AN RUADH GHLEANN, 40-44 Main Street, Rutherglen, G73 2HY Tel 0141 613 2370

AN RUADH GHLEANN, 40-44 Main Street, Rutherglen, G73 2HY Tel 0141 613 2370

THE Games had skipped town. No buff athletes striding about the place, no hot weather, and the party atmosphere was draining away fast.

Yup, it was back to earth with a bump. The dame was downcast and she needed a distraction...

What to do? Where could we go?

"Come on, Moll, I've had an idea," I ventured.

"Oh, OK Tec," she moped, staring glumly at her Clyde mascot. "But I'm not really hungry, I'll probably just have a side of fries to keep you company."

Well, at least it got her out of Tec Towers and stopped her looking wistfully at pictures of Tom Daley.

I'd heard of somewhere that opened a few weeks back in Rutherglen and it sounded like it might fit the bill.

I squealed the Buick's tyres to a halt out the back of An Ruadh Ghleann, now open for business at a nice corner spot on Main Street.

The vibe was welcoming and modern, flooded with light and nice and spacious.

The bar was vast and dazzling, which was a good thing, because this was a Wetherspoon's, and that meant we ordered the food there after finding ourselves a table.

The one we found was a roomy booth, and the menu offered a decent range of the usual pub grub and some special offers.

I didn't want to put my emotional Moll under any pressure, so we skipped on the starters and went straight for the mains.

Strange thing. Once she'd seen the menu, she bucked up no end and decided she'd better eat well if she was going to be in optimum condition to travel to Australia's Gold Coast in four years time. Dream on, sheila.

So she picked the surf and turf, scampi and a steak, usually an expensive choice, but let's see what they could do for a very reasonable price, especially as it came with a glass of wine.

I was all over the place, so relieved was I that Toots had got her appetite back.

I got all giddy and ordered the oddball combo of chicken chilli noodles, a side of onion rings, a non-alcohloic cocktail and a pint of Tennants. Call it a panic attack.

Ordering at the bar, I got a nice surprise when the barman asked how the Moll wanted her steak cooked. I asked for medium-rare, trusting that my beloved was back in red meat mode.

The Pinot Grigio and the Tennent's duly appeared on the bar, and then so did my rash choice of a Strawberry Sunrise mocktail, crushed fresh strawberries, lime juice and lemonade over ice. Look, it was delicious, OK? If it ever gets out among my fellow gumshoes that I enjoyed such a wholesome beverage, my reputation will be shot.

Our mains arrived in no time. The chicken chili noodles were fabulous, with lots of zingy oriental flavours, and the onion rings were crispy and more-ish.

I braced myself for the verdict on the surf and turf, which came with fries, peas and grilled mushrooms.

"Wow, Tec!" exclaimed the Moll. "This is great."

The steak was cooked to perfection, charred on the outside, moist and deep pink inside, and properly rested after grilling. The sign of a skilled chef, and amazingly good value along with the juicy scampi and sizzling chips.

We ate our fill, but the warm weather meant we couldn't face a dessert. After all, some of us were deluding ourselves that we were in training for the next Commonwealth Games.

But we made a note to return. An Ruadh Ghleann is a very welcome addition to Rutherglen's Main Street and well worth that sprint to the bar...


Chicken chilli noodles £6.30

Surf and Turf, with drinks deal glass of wine £16.38


Onion rings, £1.69


Strawberry sunrise £2.49, Pint of Tennent's £2

Total: £28.86