Hotel dining can often get the short shrift. Especially when you’re in a city like Glasgow that has a near constant rotation of new restaurant openings. And I get it. Outside of The Big Smoke, if you’ve not got a room, it can feel jarring and damn right unnatural to just pop in to a hotel for a quick drink, let alone dinner. And then there’s Malmaison. Dog friendly and with a killer bar – and then they go and launch their Summer ice cream menu. What’s not to love right?
I’m a women of simple tastes so I wanted classics done the Mal way. For me, that meant starting off with a classic margarita (with with an agave syrup) coupled with the Chez Mal Buffalo Wings (£8.) Buttermilk fried wings with a homemade hot sauce and a Waldorf garnish sounds straight up dreamy right? And there’s no arguing with that. But if I’m ordering buffalo wings there’s a level of expectation that I’m going to be a hot mess after eating them. It’s kind of part of the appeal. The chicken’s great, sauce, even better. I just wish there was more of it. If I hadn’t seen the remnants of it at the bottom of my basket I wouldn’t have been entirely convinced it came with hot sauce. I’d order this again for sure, but this is something that would have benefited by being a great deal sloppier. My friend went for Cornish scallops with chorizo and a spinach puree (£13.50.) Glossy, plump and flavoursome, this is a restaurant stalwart for a reason and executed beautifully here.
As is tradition, it was steak all the way for the mains. We both went ribeeye medium rare (£27) and really I can’t fault the beef. Beautifully cooked and great flavour. The sides though. We went to town on the sides. The glazed truffle mash (£5) is a fond farewell to moderation as this is packed with cream, butter and all the good stuff that makes food taste incredible. Crunching through the glaze is intensely satisfying and you’re presented with the richest creamiest potatoes going. Spinach with lemon, garlic and olive oil (£4) allowed us to at least entertain the idea we were being some-what healthy (lol) coupled with some particularly sweet Chantenay carrots (£4.)
Polishing it off was the Mal special – Club Tropicana. Paying an homage to kitsch food trends (both sparkly holiday tack and the immanently instagrammable black ice cream) the limited edition ice creams are the perfect sharing dessert to finish any meal (or enjoy over cocktails.) The Pico Grande is a love letter to a knicker blocker glory with pina colada ice cream served in a mini pineapple. The coconut crush features a coconut ice cream blackened with charcoal and served inside a, you guessed it, coconut. Coming in at £5.50 these generously sized portions treats are utterly gorgeous and more than worth saving room for.
Hotel dining might not feel seamless, but with Club Tropicana currently in full swing, I’m just about ready to make desserts and cocktails a regular thing.