Keith McIntyre experiences a ‘Black Gold’ evening at Glasgow’s Gōst restaurant.
When the invite came through to attend the Black Gold evening at Gōst in Glasgow city centre I was more than a little intrigued. What exactly is a Black Gold evening, and secondly where was this Gōst restaurant – I’m ashamed to say I was completely unaware of it.
It turns out that Gōst is not a restaurant you’re likely to stumble across while casually going about your shopping in the city centre. It’s located in Bothwell Street and unless you work in the numerous offices that surround it you would be forgiven for not knowing it was there. It probably also suffers a little from younger sibling syndrome as it is less well known that its renowned elder sisters Glaschu and the Duke’s Umbrella which are part of the same group.
The restaurant itself is classically elegant with lots of dark woods, hanging lights and beautiful herringbone parquet flooring. The bar area has an assortment of high tables and sumptuous leather clad booths which lead you past the bar to the intimate dining area which oozes both class and comfort. First impressions are very, very good and are only added to by the warm and welcoming staff who made sure we were looked after before our table was ready.
So now that I had been enlightened as to where Gōst actually was, what exactly was a Black Gold evening. Well, as it turns out, it is an inspired collaboration between Gōst, The Macallan and John Gilmour Butchers to create a three-course menu showcasing Gilmour’s Black Gold range of Aberdeen Angus beef, paired with drinks supplied by the iconic whisky brand. If that doesn’t get your taste buds flowing, I don’t know what will.
Before we were let loose on the mouth watering delights to come, we were introduced to Simon Gilmour, Co-Managing Director of Gilmour’s Butchers. Simon spoke passionately about both the quality and sustainability of the beef we were about to consume. The Black Gold range comes from entirely grass-fed cattle which increase the marbling of the beef to add huge amounts of flavour. The beef is then hung for a minimum of 60 days in a salt chamber which further enhances flavour by removing moisture. He even produced a map to pinpoint exactly where the night’s beef came from – talk about provenance, I felt all we were missing was the cow’s name.
After that build up, the food had a lot to live up to. There are few better ways to showcase the quality of beef than starting with steak tartare – and that is exactly what we did. My go to starter at most restaurants will always be something fishy, ideally of the shellfish variety. I always break that rule if a tartare is on offer, so I was really looking forward to it. It didn’t disappoint. Beautiful hand cut beef and that heady mix of shallots, capers and gherkins all topped with an egg yolk, all sitting on bone marrow on top of sourdough toast. If I’m being picky, there could have been a bit more of that acidic pickled kick from the gherkins and a touch more pepper, but that’s probably just my personal taste. There were certainly no complaints from my wife on the other side of the table. The drinks pairing with the starter was a first for both of us. A salted caramel old fashioned, made with the Macallan double cask 12, caramel syrup and coffee and chocolate bitters. It even came with a large chocolate button on top! After the initial shock of sweetness, the salty flavour kicked in to be followed by the warming glow of the whisky. A first maybe, certainly not the last.
The main course was kept delightfully simple. A 300g rib-eye of Gilmour’s Black Gold served with salty chips, duck fat hash browns, green beans and a selection of sauces. It might be heresy when the beef should be the showcase, but the hash browns were incredible – more please. The beef itself was everything Simon had previously described. Moist and succulent with a discernible marbling and just the right amount of fat around the edges. A carnivore’s dream topped off with a beautiful sharp blue cheese sauce just added to the satisfied noises coming from our table.
By this stage, I’m not sure our stomachs could take much more and we were probably crying out for a light, refreshing, citrusy dessert. What we got was the richest caramel chocolate royale I’ve ever tasted. It was probably the only misstep of the evening as it was just too rich and dense. The accompanying coconut ice cream was, however, absolutely lovely.
We rounded off the evening nicely with another wee dram of The Macallan double cask 12 before wobbling off into the night with stomachs groaning under the weight of some wonderfully indulgent food and drink.
If like me, Gōst hasn’t appeared on your radar just yet, it’s well worth a very slight detour if you find yourself in Glasgow City Centre.
77 Bothwell St, Glasgow G2 6TS
Read more news and reviews on Scottish Field’s food and drink pages, in association with Cask & Still magazine.