Sunday 13 April 2008

Fifi and Ally.

Has carved out as niche as a place for ladies who lunch.

Their first cafe is ideally located on the top floor of Princes Square, the swankiest shopping venue that Glasgow has. The interior design has that sexy vibe, y'know black gothic mirrors, chandeliers and flock wallpaper, and the menu has items on it such as large salads and boards for sharing (ie a menu to suit whatever diet fad you happen to be doing that particular week).

All in all, it was a pretty good place to have a light boozy lunch in the middle of a shopping spree. It used to be a favourite of K and I, we would stop in there for a spot of lunch after some hard shopping, as would, it seemed, the rest of the well-heeled ladies of Princes Square.

Unfortunately, on realising their popularity the owners decided to cash in on it and,instead of improving their customer service, they decided to increase their seating capacity with disastrous results. There already was a ridiculous queue to get seated and once seated the service was a bit haphazard depending on whether the staff had been out the night before. Now despite the ridiculous wait, it was taking up to an hour for people to be served their salads. To add insult to injury they also jacked up their prices, in part I assume, to fund their new venture on Wellington St (an odd choice as it has very little in the way of passing traffic but they must know what they are doing). This is unfortunate as before, after a couple of glasses of wine,you felt what you were paying was reasonable, now it's just slightly taking the piss. 7 quid for a sandwich, 14 for a platter..

So K decided he was never going back, quite right too, I suppose.

Having said all that, we (myself, Rachel and Choiti) ventured there today for some lunch as it despite all it's faults there is no where else in Glasgow that provides a relaxed setting with a menu that appeals to a bunch of tired, shopped out women.

I kinda cocked up though. I thought I was being clever and in order to avoid the ridiculous wait I booked us a booth in the Wellington St branch thinking that the menu is the same, its not. Rachel was distraught to find that her favourite dish of wild mushroom sauteed in cream and garlic served on rye bread was not on the menu.
My mistake.
She recovered with good grace and we had the following:

Rachel and Choiti shared a Crayfish Tails with Sour Cream Mayo on Wholemeal £7.25

We all shared an Rustic Italian Platter with Roasted Peppers, Mixed Olives,Lemon-oiled Artichokes, Pesto Genovese and Truffle Salami with Foccacia £13.95

and a Chicken Cesar salad £7.95.
To drink we shared a bottle of Kiwi Sauvingnon Blanc £12.95

and perhaps my favourite part of the lunch, and the main reason I go to Fifi and Ally:
Meringue Mountain with Soft Fruits and Cream £5.95.

Even here you can see where they cut corners. You used to get a generous helping of fresh berries: blueberries, raspberries, redcurrants etc now you get a berry compote which could have been made from frozen berries. Before there was a decadent pot of clotted crusty cream which was heavenly now, although still good cream you just get fresh whipped cream.

As you can see it didn't stop us from demolishing them, but I can't help thinking that they have bitten off more than they can chew..

K would say 'I told you so.."

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