The phrase “hidden gem” gets thrown around a lot these days, but it’s honestly the best way to describe Jacqueline O’Donnell’s original Jordanhill restaurant – The Sisters. You may have heard of Jacqueline and The Sisters. You may be more familiar with her Kelvingrove location or her appearances on the Great British Menu. The Sisters Jordanhill, however, is where the story began and it is definitely worth finding.
Originally I had decided against going out for a birthday meal, but with a bit of persuasion from my husband we decided to finally try here. It’s honestly been on my “to try” list for years. Traditional, hearty Scottish dishes make up the small yet diverse menu, with locally sourced, top quality ingredients being showcased in every dish. Perfect.
When we arrived at The Sisters the restaurant was empty. Not another soul in the place other than the receptionist and waitress. Being completely honest, it made me a little apprehensive as I couldn’t work out whether this was because the location is off the beaten track or whether it was more to do with the food/service. The latter worry was quickly dismissed once our food started to arrive and I really embraced the unique experience of having a restaurant all to ourselves.
We were greeted warmly and led to a table under a sky light. Even though it was a pretty miserable day it felt bright inside the restaurant. One side of the restaurant has an angled wall with sky lights all along, allowing plenty of light to spread through the room. This accentuates the gorgeous cream and beige features of the space; the stone reception area, the beautiful earthy canvas paintings, the wooden frame running around the room. Each table had a little glass with a bright flower and thistles and a cute little lamp, adding even more of a homely feel.
I’d already had a look at the menu online (who doesn’t do this these days?) and was pretty sure of what I wanted when I arrived. After a quick glance to confirm my choices I went for the smoked haddock risotto bon bons to start and duck leg confit with dauphinoise potato, black pudding and plum sauce for my main. We opted to wait until after our first courses to decide on dessert, because there’s some part of me that feels it seems really greedy to have picked your dessert before you’ve ate a bite. Weird, eh?
Unsurprisingly, our food came really quickly. The smoked haddock risotto were perfectly golden, delicately presented on a lemon and chive mayonnaise. The light, crispy breadcrumb coating encase a beautiful combination of rich, creamy risotto and tiny, soft, smokey pieces of haddock. The accompanying mayonnaise cut through the bold flavours with a citrus freshness, balancing the dish beautifully. I could have ate about twenty of these little beauties without hesitation. Such a gorgeous little dish that really packed a punch.
My main course was an absolute belter too. Confit duck leg with dauphinoise potatoes, plum sauce & Stornoway black pudding. In other words, flavour, with a side of flavour, topped with flavour! Nothing in this dish was overpowered by the other elements either. Everything staked it’s claim to be part of the dish. The duck leg was beautifully cooked and came clean off the bone. The portion was so generous I gave a good quarter of it to hubby because I couldn’t manage it all. The dauphinoise potatoes were creamy, with a mellow garlic flavour standing out most. The Stornoway black pudding (one of my favourite foods on the planet) was exceptional and the rich plum sauce that topped the dish was sweet and sharp, bringing a surprisingly beautiful element to a dish already hitting hard with flavour. Everything was topped with crispy fried spring onion too, adding a little crunch to the dish. One of the most unique, awesome mains I’ve had anywhere in Glasgow.
We were asked if we wanted a little break between our main and dessert, to which hubby objected! He wanted to try the clootie dumpling way too much to wait any longer. After the sweet plum sauce in my main, and not being very much of a sweet tooth, I decided on the trio of cheeses for afters. Upon asking which cheeses were included, the waitress told me there was a Brie, Cheddar and a blue cheese but if I wasn’t happy with one of the cheeses they’d be happy to exchange it for another, which was lovely. However, I’m of the opinion that all cheese is good cheese so we were good to go.
The oatcakes were made in house and were brittle, crumbly little things. The three cheeses on the board were all strong enough to make an impression, but were all wonderfully different too. I polished off every single bit of the sharp cheddar and the beautiful accompanying chutney, but it was just too large a board to finish.
We were given some time after our meal before being presented our bill and were given a friendly goodbye. Our experience at The Sisters was truly unique. Beautiful modern Scottish food in a gorgeous setting, with the special addition of having the entire place to ourselves. The staff were wonderful too, finding a prefect balance of attentitiveness. Definitely a birthday meal I’ll remember for a long time.