Today’s dinner review is the combination of not just one visit, but two… in the same week. I’ll be honest before my first visit, I hadn’t put this place too high on my 2019 wishlist. But when I received a voucher for my birthday from my amazing work friends to enjoy a bao bun or burger and a drink for 2 I figured it was a great opportunity to give it a go. With a gorgeous blend (aesthetically and culinarily) of Australasia and the Pacific region, here’s the low down on Embargo on Byres Road, Glasgow.
For those of you who haven’t heard of Embargo yet, this new west end eatery opened its doors in late 2018 (replacing soul food eatery Bar Gumbo) and is just a few minutes walk from Kelvinhall subway station and less than ten minutes from the Hillhead stop.
Venue: The stylish and quite frankly on point design of the restaurant and bar left me with absolute decor goals. Think South Pacific greenery and beachy white walls on one side, Glasgow-esque exposed brick and relaxed low lighting on the other.
So we know it looks good, what’s on the menu?
Menu: There’s a great selection of small plates, ramen, burgers, bao buns, and most importantly BRUNCH. A delicious selection of flavours and levels of indulgence to satisfy everyone and a cocktail menu with some fantastic variety. Best of all, they run different offers seven days a week.
Monday to Friday you can grab a lunch deal of any bao bun or burger, fries and a soft drink for just £5. Thursdays they’re wing’in it with free chicken wings served with your drink between 4pm – 6pm. But my favourite, that I will be back to try is the Bottomless Brunch. For £20 you get bottomless prosecco and bloody mary’s plus fruit juice, any brunch dish and tea/coffee every Saturday and Sunday from 10am till 2pm.
Food: As I’ve been twice I can make a whole bunch of recommendations. The first recommendation, try the ramen! They do four different kinds; charred steak, Korean fried chicken, suckling pig pork belly and cured mushroom. I tried the Korean fried chicken ramen. My first ever tasting of ramen was not a disappointment. A fragrant combo of chicken, kimchi, spring onion, carrot, ginger and chilli, this dish had a nice kick to it along with a ton of flavour. I’d also recommend the Thai prawn crackers from the Bar Bites menu every time. It goes great with the broth of the ramen.
Small plates more your thing? I’d try the refreshing Thai fried lime cod taco with sriracha mayo, kimchi and radish. It’s a bit messy but delicious. I would also recommend that you try any of the five filling options of bao bun at Embargo. I have pretty high standards when it comes to my bae the bao bun and the hoisin duck and spring onion option didn’t let me down. The sauce was mouthwatering and the meat so tender. Of the sides and small plates however, my biggest shout out goes to the katsu fries. I really love my katsu curry and hate when the sauce isn’t done right. But yet again, Embargo nails it. The tonkatsu sauce worked so well with the fries and chillis, I’ll definitely be having them again.
Drinks: With four pages worth of cocktails to choose from it was actually quite difficult to decide what to have either time I visited. Ultimately it came down to how much I love a good martini. Of all the options, I really liked the variety available on the Nocturnal page of the drinks menu. The porn star martini is sensually fruity and the espresso martini (numbers 1, 2 and…) was incredibly tasty and refreshing.
Price: The prices are pretty much what you would expect for the west end of Glasgow but with so many daily offers and Itison deals available it’s still relatively affordable to visit.
Overall: My actions speak for themselves. My first visit was so good that I went back two days later for more. The dishes on offer are fantastic, aesthetic is on point and the cocktails are well worth leaving the car at home for. Embargo NEEDS to be on your Glasgow night out list.
Scores on the doors: