Nowadays, I find it increasingly difficult to keep up with Glasgow’s growing foodie scene. As soon as I start to feel like I’m getting through my mile long list of places to visit, somewhere new pops onto the scene. Granted, my ongoing health drama has stopped me from eating out quite as much as I’d like to this year, but I’m sure as hell going to keep trying my best to make my way around the crème de la crème of Glasgow eateries! One of the new additions to the foodie scene is The Smokin’ Fox at 6-8 Waterloo Street, just beside Central Station. The Smokin’ Fox is, in fact, the latest reincarnation of The Hope which was home to possibly one of the best brownies I’ve ever eaten, so I was pretty keen to check out the facelift and see what The Smokin’ Fox had in store.
Dubbed as a Victorian inspired “pub and scullery”, The Smokin’ Fox has the typical pub atmosphere and on our Thursday night visit it was packed with punters. The front section of the venue hosts the bar area, with an opulent yet welcoming interior. Moving through to the back, the dining area is full of quirky, bright decor adorned with the “smoking fox” insignia. Consisting of a mix of booths and tables, there’s plenty of room for a bite to eat away from the bustle of the bar.
Much like its predecessor, The Smokin’ Fox’s menu boasts a great variety of classic pub grub dishes with a twist. The seasonal menu is packed full of local produce, something I always love to see, and covers everything from lunch to light bites and wholesome dinners. With light bites starting at £4 and the peak of the menu being a £20 steak, you’re getting brilliant value for money in terms of the quality.
For my starter, I decided on the ham hough & Mull cheddar croquettes which were served with pea puree, black pudding and pea shoots. I never thought I’d see the day that I willingly ate pea puree, but it made the perfect accompaniment for the crispy croquettes and their brilliant blend of flavours. My date for the evening, Rachael, chose the crab and prawn fishcakes which she thoroughly enjoyed.
I’m one of those people who has their order decided in advance when going out to eat, typically checking the menu no less than seven times before heading to a restaurant. In this case, I’d been swaying between four options prior to my visit – the burger, chicken schnitzel, macaroni cheese and a good ol’ steak. The elimination process began with steak, which I think I’ve eaten for most of my meals out recently as it tends to be a safe option for my current issues. Then came the burger, which was removed due to the fact that I think I might have overdone it on the burger front recently. I know, I never thought I’d say that either. The final showdown had two contenders, chicken schnitzel and macaroni cheese, and as much as the cheddar & mozzarella macaroni cheese was screaming my name I knew I had to listen to my infuriatingly sensitive stomach and stick to the chicken schnitzel instead.
Then, Rachael’s macaroni cheese arrived and the jealousy was overwhelming. Piled high with gooey cheese, I was practically drooling at the table. Macaroni cheese is the ultimate comfort food, a classic that never disappoints. Luckily, my chicken schnitzel didn’t disappoint either, and the jealousy faded when I tucked into my own dish. The crispy chicken was smothered in a delicious garlic and herb butter, appealing to my overwhelming love of garlic. Despite the crispy coating and topping, it was still very light, allowing the flavours to take centre stage. Served alongside delicious sauteed leeks, one of my favourite vegetables, and a creamy potato salad, this dish was a perfect choice. I couldn’t finish the generous portion (have I mentioned that I hate my stupid stomach?) but our server very kindly offered to wrap the remainder up for me to take home. Some meals don’t fare well when it comes to reheating, but my leftovers were perfect for my lunch the next day.
Although it’s very unlike both Rachael and me to skip dessert, it had to be done. The chocolate and hazelnut parfait is calling my name, however, and I will definitely be saving room for dessert on my next visit. Which will hopefully be soon, as I thoroughly enjoyed it. With the same attentive, friendly service that I loved at The Hope, The Smokin’ Fox is definitely not to be missed when dining out in Glasgow city centre.