MAD LAB is the latest restaurant residency at the SWG3 multi-arts venue in Finnieston.
After only a few weeks, the place is already turning heads and plating up the goods.
Hosted at the venue’s Acid Bar until September, MAD LAB is a dining concept created by renowned 3 AA Rosette-awarded Cail Bruich.
It draws on the ethos of the West End restaurant by using the finest seasonal produce from Scotland.
The space itself embraces its modern gallery aesthetic; the contrast between the dark and light; bright and innovative.
I’ve always seen the Acid Bar as a hidden gem, a unique place to eat out; like you’ve just stumbled upon Glasgow’s best kept secret.
The team have created a very impressive wine list which offers plenty of diversity from around the world.
To start the evening off with a bang, we indulge in a dirty martini and a mezcal margarita.
Wonderfully bitter, salted with smoky flavours. Perfect, when paired with toasted sugared and salted peanuts.
A dish we both jump to first is the Raw beef, charcoal oil, caper, frozen horseradish (£7.50). The quality of the beef speaks for itself in all honesty.
The pecorino adds a richer taste – a bit saltier and tangy – which lifts the supple soft tasting beef.
The caramelised croutons create that depth of texture which makes the dish crunchy and sweet. The capers work in bringing out that punchy flavour that ties it all together.
Wye valley asparagus, wild garlic pesto, whipped hollandaise (£6) is next on the menu.
A lovely bold looking dish with the vivid greens contrasting against the dark colour of the plate.
The mini burger is filled with delicious crispy duck and foie gras which is rich and buttery.
The soft pickled cucumber balances it out nicely and gives a perfect contrast in texture
The asparagus is subtly charred and the wild garlic pesto has a rich grassy flavour to it which marries well together with the citrusy hollandaise that has a great kick.
To follow, we order the Confit duck bun, foie gras, sour cherry, miso caramel (£8).
The mini burger is filled with delicious crispy duck and foie gras which is rich and buttery. The soft pickled cucumber balances it out nicely and gives a perfect contrast in texture.
The magic ingredient of sour cherry – tart with slight sweetness – is unexpectedly brilliant with the rest of the filling and completely brings everything together.
Next is monkfish satay, toasted peanut, with coriander (£10.50).
The monkfish is deliciously tender and the satay is not heavy and yet packed with some serious flavour – coconut, lemongrass, ginger, subtle hints of turmeric.
The crispy shallots elevate the dish and the soft warm homemade flatbread is perfect for soaking up all the vibrant sauce.
Each plate of food incorporates a simple concept yet elevates it to a more contemporary and accomplished dish.
The intriguing thing is how MAD LAB will evolve in the next few weeks, and what fresh food they will bring to the table.
I’ll definitely be back for more, with mescal margarita in hand.