If you know Glasgow, you may understand my surprise when a restaurant that wasn’t a burger place opened in the city centre. In fact, the recently opened Sugar Dumplin is one of the only places to get a taste of the Caribbean in the heart of the city. I’ve never had Caribbean food before and knew very little about the cuisine but I was so excited to try it out after reading lots of rave reviews. As much as I would love to spend a fortnight in a luxury Caribbean resort I think it’ll be a few years before I treat myself to such an experience, so for now I’ll just have to try and emulate the dream destination with an Elegant Experience much closer to home.
Situated in the jam packed upper floors of Princes Square, Sugar Dumplin is not only home to fantastic Caribbean food but houses 40 types of rum and an extensive cocktail list – kaching! I love a good cocktail and after a very long time deciding I started out with an amazing Bajan Mojito with golden rum, lime, passionfruit and a hint of mint. Very strong, but went down a treat! I’d also recommend the Rum Runner and the Reggae Rum Punch, but there’s plenty of classic cocktails if you’re not a fan of rum. Pina Colada served in a pineapple anyone? They also had a decent selection of beers and I kind of forced Paddy to try a bottle of “March of the Penguins” purely for the name alone…
I’m one of those people who always struggles to decide what to eat, so in order to aid in my decision making I opted to have a few of the smaller dishes combined as a main. I am so glad I did this! I chose four dishes; the sticky BBQ ribs, hickory smoked wings, fried dumplings & sweet potato and garlic mash. Each dish was amazing, but the ribs were in a class of their own. The meat was beautifully tender, as soon as I touched it with my knife it fell away from the bone effortlessly, and the seasoning was just perfect. I’d go back just to eat those ribs alone! Paddy agreed too, nabbing a fair few from my plate. The chicken wings were great too, but I think the amazing ribs did overshadow them a tad. The fried dumplings were perfectly doughy on the inside with a crispy, golden shell and a tangy house mayo with a hint of spice on the side. I’ve never had sweet potato mash before but it’s definitely one I’ll be having again – especially with garlic as it complemented the flavour perfectly. I did order a little bit too much which is ever so typical of me, but I couldn’t resist trying a few dishes!
Paddy decided on the smoked ribeye burger and ever so kindly let me have a bit (I did give him some of my ribs so it’s only fair) which I found delicious. The meat was perfectly cooked, despite me usually preferring it a little bit more on the rare side of medium, and it worked perfectly with the pillow soft brioche roll. The chips on the side were great too, especially when dipped in the accompanying range of sauces from the menu.
Much to my surprise I decided against a dessert, probably due to the cocktails, but in the future I’d love to try out the chocolate rum cake or lime, mint & ginger sorbet with roasted pineapple. Mmm! Plus I’ll need to make my way through the rest of the cocktail menu so a return visit is definitely required.
We were seated in the back of the restaurant, next to a huge window that gave a great view of the upper levels of Buchanan Street. Something that not many people notice in Glasgow is just how beautiful the architecture is above eye level so it was a very welcome view to have. Luckily it had turned in to a really sunny evening too, so it was nice and light within the restaurant. The decor was – what I imagine to be – typically Caribbean with lots of corrugated metal on the walls. It had a stripped back, industrial feel but not in an imposing way. I particularly loved the mix of bottle light fixtures, so cool! Behind us there were some beach hut style tables that looked like they’d be fantastic for a cosy meal too.
We visited on a Thursday night and whilst there was a few other tables seated it certainly wasn’t busy. The general atmosphere was very friendly, with attentive staff and reggae covers of popular songs playing over the speakers. The bar is pretty central in the restaurant so you can see every drink being made and you can see the kitchen too, something I always like! Although it does make me pretty hungry…
It was so nice to experience something a bit different in Glasgow, we were both a bit unsure of what to expect as neither of us had eaten Carribean food before but it was all delicious. A great mix of seafood, meat and vegetarian options with lots of flavours. There’s so many things on the menu I want to try! Definitely one to try.