Restaurant review

Absolute Roasters, Glasgow, restaurant review

Recently my boyfriend was asked to come up with a fantasy football name that sums up where he lives. He chose the avocado on toast, which says a lot not only about Glasgow, but also about the millennial age group we find ourselves in (despite being geriatrics).

Our loved ones have been told their avocado-filled brunch drinking habits are the reason they can’t afford a property, which clearly explains why we’re not currently living in a dream, five beds detached Victorian house.

Anyway policy on spending aside, Glasgow is full of cafes and cafes to spend a weekend in and the West End is no wait.

One of the newest sandwiched between Patrick and Hyndland is Absolute Roasters, earning arguably the best name in the neighborhood.

It was started by Sean Williams and Megan McFarlane and was originally a Piaggo coffee van located on an industrial estate in Firhill.

Living in Finnieston, a local place made sense, and Megan’s dad had the van, which sat in a field in Inverness. Two weeks after their initial installation, Covid arrived.

Not to be discouraged, they settled for a few months on the canal, where people were walking, and won a following. Then, despite the uncertainty, Absolute Roasters opened a pop-up on Hyndland Road, next to Old Park Station, in the former newsagent Tabac which now houses Nostrana pizzeria.

“We didn’t expect to be this busy, but during lockdown coffee became an excuse to leave the house, it grew from there,” Megan said. Stints at Dockyard Social street food bolstered their clientele and, after having to leave Hyndland, they found another pop-up opportunity on Dumbarton Road.

In 2021 they finally found a permanent home for Absolute Roasters, at 70 Hyndland Street – the former location of Deli Zique and the unfortunately short-lived Gather de Zique.

Absolute Roasters is a brunch spot you need to get to early, especially on Saturdays, as their small number of tables fills up quickly.

The weekend brunch The menu is compact, with independent produce spicing up classic dishes — like Anna’s Happy Trotters Bacon.

Drinks, if you fancy a boozy brunch (within reason) there’s beer from Up Front Brewing and cocktails that include espresso martinis.

Complete with dog (Absolute Roaster is family friendly and dog friendly), we arrived early on a Sunday morning in November ready to try some of the new dishes.

After a refreshing orange juice and a strong but smooth flat white (it must be said that Megan and Sean set up shop “just” to sell coffee and it’s a very good coffee here – worth going for the caffeine shot alone), before deciding on the eggs benedict (£12) and Greek toast (£11) with one side of patatas bravas (£5).

My Greek toast consisted of seasonal Mediterranean vegetables topped with a fried egg on sourdough toast served with sun-kissed walnut pesto and feta cheese.

The dish was drizzled with micro salad and jewel-like pomegranate seeds. The crusty bread (the staff thankfully brings a serrated knife, which makes battling the sourdough a lot easier) is topped with eggplant and peppercorns, so mild they’re blended into a rich, earthy, slightly grassy tasting pate.

The tomato and nut pesto underneath brings a salty taste and a slight crunch while the egg has a crispy halo but a pleasantly runny yolk. The small pieces of feta add spice while the pomegranate seeds provide a touch of sweetness. All in all, it’s a balanced and tasty way to start your day.

Above the table, Eggs Benedict (which contains the much-vaunted avocado), had thick, crispy bacon, alongside creamy, fresh smashed avocado.

While lightly poached and runny eggs were taken in by a very crispy homemade potato rosti in place of the traditional toast. Completing this dish was a zesty lemony hollandaise sauce, which provided the required richness but also a bit of bite.

Finally, the non-small portion of fried potatoes, sprinkled with paprika and served with a creamy and (surprisingly) vegan aioli was more indulgent but could have been crispier.

Despite the delicious pastries, which include croissants, pastel de nata and cookies, we were far too full to indulge in anything sweet.

A testament to their enduring commitment to branching out, Megan and Sean are open for evening cocktails and also hand over the cafe to a host for a Friday night pub quiz.

They also recently collaborated with Beim for a pizza and cocktail party that was a sold-out success.

It’s great to see such a young company not only forging ahead, but thriving in a time when hospitality has faced challenge after challenge. And for that, I’m glad we millennials still enjoy avocado on toast at independent local brunches like this.

70-72 Hyndland Street, Partick, Glasgow G11 5PT

0141 737 6989