Barbarossa Restaurant, Cathcart
I'd always wanted to try Barbarossa after passing it so many times through Cathcart station. We decided to head there with a group of friends for Sunday lunch - enticed by their lunch special of 3 courses for £13.50 (some dishes attracting a supplement). Barbarossa is a impressive looking building in Cathcart - lots of dark wood, lots of stairs and hidden corners for dining. I like that it isn't just one big open space and makes for an interesting restaurant to explore. We ate in the restaurant area but they also have a wine bar downstairs to dine in - we are definitely going back soon to try it.
I started with the smoked salmon and king prawn salad with marie rose sauce. I'm sure I've mentioned it in the blog before, but an Australian's definition of a king prawn and a Scottish king prawn are two very different things! Despite the size of the prawns, this was a really enjoyable, light starter and the flavours were balanced really well with not too much sauce but a generous serving of salmon.
Graeme had the pasta special - spaghetti with beef and Parmesan meatballs. For an entrée, this was a good sized dish and packed a lot of flavour into the sauce, without being overly rich. The meatballs were also excellent - obviously handmade, and distinctive enough to compliment the pasta.
This dish hasn't photographed too well! This was my main - artichoke ravioli with cherry tomatoes and asparagus. I thought perhaps this was a bit light on asparagus (there was maybe one or two chopped up stalks in the sauce) but the ravioli was silky and delicate and worked really well with the artichoke and ricotta filling.
Graeme's main was pan fried pork medallions. I didn't try too much of this but the pork wasn't overly soft like I was expecting, although the overall flavour was delicious. The sauce worked well with the pork, as did the accompanying vegetables, and the pork had been well seasoned, with pepper dominating nicely.
We both went for the same dessert which is really unusual for us! I would have tried the cheese platter but it had too many creamy cheeses on it for my liking, so we went for the chocolate and orange pudding. This was a nice dessert with segments of orange and chocolate sponge at the base.
Some things we really liked about Barbarossa - for our friends with a child, they asked when we booked if she needed a high chair (I learnt a child of nearly 5 does not need a high chair!); and then they checked whether she would like her main meal with starters or mains, which her parents really appreciated. The service was really good here, the staff were all very friendly and attentive, and when it came to ordering desserts they even told us how many portions of each dessert were left so that we could organise it between ourselves, which was really helpful. Even though I wouldn't say the food amazed me, it was a good solid meal and I would be glad to go back to try the wine bar again soon.