Catering for Rocking People: John Quigley's Red Onion

Quigley's Red Onion is a warm and cosy restaurant, which strikes a balance between being a hard-nosed professional food hang out and a friendly, down to earth hub.

Feature by Fraser Cardow | 14 Aug 2006

Johnny Lee Miller, The Kaiser Chiefs, Odetta, Jude Law, Jon Bon Jovi and The Skinny have all visited Red Onion, the Glasgow restaurant bringing class to the masses.

It is rare that an eatery survives long enough, maintaining a busy client base, to become a regular fixture like this has. Opened just two years ago by sometime celebrity chef John Quigley and his wife, the restaurant has become a success over a very short space of time.

Often it seems that, after the busy first flush of opening, the crowd moves on to the next new venue, but on this little corner of Bath Street and West Campbell Street, the crowd seems to have stayed.

Quigley's Red Onion is a warm and cosy restaurant which strikes the balance between a hard-nosed professional food hang out and a friendly, down to earth hub. It's well laid out, with tables clustered in distinctive and separate areas and sports a mezzanine terrace up at the back, so the overall impression is of a busy, interesting and bustling room. A traditional maƮtre d' system adds a touch of class to the place, a pleasant return to traditional form in contrast to some of the cold, modern restaurants of late.

In keeping with the bistro-like atmosphere, the menu is an all-day affair. Full of influences from cooking around the world, Red Onion offers a hotchpotch of styles including Scottish, Italian, Thai, French, Japanese and North American.

We opted for the grilled asparagus with soft fried egg and toasted goat cheese, and the avocado and walnut salad for starters. These are both strikingly simple, yet easy to foul up, so I was very happy to bite into perfectly cooked asparagus and enjoy a walnut salad which was deliciously in tune with its slab of goat cheese.

Of all of the classics and favourites to choose from on the mains section, we went for a lamb navarin with button mushrooms, green beans and new potatoes and finnan haddie, mash, poached egg and mornay sauce. The lamb's subtle spices and crisp vegetables were at once wholehearted and light while the haddock was tantalisingly delicate and comforting.

With a strong and unpretentious menu that also features filled rolls and organic burgers for a young and hungry generation on the move, Quigley's Red Onion is a fine place for socialising with friends over some delicious and perfectly prepared food.