Glasgow’s food scene is pretty damn spectacular, but that seemed to escape the notice of the Michelin guide for a while. In 2021, Cail Bruich became the first Michelin star restaurant in Glasgow in eighteen whole years that year, and Unalome by Graeme Cheevers received its first star last year. The 2023 Michelin guide was unveiled last night (March 27), and both Cail Bruich and Unalome by Graeme Cheevers retained their star this year as the only two Glasgow restaurants to be awarded a star.
The Finnieston restaurant was lauded for paying tribute to “the finest of Scottish produce, be it Gigha halibut or Ayrshire lamb, in dishes that display [Cheevers’] classical leanings.” The Michelin guide placed an emphasis on the “boldness” and “sophistication” of his cooking – although if we’re being honest, the presence of a cheese board can’t have hurt – and saw fit to award Cheever’s fine dining establishment one star for 2023.
It’s something of a triumphant return to the city for the chef, who built his career in the kitchens of Scotland’s luxurious country house hotels before opening Unalome in June 2021. Yes, it’s taken him less than a year to achieve this award, which kind of puts my 2021 into perspective…
If you can get a reservation at Unalome, you can expect a menu of modern European cooking, with the odd technique or flavour from Japanese cuisine. Equally laudable is the restaurant’s commitment to sustainability; Unalome practices a farm-to-fork approach, and their kitchen is powered by energy from 100% green sources.
As to the other Michelin titan of Glasgow cuisine, the Michelin guide heaped praise on Cail Bruich and Chef Lorna McNee, whose “passion and precision” are the standout. Their army of food writers and tastemakers recommend booking the kitchen counter and opting for the Chef’s Tasting Menu. At £140 a head, it’s one for a special occasion, but there’s a very good reason that McNee is the only female chef with a Michelin star in Scotland – and her seasonally-changing menus are well worth forking out for. No surprises, given that Cail Bruich means ‘to eat well’!
So, three years, two Michelin Star restaurants – I’m guessing we’ll be celebrating even further next year when Glasgow’s dining scene gets the recognition it so richly deserves!