Dakota Hotels are jointly owned by McCulloch Unique Hotels & Evans Property Group. They are lifestyle hotels specialising in that boutique & luxurious aesthetic. All three (there are big plans for more openings!) have a restaurant attached to them, plus, all three reside in Scotland with two being in Glasgow. The newest addition to the club is more in the heart of Glasgow rather than the outskirts. Its also slightly different to the other two, it is a Dakota Deluxe. They are supposed to have a more polished feel to them, which I have to say, I did feel this as we were walking through the entrance. The Deluxe versions are also meant to have bigger bedrooms, to suit the needs of city travellers. So on this occasion, we were only sampling the restaurant! Which is great even if you aren’t looking to stay for the night.
So being the last minute, unprepared people that we are, we booked a table the night before New Year’s Day… We still managed to get a table during the day for lunch, but we didn’t really mind the time (I’m not even going to tell you what we had for dinner that night after this beautiful meal). As we arrived the main entrance seemed to be closed, so we entered through the hotels’ instead. Being the nervous & hungry nelly I am, we arrived a little bit earlier just in case the traffic was bad. It was not. So we were told by the restaurant receptionist that we may have to wait in the waiting area for a few minutes, but being the fuss-free people we are it wasn’t an issue. She quickly came back to let us know there was, in fact, a table free for us. The restaurant is beneath the hotel itself and it isn’t huge. It has a nice quaint feel to it, with their signature dark and moody vibe. I probably should mention that I have eaten at a Dakota restaurant before (twice actually), the only difference is that this time it was Deluxe. Fancy eh?
Our waiter really was great, he was smiley, chatty and very attentive to what we needed. Plus, there was just enough small chat. To be honest, I was probably doing most of the chatting. As my husband, Chris, always like to point out that I chat too much! It was welcoming without being too overbearing at the same time. I was especially impressed since it was New Years Day! I always feel slightly guilty on days like this, I’m a fellow boxing day worker myself… Personally, if the waiter looks miserable or like they couldn’t give two f**ks it puts me off. It affects the whole experience and meal. A pretend smile isn’t too much to ask for, is it? There was enough time left between each meal as well. Sometimes this can be an issue in restaurants, but I didn’t feel as if we were being rushed out the door. We were still only there for around an hour and a half, but I feel this always the case when there’s just two of you. Or you aren’t having as many courses.
Oh, my, the food. Where to start? Chris & I had been eyeing up the deluxe hotel ever since we heard there was one arriving or had arrived. And boy, oh boy we were not let down! When trying new restaurants it’s always tricky to not go for something you are used too. I like to try something different that I’ve maybe not seen before elsewhere, or something that I have tried so I can compare. First, we were served a complimentary appetiser. They seem to do this at all Dakota restaurants. It was heavenly goats cheese in a tomato sauce, with a side of small heated crusted loaf. As you can imagine, It went down a treat and an empty board was carried away… Then, onto the appetisers. As I said earlier, I either go for something completely new or something I enjoy with a different spin. Sometimes, I just go for a favourite so I can compare… Scallops always have and always will be a firm favourite of mine to start with. The way they are presented and how they are accompanied can be different, though. I loved the way they were served, they tasted amazing & not rubbery at all plus I enjoyed mostly what they were served with (I can’t stand onions).
For those of you wondering, I did actually take them out of the shell. I’m too clumsy of a human being to eat like that… So as you can imagine I was really enjoying my meal. So for my main, oh my god my main. It was seriously really good! I have never tasted food like it I’ve had things similar but not with these ingredients. So I had roast loin of venison with a blackberry jus, butternut squash & herb gnocchi. It was absolutely delicious. The gnocchi & butternut squash had a slight sweetness to them, but it wasn’t over the top. Along with slightly bitter blackberries & venison, the tastes were all evened out lovely. I do have to say, I could have taken my venison slightly pinker though, I can pretty much eat meat walking out the field… Apart from that, I really can not fault it at all. Because it was a special occasion (trying out this restaurant and 2017s’ first day) we decided to push ourselves and have a pudding as well. I probably shouldn’t have as I really struggled, it was super tasty as well. The ice cream wasn’t too powerful, and because the chocolate part was a mousse it was quite light as well.
Goats cheese, tomato sauce & warm crusted loaf
A La Carte Menu
Seared Scallops, Alsace bacon, porcini mushrooms & spring onion
I really did enjoy it, its probably one of my favourite meals to date. I’m not going to lie though, I do have s soft spot for the Dakota franchise… As I said I thoroughly enjoyed everything a part from the meat not being quite to my peronal taste. I’m hoping to go back and try more of the menu sometime. Maybe I could do a revisit review? Or just a general post? I would definitely recommend this to anyone who asked, I think its a great restaurant with some great food, plus I’m a huge advocate for supporting local! I think if you have a special occasion or just want to celebrate in general, then its the perfect place to do that as you won’t be disappointed. There’s a great choice of things to choose from on the menu, some of it is quite different though! So you just have to be brave & trust the chefs!
Roast Loin of Venison, blackberry jus, butternut squash & herb gnocchi
Caramelia Chocolate Mousse, toffee popcorn, praline & creme fraiche
So what do you think, would you eat here? Where would you recommend to eat? Let me know in the comments below, I always enjoye reading them and replying! Plus, I’m a huge foodie.