrugated steel bar is topped with wood and has some stools for seating. The walls are a combination of stone and bricks and lined with a bench seat on the wall opposite the bar. There is a second room in the back of the long narrow space. The bathroom is downstairs. At lunch they offer 4 and 6 course menus as well as wine pairings. The menu changes regularly, but I hope Chef Ivan Stein, who is co-owner/chef with Peter McKenna, never change the dessert. We got the 6 course menu and ordered our own wine. The food here is fabulous in a comfortable casual setting. Put it on your list.
Some snacks started the meal – a chicken liver parfait with onion and cream was in a crispy coronet. The cone was ultra thin and the interior yummy. Some pork beignets with apple sauce underneath were topped with an apple slice. They were warm and good.
Bread service was warm brown and white breads with a really yellow butter. Both breads were dense with an amazingly crisp crust and moist interior.
The first course on the tasting was Hebridean Herring with horseradish, gorse, cucumber and herring roe. The herring had been lightly cured with the sauce from pickles and alongside was horseradish ice cream. The curing firmed up the flesh of the fish and then it was pickled with sweet pickles. The amazing fish was topped with cucumber, roe, onions and sweet pickles. They all blended perfectly and especially well with the ice cream and dots of mayo. The dish was full of flavor and texture and slightly sweet. It was terrific.
Lamb sweetbreads were plated with cep, wild oyster mushrooms and shallots. A cep emulsion was on top as were nasturtium leaves. The perfectly cooked sweetbreads worked great with the onions and mushrooms. The nuggets were creamy and delicious. Lamb sweetbreads are from the thymus and these were exquisite. Another wonderful blending of flavors with small textural contrasts. Another terrific plate.
Shetland squid was served with chicken and ink. The squid pieces were separate, so the round smooth part was cured and scored that made it wonderfully tender while the tentacles were fried for a tasty crisp bite. Some tapioca crackers were dyed with the squid ink and added nice texture to the dish, as did the chicken skin on top of some squid. An onion sauce was colored with squid ink and very flavorful. The squid was amazingly tender – it was almost gelatinous and it was wonderfully accented with the sauce. This plate also had lots of flavors and textures – terrific.
Peelham Farm Pork was plated with Argyll heritage carrots, Scottish girolles and kidney fat sauce. The girolles were lightly charred as were the carrot slices. Some brassica leaves garnished the plate. The pork was a belly cut and moist, tender, flavorful and a perfect balance of fat to meat. Some yellow carrot purée, that was smooth and tasty, was also on the plate. The green leaves added a nice color to the plate and some additional flavors. Another great one.
Apricot yoghurt was a mousse with chocolate cubes and gooseberries. The tart berries were a good mix with the sweet chocolate and creamy yogurt. The orange fruit was apricot and was sweeter, almost jam like. It worked well with the chocolate and then some bits of meringue added crunch to the sweet/tart combination. Interesting and good.
Finally was the crowning moment to the fabulous meal. Dessert was a Salted Carmel with Auchentullich milk ice cream. The salted caramel was in the form of a molten cake. Buttery, delicious cake was filled with sweet, sticky, creamy divine caramel. This was a yum x3. It was perfect and I really wanted to lick the plate clean of this amazing concoction. A few crumbles were hidden below the ice cream to add just a hint more texture to an already winning dish. The outside of the little cake was a perfect crisp and inside was heaven. I would fly back to Glasgow just to eat this again.