Monday, 26 March 2018

Glasgow Living Part 29– Bibimbap Korean Restaurant, City Centre

Readers… It’s feast or famine over here at What Claire Did.  We did 2 restaurant reviews in quick succession after not doing any for ages and there’s another lined up for next week.

I love being a Glasgow food blogger. There are so many amazing places to go. But... 

...I am all over this one though.  I love when something new opens in Glasgow.  But not just a new restaurant. Something that’s actually different.  And Bibimbap is ticking all of those boxes with its genuine Korean menu.  Fast service, lots of kimchi, and the most amazing dumplings. The restaurant’s also got a fan base from Asian international students living in Glasgow AND has a Korean chef heading up the kitchen.  Bibimbap is the real deal.
bibimbap korean restaurant glasgow

We rocked up last Thursday night to a full of atmosphere, busy restaurant with foliage on the walls, umbrellas hanging from the roof and some sweet neon signs and lighting around the bar.  The restaurant was busy – full of a young(ish) crowd tucking into the Korean delights and some amazing cocktails mixed behind the bar and delivered to the table.
bibimbap cocktails glasgow

The problem with the menu… there’s so much choice.  I wanted to eat everything.  I love Asian food at the best of times, so when something new rolls into town, I’m usually keen to try the whole menu.  That said, we held back, asked for some recommendations of things to try and kicked off our night with a couple of cocktails. I went for a gin based Kibun whilst Mr WhatClaireDid went all naked with his Grouse, trying the Nunchi. Cocktails are between £6.50 and £9 – around average for a city centre venue.

Then we were onto the food. The food comes as its ready, hot, fresh and straight to the table for you to dig into. We started off with the Korean fried chicken – a small to share (£4.50) which for two was more than enough.  The highlight here was the yum yum sauce.  I’d never tried anything like it before. It was AMAZING. We also tried two small plates – the pork dumplings and the potato pancake, which I could only describe as Korea’s answer to a tattie scone.  It was so good.  And fried.  The dumplings were also brilliant.  I do think though that if I was on death row, I’d probably order dumplings for my last meal.
bibimbap cocktails glasgow

fried chicken bibimbap glasgow

For the main event, Mr WhatClaireDid went for the Bi Bim Bap – the restaurants signature hot stone pot with rice, beef and vegetables topped with a fried egg.  He thoroughly enjoyed it. Although we’d suggest you go hungry as the portion sizes are massive.  A bowl would easily fill you up without the need for sides as well.

I went wok fried – trying the stir fried marinated beef with salad.  I also went for a fried rice on the side, because who doesn’t love fried rice?! The beef was soft, tender, full of flavour and came served with lettuce, to make  beef lettuce wraps. If you were doing low carb, this would be more than enough for one without the rice as well.

For a new opening – the front of house team have got the place running like clockwork.  The food came quickly, it was piping hot and although it’s freshly cooked, there aren’t massive wait times for the dishes to come from the kitchen.  It’s been a while since we’ve gone to somewhere and though “THIS IS REALLY GOOD” but we’ll definitely be back to Bibimbap.  It’s a little taste of Korea in Glasgow city centre.  And I’ve still a lot of the menu to sample….

Bibimbap is on West Nile Street, a short stroll from Glasgow Central Station.  You can find out more by visiting their website or following their ultra sleek Instagram



Disclaimer: we were invited to Bibimbap to review their new restaurant. Any opinions expressed are my own. 

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Glasgow Living Part 28 - Smashburger on Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow

Readers, hi! Welcome to my new look blog.  Thoughts?  Do you like it? It was time… after 5 years we needed to freshen up.  Content is pretty much the same – food, travel, recipes etc but presented with a fresh new look and name.

Anyway, after a bit of time away from reviews to do the whole LETS GET MARRIED thing (I might post on that soon) I’m back at it, with a trip to Smashburger in Glasgow… all the way from Denver, Colorado.

This Glasgow food blogger was off on another Glasgow foodie adventure!

smashburger glasgow photo by what claire did

Glasgow is awash with burger joints and these guys are aiming to stand out with their “smashed” patties – they fork the meat in store, then hand press into burgers – it’s not machine made stuff at Smashburger.  They do sit on the more premium side – around £12 for a burger, side and soft drink with unlimited refills from one of those cool machines that you can add in fruit flavours to your Sprite and more.  So all in, you’re looking about £25 for a meal for two. It’s more of a treat venue than a lunchtime stop off. 

The staff are really friendly, including Fareed (I hope I’ve spelt your name right!) the manager who took some time to talk to us about the way the meat is “forked” then shaped into burger patties.  It’s not a mechanical process.  He also told us about the concept that had come all the way from Denver (which for those interested in the pub quiz points, is 4373 miles from Glasgow).

Fareed talked us through the menu – I liked the create your own section – for those who don’t want a straight up option – but this time went for the new “Triple Bacon Triple Double” which came with two beef patties, three slices bacon, triple cheese and the usual salad options served on a burger bun.   Mr WhatClaireDid decided on the Spicy Jalepeno Baja as he’s a big fan of chipotle (and it even came on a chipotle bun).
smashburger glasgow photo by what claire did
My bacon and cheese burger

For sides, we shunned fries in favour of the new tater tots.  I LOVE TATER TOTS.  It’s potato in a deep fried breadcrumb for those not in the know.  These came with bacon, cheese and bbq sauce which in my eyes is always a winner.  There is a spicy jalepeno version as well for those who love heat.
smashburger glasgow photo by what claire did
Tater Tots with Bacon and Cheese

We also tried the haystack onions – these are not traditional onion rings – and I’d recommend these to share.  You’d probably struggle to manage a whole portion solo.
smashburger glasgow photo by what claire did
Haystack Onions

Smashburger is located on Sauchiehall Street and chances are, if you’re going after dark, you’ll need to be looking for it. It’s located further down the road than the main restaurant area, across the road from M&S if you were heading in the direction of Buchanan Street.  

We enjoyed the food at our Smashburger Glasgow experience, the staff were very helpful and we didn’t have to wait long to be served which is a bonus if it’s the warm up to a night out or a gig. The restaurant is spacious with a mix of tables and booths for different sizes of group.

We went on a Friday and it was quiet which may be due to the location, as most other stores in the surrounding blocks were closed by 7pm.  The service was friendly and food was good, but keep in mind this isn’t the place to go if you’re in search of a cheap eat.  One for the burger aficionados perhaps? 

Follow the Smashburger UK takeover by visiting the website or keeping an eye on their Instagram for cool burger pics. and new menu releases.




Disclaimer: we received a meal for two in return for a review. Any opinions expressed are my own. 



Monday, 12 March 2018

Favourite Holiday Moments with Holiday Gems


Readers, you’ll probably have noticed my blog’s focusing more than ever on travel?  I still LOVE FOOD – making it, baking it and eating it, but I also love flying off to faraway places, experiencing new cultures and of course, enjoying their food.

Holiday Gems recently got in touch asking me to talk about some of my favourite travel moments of the last few years… so here we go!

And if you're looking to to go off on your own adventure - Holiday Gems are a UK based short haul travel specialist and you’ll find their all inclusive deals for 2018 here.


48 Hours in Rio

A few years back, my now husband and I went to South America and to Rio – well before the Olympics and The World Cup made it cool. We were there for nearly a week, but 24 hours in particular stands out to me.  We negotiated the local bus system (more Ford Transit, hop on and hope for your life) and made it to the cable car, up to the midpoint of Sugarloaf Mountain. We nipped off to admire the views, grab a beer and then discovered that helicopter rides took off from the helipad at this point.   We jumped at the chance and half an hour later, had our ear defenders on, the rotorblades were spinning and we were on board, soaring high in the sky, above Christo Redentor – the status of Christ that watches over the city below.  We waved to the tourists and they waved back, before we swooped down to Copacabana Beach below, flying over the turquoise waters and golden sands… the sunbathers just tiny specks on the horizon.
Sunset from Sugarloaf Mountain 
Our chopper dropped us off back at Sugarloaf Mountain, where we ascended to the summit in time for sunset.  Enjoying the laid back Brazillian vibes, we hopped on a rock, grabbed a drink and watched the burnt ambers, golden hues and orange glows of the sun going down, with Christo Redentor in the background.  
Cable Car at Sugarloaf Mountain


And Closer To Home…

Adventure doesn’t have to be a 12 hour flight away.  Just a short hope from the UK can take you to cities and cultures different to ours, where the food is tasty, the buildings are beautiful and the vibe is relaxed.

Madrid is one of these great cities – drop by a tapas bar for a cervesa or two and you’ll be served with regional small plates to snack on, as you enjoy the atmosphere around you.  The main square is home to buskers and street artists in the evening and we had a great night just watching a group of guys perform a show on rollerblades.    We mastered the public transport system within a day – choosing to take the underground between the tourist sites and enjoying a walking tour to familiarise ourselves with the central zone quickly.
Tapas in Madrid

And the churros… wow.  There are churro cafes dotted all over the city – where you can enjoy a coffee to wake you and a fried churro with hot chocolate dip to power you up for a day of sightseeing. 

So there you have it folks - two absolute "gems" - get it?! - of trips I've experienced in the last few years. Both different, but fabulous! 


Sponsored Post: this post is sponsored by Holiday Gems.