First date material: The Red Onion, Glasgow

As a foodie, I have loads of restaurants that I love for several purposes: family meals, something posh, hangover food, lunch with my gran, sheer indulgence…this list goes on. But when asked where I’d go for a first date I was genuinely stumped. Where on earth would I go?! I haven’t been on a first date since…well, 10 years ago, and even then I was a teenager in KFC before the cinema. Being single again after that length of time is strange. WHAT DO I DO? WHO AM I?

When an email dropped into my inbox from I was convinced that one of my friends was extracting the urine. As it turns out, wanted my advice on where I’d recommend! So began my process: How do you pick somewhere? How do you choose the food? Do I show my foodie savvy straight away, or play it safer? *has meltdown*

My ideal first date wouldn’t be a sit down meal; I’d prefer something fun like mini golf followed by a few drinks (I’d want to make sure that I’ve met them, had a bit of fun and conversation before I’m stuck with them for 3 courses!) If they pass the fun first date and progress to the real first date I’d go for a meal somewhere that’s classy but relaxed. I whittled my list down and settled on The Red Onion which ticked all the boxes.

So, I grabbed by first date crash test dummy and took them out for a meal. Here is how it went…




Bang bang chicken with spicy peanut dressing and crispy noodles

I’m not sure how I feel about this dish – I did like it, but I felt like something was missing in the flavour department. My date disagreed and absolutely loved it! It was very fresh and mild, so a nice and light starter. The dressing was similar to satay but not as rich, which is maybe where I didn’t quite connect with it.


Crispy goats cheese, marinated beetroot salad and walnut dressing with tomato jam.

I’m a total sucker for goats cheese. This didn’t disappoint – lovely crunchy breadcrumbs, gooey cheese and a gorgeous salad. All the ingredients were really fresh and I absolutely love the tomato jam – it cut through the richness of the cheese! Loved it.

Main Courses



‘Innes and Gunn’ braised scotch beef with Arran mustard mash and pickled onions

This was a hearty, delicious local style meal. Perfect for making you feel comforted, at home and well fed. A generous cut of beef which was so moist and deep flavoured – it just fell apart. The mustard mash, beefy Innes and Gunn gravy and root vegetabled matched it to a tee!


Grilled sea bream fillet with crayfish, tomato and basil risotto ~ orange and fennel salad

I’m not really one for risotto on a general basis, but this tasted so delicious, light and fresh that I could make an exception. The fish was crispy skinned with flaky meat and the risotto was just perfect. A real mixture of delicious flavours!




Vanilla cheesecake, caramelized banana and salted caramel sauce

Yum. I couldn’t finish this because it was so creamy and sweet (in a good way). Lovely creamy cheesecake with the most amazing salted caramel sauce – it was to die for! The caramelised banana was a perfect match.



Affogato – Thorntonhall ice-cream with a shot of espresso

* I wanted an action shot of the pouring. Elegant it was not!

The Red Onion definitely passes the first date test. The restaurant is beautiful – modern, stylish and has nice soft jazz music in the background. It isn’t cosy or romantic in itself, but you could have a romantic meal there.

You can see my recommendation on under their Glasgow & Edinburgh sections.

Happy dating everyone!


The Red Onion

257 West Campbell Street


G2 4TT

(0141) 221 6000



<a href=””><img alt=”Red Onion on Urbanspoon” src=”; style=”border:none;width:104px;height:34px” /></a>

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