Saturday night, we are child free, it is Valentine's weekend, should we hit the town, or stay in? Decisions, decisions!! Hit the town of course.
We decide to go to an adult only zone, not a child in sight, we head out to the Casino, one place we are guaranteed a great night out. Alea casino is situated in the Glasgow Quay; the great thing about this place is that parking is plentiful and free.
The Casino's restaurant is Red Leaf, and the head chef is Jamie Walker. He has previously worked in the Dorchester Hotel, Mosimann's in London and at Cameron House Hotel. With such fine former employers we are anticipating great things from Jamie.
This particular restaurant has four menus, Dine out for £10, Dine out for £20, Group Menu, and Dessert & Coffee menu, curiously there seems to be no A La Carte menu.
The cuisine is Scottish and seasonal. Jamie and his team put together dishes using the freshest local produce. The restaurant is located in a casino, yet is far away enough from the action so as not to be disturbed by the gamblers.
It's quite a scenic setting, with floor to ceiling windows giving the most splendid views of the Clyde and of Glasgow's many famous landmarks. You can also pop out to the private balcony to get a closer look, weather permitting of course. The restaurant is quite busy, with many young couples dining prior to trying their luck at the casino. Booking ahead especially at the weekend is definitely advisable.
Our night starts off extremely well for me. Upon arrival at the casino I get id-ed! Anything good that happens after this is a bonus!
For starters we both ordered the Potted salmon with crab and North Atlantic prawns, served on fennel coleslaw, topped with a leaf salad, and served in a caper vinaigrette (£3 supplement). Neither of us had ever had fennel coleslaw before, so were intrigued to sample it. We weren't disappointed it offset the seafood perfectly. Our good start was getting better.
J.snr opted for the Parmesan and seed mustard crusted haddock fillet with onion mash, spring onions, cherry tomato butter sauce (£5 supplement), it was a very colourful dish. Other than that, not really adventurous for a chef of Jamie's calibre.
I had the Pan seared fillet of sea bass with spring onion crushed potatoes, garden peas and pancetta veloute (£5 supplement). The portion was very big! Lots of lovely sea bass, and the freshest garden peas.
For dessert we shared a Sticky toffee pudding which was served warm with butterscotch sauce, vanilla dairy ice cream and a scoop of cream. The ice cream came in a cute little brandy snap basket.
It would be nice to see Jamie getting a bit more creative with the dishes. We expected a lot more given his history of working in some of the best restaurants in the UK. We would like to see more of his personal stamp on these amazing Scottish ingredients and produce he has at his fingertips to experiment with.
Overall it is great value for money, if we had gone in not knowing about Jamie's working history, we would not have had such high expectations.
Top tip: the portions of the dishes are very generous, pace yourself!
Red Leaf, fish dish
Red Leaf Interior