Most dining at Malmaison Glasgow takes place in the brasserie, which is found in what previously served as a crypt when St Jude's was a Greek Orthodox Church. The theme of the brasserie is one of dark wood and sumptuous leather and the large space of the crypt is divided into two main areas, one of which doubles as an additional bar area. The way the space has been divided produces some interesting nooks and crannies, and some very nice semi-private alcoves. For those looking for more privacy, there are two private dining rooms off the brasserie, available for groups of up to 12. Or, of course, you can shun the public arena altogether and order from the room service menu. You can read our hotel review for Malmaison Glasgow here.
When we visited there were two menus available, which complemented one another well. The bar menu is served from before lunch to early evening and offers a range of pastries, "lite bites", sandwiches, salads and desserts. Those here to enjoy lunch and dinner choose from the brasserie menu, which is supplemented by a more rapidly changing list of daily specials, which when we visited comprised no fewer than 4 starters and 4 mains to add to the 8 starters and 8 mains on the main menu.
The observant will notice on the menu an introduction by the Head Chef, Graham Digweed, which is worth repeating because it helps give an idea of the approach adopted by Malmaison Glasgow to the food it serves: "I have hunted high and low but not too far or wide to bring Lanarkshire's hidden food secrets to your brasserie table. No more long distance love affairs with long-haul deliveries. Instead I'm daring to keep it local." There must obviously be limitations to this, such as the excellent stuffed squid starter on the specials menu when we visited, but such an up-front statement about what you might call "as local as possible" is very welcome.
Three other things are worth noting about our dining experience. The first was the overall care in preparation and presentation evident in every dish, and the second was the considerable attention to detail. Serving a cappuccino with "Mal" sprinkled on the foam may be a simple idea, but it is a very nice touch. Meanwhile there was a very high standard of service on offer to diners in the brasserie: unintrusive and unfussy, but effective, efficient, friendly and highly professional.
With a fairly frequently changing menu an account of any particular meal can only be a snapshot, but it is worth saying that every element of a three course meal for two was excellent. And however much the menu changes, the "Mal Burger" is likely to be available when you visit. Ordering a burger in a good restaurant can seem like opting out, but the Mal Burger served at Mal Glasgow really is outstanding: as are the homemade fries it comes with. A more traditional choice of a pan fried chicken breast with haggis stuffing, fondant potato and mustard sauce was equally enjoyable. To finish there was a choice of seven sweets, or a selection of ice cream and sorbet, or a selection of cheeses.
Breakfast is served in the brasserie, and the starter course comes from a well stocked and well maintained buffet. A wide range of cooked options are available, from Loch Etive kippers or smoked salmon to either sweet or savoury porridge. The traditional cooked breakfast is excellent, both in terms of quality and quantity: and the breakfast rolls are likewise superb. You can read our hotel review for Malmaison Glasgow here.