Glasgow is a city that's home to so many hidden gems in the form of both shops, bars, and restaurants. Given the size of the city, it's difficult to see it all, but I am determined to give it my best shot! The Hope on Waterloo Street is one of the many places that had been sitting on my never-ending list of places to try, given it's proximity to Paddy's office, but we just hadn't got round to paying it a visit until now. On Tuesday evening Paddy & I popped in for a little date night dinner to finally put it to the test, and I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised.
Sitting just opposite the side entrance to Glasgow Central station, the exterior of The Hope may lead you to believe that it's nothing more than one of Glasgow's many pubs, but you'd be mistaken. As you walk through the front bar area you're led into an open, airy back room with high ceilings and a shabby chic vibe that instantly gives off an upmarket vibe. With that in mind, you'd be forgiven for thinking that The Hope would be on the pricier side, but it's actually incredibly reasonably priced for the quality of food, service, and setting.
After spending a couple of minutes deliberating over the cocktail list, eventually settling on one of their delicious coconut Koko Mojitos, I focused my attention on the food menu. The Hope boasts quite a range of food with a distinct air of gastropub cuisine - think fish, steak pie, burgers, steaks, salads, and sandwiches - with a few twists thrown in. The twice-baked potatoes certainly caught my eye, and for just £6 each they'd make the perfect pub lunch, which I'll definitely be back for at some point soon.
For my starter, I opted for the Ham Hock Terrine served with an onion chutney and toasted ciabatta. This was beautifully seasoned and tender, with the sweet onion chutney adding the perfect kick of tartness to the meat. In the past, I've found that this sort of dish is often served with one tiny piece of bread, which is always disappointing, but at The Hope, I was greeted with not one, not two, but four pieces. It may seem like an insignificant factor, but I think it shows attention to detail. Paddy chose the Glazed Chicken Drumsticks which were sprinkled with sesame seeds and served with rocket. The glaze added a perfect kick of spice to the melt in the mouth chicken, which was so tender it was practically falling off the bone with just a glance.
After the success of our starters, I was very much looking forward to the main event. Although I was nearly swayed by the lure of a juicy steak, a large part of me was drawn to the Sunblaze Pesto Linguine and luckily it did not disappoint. Served alongside a huge slice of olive oil toast, this dish was packed with flavour and perfectly moreish without being too heavy. I struggled to finish the massive portion, mostly because I had my eye on the dessert menu, but it's a dish I'd definitely choose again. I think it would be delicious with some roast chicken, too. True to form, Paddy chose a classic beef burger from the Grill menu, with added cheese and bacon. Whilst it wasn't quite as juicy as we both like, it was seasoned to perfection and each bite was packed with flavour. The chips were on another level entirely, with the mouthwatering combination of crisp on the outside but incredibly fluffy and light on the inside. I could quite happily eat them all day long, they were that good.
What with me being me and all, I just had to check out the mouthwatering Caramel Chocolate Brownie on the dessert menu. I'd had a nosey at the dessert offering the night before we visited and my heart was already set on finishing the meal with this bad boy, lured in by my love of chocolate brownies and the unusual addition of a flapjack base. Honestly, it was so worth the wait. Beautifully moist, filled with a sweet caramel sauce and topped with a dollop of rich chocolate the brownie worked perfectly with the syrupy flapjack base. The combination of textures was just beautiful, and it's quite possibly one of the best brownies I've had in a restaurant to date. I've had a lot of brownies, so that's no small honour!
What really cemented our experience at The Hope was the service. Colin, our server for the evening, was fantastically attentive, friendly and clearly very knowledgeable of the menu. He knew exactly what to recommend, and had excellent chat that just added to the overall warmth of the atmosphere. We felt right at home, and both agreed he definitely deserved a mention.
You can visit The Hope at 6-8 Waterloo Street, next to Glasgow Central.
For more from The Hope visit their website or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
My meal was complimentary for review purposes - read my full disclaimer here