Finsbay. 44 Main Street, Milngavie (Glasgow) G62 6BU
From the moment we walked in to excited cooing over the pup (which quickly escalated to doggy water bowls and a piled plate of doggy-heaven sausage), took in the effortlessly chic retro-inspired interiors - a wall mural of retro telephones and a converted retro tv fish bowl?!? YES PLEASE! - and wrapped our mitts around the handle of a glass tankard, we knew we'd found our new local.
With our pints of West Brewery lager in hand, we fawned over the surprisingly well-priced cafe-bar menu full of fun, modern-Scottish twists. The Light Bites, salads and sandwiches were immediately saliva-inducing but neither Lisa nor I could resist the Croque menu... me the Stornaway Black Pudding (yes, you read that correctly) and Lisa, the classic Croque Monsieur; each with the chef's own béchamel sauce. As if I wasn't already courting a coronary - I added a bowl of chunky chips; Lisa the chunky sweet potato chips. Our pal Laureen opted for the 6oz beer battered fish, chunky chips, peas and tartare for £6.50 (an upgrade to 8oz fish is +£1.50).
Wow. Just wow. I'm an Eater from way back and - honestly - I'm typing this 6hrs later and still haven't even the slightest urge for dinner. The Croque was INSANELY good and the chunky chips, some of the best I've had. The combination of black pudding and buttered leeks was outstanding offset beautifully by top-quality Arran Cheddar. Lisa's Monsieur was perfectly translated: A-grade bread, proper Gruyere cheese and super-tender baked ham that just melted in the mouth. Laureen's fish'n'chips a beer-battered, white-fleshy-and-deliciously-flaky-fish triumph. And, those chips.
Whether you're a Milngavie and surrounds local or up for an easy train jaunt (there's also loads of handy parking at Tesco or behind M&S) I wholeheartedly recommend checking out Finsbay. Warm, welcoming and altogether super cool, we couldn't have picked a better place to show-off Glasgow's dining delights to our London pal. With a monthly Gin club, open mic nights, special events and a cocktail list of dreams, we'll see you there.
A big dollop of love from my finger tips to your screen (I promise that's not as creepy as it sounds). xx