No 16 – a handsome little bistro with two intimate floors and a kitchen that gives you Euro-bistro fare with Scottish influences and care. It’s been around since 1999 and takes the name from it’s Byres Road address. Inside, you’ll red walls, quirky art work that seems to belong in a farm house, (you’ll see later), wood flooring and a wine wall dominates. It’s a lovely space. Our maitre’d, a young man who really knew his stuff about the dishes and the whisky on offer, he of course made the experience that extra bit more enjoyable.
Braised oxtail with root vegetable puree, roasted bell pepper, fried corn and red wine jus £7.95. For me this dish was a little confusing; traditionally this would be a main course, with perhaps hunks of oxtail served on the bone nestled on top of a bed of root vegetable mash. Or even having the same vegetables roasted on the side with a thick velvety sauce. It didn’t have any of that delightfulness which it deserved.
Sautéed squid with red pepper piperade and black olive crumb £7.95 was a huge plate of tender goodness. It was easily the star of the show, not just for the quantity but actually how well it was cooked.
Onto the mains, Ramsey’s of Carluke pork belly with spring onion croquette, apple and vanilla sauce, charred cauliflower puree, piccalilli and black pudding £15.95. On paper it sounded great, but there was too much going on for me – the vanilla only added clash, the pork was dry as an old piece of leather and needed the piccalilli not just for acidic balance but for moisture. Sometimes less is more.
Braised ox cheek with Pomme Anna, red cabbage, carrot puree and port sauce £15.95 was a deep fibrous thing that just melted in your mouth. It was easily the most delicious thing from the mains we ordered.
Charred tender stem broccoli with parsley £3.50 were more akin to tree twigs and took jaw effort to chew. The parsley was no where to be seen either, a shame really as it’s one of my favourite vegetables.
The Lemon; lemon cremeux, coffee meringue, coffee ice cream and milk gel £7.50 was impressive. A white chocolate lemon filled with sharp tangy lemon cream and crunchy meringues and buttery crumb were delightful. A clever desert that gave us a lot more than expected.
The Cappuccino: Coffee Cremeux, sponge, yogurt foam with lime, basil and yogurt sorbet £7.50. Seemingly the deserts are the strong point of No.16 as this plate was on song. Another brilliant interplay of flavour, texture and technique.
When did I go? Feb 2017
The damage: £50-£60 per head
The good: The desserts took centre stage here and I would come back for them alone. The braised ox cheek was a slow cooked unctuous thing to behold also. Our maitre’d was one of the best things of the evening too and deserves cred.
The bad: A hit and miss experience, avoid the Ramsey’s Carluke pork and braised oxtail starter.
Would I go again? Yes
Address: 16 Byres Rd, Glasgow G11 5JY