DINERTEC @ Fleming's Bar & Grill, Newton Mearns

TEC Towers had turned into Ice Station Zebra.

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It was so cold The Moll's teeth were chattering in the glass and, for once, she had her hands in her own pockets.

Drastic action was called for to see if I could change the climate. I defrosted The Moll – and the Buick – with the promise of a hot Sunday lunch and a stiff drink.

Fleming's Bar and Grill, in Newton Mearns, gave off a posh nosh vibe. But I can do swanky with the best of them.

As it turned out, we arrived smack bang in the middle of a people desert. Times were hard even in la-la-land.

Blondie fancied a seat in the conservatory. Bad move for two reasons – it was totally empty and the heater was at ground zero. Someone needed to turn up the Fleming flame.

We moved back inside and decided it was time for some fast food. The bottle of Drambuie at the bar had my name on it, while Blondie issued a code red for a glass of Merlot.

The à la carte menu was too rich for my blood – this month I can't even pay attention. But I quickly warmed to the pre-theatre job, which at £13.95 for three courses looked a good deal.

When it came to the starter, there was only one ticket in town.

The potato and leek soup arrived giving off the kind of smoke signals to make an Apache proud. One taste and I was sold – it was a classic winter warmer.

There was no hint anywhere to say it was homemade, but I'll make an educated guess based on too many joints doing what it says on the tin and give Fleming's the benefit of the doubt.

It wasn't too creamy and the potato and leek flavours packed as big a wallop as The Moll on a bad hair day.

"Tec, what's another word for thesaurus?" asked Blondie as her gravadlax of salmon arrived at the table. "Gravadlax means salmon from the grave," I said. "It's Scandinavian, like Abba."

The Moll had been happy to take a chance with this starter - but it turned out to be more of a Waterloo. The fish was too dry and bland and not even the mustard dill sauce could pep things up. Not quite the catch of the day.

I ignored the black mood emerging across the table to tuck into my steak burger while nursing another Drambuie to insulate me from The Moll's icy stare.

The burger had been giving me that come-on look, but it was a bit on the small side for my liking. I was left muttering, 'where's the beef', under my breath. Still, it was big on taste and that's what mattered.

I was glad the guys in the kitchen had time to grill – they got the cooking spot on. The burger was 100% Scotch beef and quite filling on the flavour front, but the chips were a woeful letdown.

The menu said shoestring fries, but this really was the thin end of the potato wedges. If you have to rely on the salad and a throwaway gherkin to big things up, we ain't talking master chef.

The Moll, meanwhile, was being an awkward customer. She fancied chicken - just not the teryaki job mentioned in the menu.

The waitress then checked with the master chef, who was happy to keep her onside with a grilled breast of chicken rather than a feast from the east.

But his good deed cut no ice with the frost maiden. Sure, there was chicken – and the aforementioned small fries – but that was it.

It was far from a quick fix for the munchies.

A little salad might have put a smile on her own dish. No one does unimpressed better than Blondie.

The chicken hardly reigned supreme. It was suffering from a flavour bypass and could have used a little oomph in the seasoning department as a kicker. Like the burger, it didn't quite fill the famisto void.

"I'm still Lee Marvin," she said as I ordered her another Merlot while muttering the words: "Hank, you fool" under my breath.

Dessert hung on the toss of a coin and Blondie called it right with her vanilla creme brulee, which was light and custardy and carmelised to a delicious degree.

And my raspberry ripple ensured Fleming's ended with a satisfying home run.

The price is right, but I still reckon it needs to raise its game on other fronts.

FLEMING'S BAR & GRILL, 222 AYR ROAD,

NEWTON MEARNS, GLASGOW 0141 639 4018

Food 44 Atmosphere 44 Service 444

STARTERS

Potato and leek soup

Gravadlax of salmon with dill mustard sauce

MAINS

Scotch beef burger with salad and gherkin and shoestring fries.

Breast of chicken with shoestring fries.

DESSERT

Madagascar crème brulee

Raspberry ripple ice cream.

(Three courses for £13.95)

DRINKS

Two Drambuies £7.30

Two Santra Serena Merlots £8.50

TOTAL £43.70

TEC Towers had turned into Ice Station Zebra. It was so cold The Moll's teeth were chattering in the glass and, for once, she had her hands in her own pockets.

Drastic action was called for to see if I could change the climate. I defrosted The Moll – and the Buick – with the promise of a hot Sunday lunch and a stiff drink.

Fleming's Bar and Grill, in Newton Mearns, gave off a posh nosh vibe. But I can do swanky with the best of them.

As it turned out, we arrived smack bang in the middle of a people desert. Times were hard even in la-la-land.

Blondie fancied a seat in the conservatory. Bad move for two reasons – it was totally empty and the heater was at ground zero. Someone needed to turn up the Fleming flame.

We moved back inside and decided it was time for some fast food. The bottle of Drambuie at the bar had my name on it, while Blondie issued a code red for a glass of Merlot.

The à la carte menu was too rich for my blood – this month I can't even pay attention. But I quickly warmed to the pre-theatre job, which at £13.95 for three courses looked a good deal.

When it came to the starter, there was only one ticket in town.

The potato and leek soup arrived giving off the kind of smoke signals to make an Apache proud. One taste and I was sold – it was a classic winter warmer.

There was no hint anywhere to say it was homemade, but I'll make an educated guess based on too many joints doing what it says on the tin and give Fleming's the benefit of the doubt.

It wasn't too creamy and the potato and leek flavours packed as big a wallop as The Moll on a bad hair day.

"Tec, what's another word for thesaurus?" asked Blondie as her gravadlax of salmon arrived at the table. "Gravadlax means salmon from the grave," I said. "It's Scandinavian, like Abba."

The Moll had been happy to take a chance with this starter - but it turned out to be more of a Waterloo. The fish was too dry and bland and not even the mustard dill sauce could pep things up. Not quite the catch of the day.

I ignored the black mood emerging across the table to tuck into my steak burger while nursing another Drambuie to insulate me from The Moll's icy stare.

The burger had been giving me that come-on look, but it was a bit on the small side for my liking. I was left muttering, 'where's the beef', under my breath. Still, it was big on taste and that's what mattered.

I was glad the guys in the kitchen had time to grill – they got the cooking spot on. The burger was 100% Scotch beef and quite filling on the flavour front, but the chips were a woeful letdown.

The menu said shoestring fries, but this really was the thin end of the potato wedges. If you have to rely on the salad and a throwaway gherkin to big things up, we ain't talking master chef.

The Moll, meanwhile, was being an awkward customer. She fancied chicken - just not the teryaki job mentioned in the menu.

The waitress then checked with the master chef, who was happy to keep her onside with a grilled breast of chicken rather than a feast from the east.

But his good deed cut no ice with the frost maiden. Sure, there was chicken – and the aforementioned small fries – but that was it.

It was far from a quick fix for the munchies.

A little salad might have put a smile on her own dish. No one does unimpressed better than Blondie.

The chicken hardly reigned supreme. It was suffering from a flavour bypass and could have used a little oomph in the seasoning department as a kicker. Like the burger, it didn't quite fill the famisto void.

"I'm still Lee Marvin," she said as I ordered her another Merlot while muttering the words: "Hank, you fool" under my breath.

Dessert hung on the toss of a coin and Blondie called it right with her vanilla creme brulee, which was light and custardy and carmelised to a delicious degree.

And my raspberry ripple ensured Fleming's ended with a satisfying home run.

The price is right, but I still reckon it needs to raise its game on other fronts.

FLEMING'S BAR & GRILL, 222 AYR ROAD,

NEWTON MEARNS, GLASGOW 0141 639 4018

Food ** Atmosphere ** Service ***

STARTERS

Potato and leek soup

Gravadlax of salmon with dill mustard sauce

MAINS

Scotch beef burger with salad and gherkin and shoestring fries.

Breast of chicken with shoestring fries.

DESSERT

Madagascar crème brulee

Raspberry ripple ice cream.

(Three courses for £13.95)

DRINKS

Two Drambuies £7.30

Two Santra Serena Merlots £8.50

TOTAL £43.70

Food and drink

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