Chip Ermmmmm …..No sign of those in this establishment ….or maybe there is.
The myth speaks of the fact that the restaurant owner totally refused to serve chips to the people of Glasgow and this actually lasted for 30 years.Over the last 10 years however , the owner Ronnie decided to stop cooking full time and because he had time on his hands finally caved in and started cooked them himself.
Make what you will of this strange restaurant name but rest assured Chips or no chips , you`ll find some of the best food in the North when you come here to dine. I`ll tell you what… I`m still on a high about my dining experience there and i`m just so desperate to get back up to eat there. It`s definitely on the cards before Xmas , no shadow of a doubt. I`m actually thinking of a double hit…. Castle Terrace in Edinburgh on the friday and then The Ubiquitous chip in Glasgow on the Saturday , a fab weekender of top Scottish cuisine…. Time to make plans.
So , my first venture into the city of Glasgow and what a total surprise it was for me. I`m holding my hands up here and admitting that i`ve been swayed by the many negative media reports over the years. The alcohol and drug problems , the “worlds worst diets” , fitba ( football ) and ye ole Deep fried Mars bars , pizzas and pies which apparently make up the average Glaswegians daily fayre. Ok – so first and foremost, my apologies to all…Maybe this goes on in isolated pockets but i didnt see sight nor sound of any of it during my visit. All i experienced was the most friendly people i`ve come across in a long time…the Police , the bar staff in the local pubs , The general public and even The local bouncers were smiling and great to chat with and went out of their way to advise and assist. Photo below courtesy of Taste Glasgow.
I arrived early Saturday afternoon and after booking into a city centre hotel i decided to see what the bars on Sauchiehall street were all about .Straight away it was a case of walking into a proper good atmoshpere , laughs , music and bar staff that were chatty and capable of smiling. I wont name negative places and locations here but jeez….it was so nice to be made to feel so welcome in a new city straight from the off.I had an 8.30 table booked for the restaurant so ventured off over to Ashton Lane in Glasgows west end to take in a few more bars before dinner. To be perfectly honest i really don`t think there`s any need to venture much further than this street on a first foodie visit….it`s loud , it`s lively , there`s live music playing inside the bars…..and there`s lots of eateries dotted along the small lane , the whole area is buzzing and alive. We took in some Guinness at the Irish bar opposite the chip and amazing cocktails further up the street to warm the cockles and set the mood.
Over and into my first Glaswegian restaurant then…. The legendary Ubiquitous chip and a wee bit of history before the food arrives.The Chip opened up over 40 years ago ( 1971 ) so as far as a firm footing goes then this place has the magic formula. They don`t chase Michelin stars here , they just do their thing and the world simply flocks through the doors.The building houses the restaurant and also 3 individual and very busy bars. The food draws inspiration from traditional and endangered Scottish cuisine and it was a breath of fresh air seeing the amazing selection of fresh Scottish produce , Seafood and Shellfish available….i just sat, hand on chin….”where the hell do i start” ?….i love menus like that and it always ends up with a “pin the Donkeys tail”…close eyes and jump in the deep end. I would have gone for a “Chefs Taste and tour of Scotland” menu if there had been one but there`s a huge menu anyways so i just created my own tasting experience.
Cappuccino of Crab Bisque with smoked crab oil as a complimentary amuse course
(1971) Venison Haggis , Champit Tatties , Carrot crisps and a Turnip cream £ 9.00
West coast Langoustines served hot with Garlic Butter. £ 12.50
Islay Scallops , Smoked Mackerel mousse , Caramelised Onion and Potato soup , Chorizo puree £ 12.95.
Pan fried Atlantic Halibut , crispy Oxtail , Wild Mushrooms , Pancetta , red wine and Chcolate sauce £ 26.50.
Rhubarb and Custard – Goats Milk and Lavender Custart tart , Poached Rhubarb and Rhubarb and Gin Sorbet £ 7.00
So in summary… I cant stress how good this place is. As i said….dont go there expecting fine dining , it just isnt. Its almost an identical experience to the Witchery in Edinburgh , top shelf , well presented comfort eating in the most amazing environment with faultless flow. If you want the very best of Scottish produce cooked extremely well , fairly priced and fresh as a daisy then head over. The staff are totally switched on and they smile big smiles…..they put the diner at ease and make the whole Ubiquitous chip experience a very very happy and memorable one. If its not so busy on my next visit then ill hopefully pop into the kitchen to say hello to Chef and snap a few pics of the action…..Im writing this and im craving more…oh dear…i love the place…..Just go and see for yourselves.
To view other photographs from my meal at The Ubiquitous Chip please CLICK HERE.