Woodlands in the West End has an odd assortment of businesses, having lived in the area for 8 year I have seen multiple businesses come and go now, particularly at the Charing Cross end of the street. I don’t know what it is because for an area with such high foot traffic, many food businesses seem to fail to connect with the neighbourhood.
The good news is that the newly opened Sylvan at 20 Woodlands Rd is about to change this, and hopefully start a little mini regeneration in this little pocket.
Ever since I saw that Sylvan was a Vegan / Veggie spot I knew instantly that MrG would never go with me, he doesn’t mind veggies as long as they are next to a steak. So it was left to my pal @Roccosquickbites to be my mate date for lunch one day to give it a try.
This deceptively large spot is everything you want from a casual west eat eatery - Huge windows to flood the space with light and give maximum people watching opportunities, plants everywhere, urgh my aching heart….I love a plant or 50! And plenty of tables and loads of space to spread out and enjoy an hour or two eating and chatting with friends.
The staff were chatty and really helpful with explaining the menu concept and answering any questions we had.
Okay here we go! As I said it is a fully veggie / vegan restaurant. The menu, which changes often, is helpfully split into a vegan and veggie section and based on that old Glasgow favourite - small sharing plates.
Anyone who thought that covid would see off this trend is to be sorely disappointed I am afraid, sharing plates remain the fave flavour of the day. I love small sharing plates so I’m not mad about it!
However, I am very particular about who I share my plates with now, whereas in a pre covid world I was free and a little easy with sharing food, not so much anymore. Although I have found that places tend to be aware of this change in attitude and provide you with additional cutlery and spoons to avoid the dreaded double dipping with your own fork and knife…..germaphobe? Me? Don’t know what you are talking about!!!.
Right let's get down to business...what did we actually order? We were advised that 5 plates is about right between 2 people for lunch so we went for:
Flatbread - We originally only ordered one, but when it arrived it wasn’t very big so we ordered another one and had one each. It was insanely good - fluffy, doughy, warm and made in house. At £2.50 it wasn’t very big, but my god it was good.
Broccoli with Black Pepper sauce - Probably my least favourite dish, not that it was bad it was just my least favourite. The sauce was properly tastyAF tho.
Celeriac Schnitzel with Walnut Salad - Lordy I would happily worship at the altar of the chef that cooked this for me. It was easily my favourite dish of the day, and frankly if it is not on the menu next time I visit my head might actually explode. Let me do my best to describe it for you - imagine a lightly coated patty of tender celeriac which has been fried and topped with a ‘salsa?!’ of chopped walnuts and herbs, which came presented on a bed of pureed celeriac. It was an absolute banger of a dish...unless of course you don’t like celeriac then it is a bit of a nightmare.
New Potato Salad with Caesar dressing - this was fantastic and tasted so fresh. The salad was presented in a beautiful big dish and was super creamy and loaded with garlic deliciousness.
Baba Ganoush with walnuts - Great version of this classic dip, you are gonna want to order at least 2 flatbreads to go with this dish.
So all in all a pretty outstanding meal. And if that isn’t enough alone to tempt you in - they have an extensive craft beer menu and a delicious selection of wines to pick from. They also operate as a cheese and wine shops too, selling a small selection of cheese from Mellis to take home.
What’s it gonna cost you?
Dishes are priced from £6-£10. We shared the above dishes plus had a juice each, and my share of the bill including a tip was £24….a perfectly respectable lunch out with a pal price. I thought the flatbread was maybe a TIIIIIINY bit overpriced, but it was fresh, and tasted great - I just would of perhap expected it to be a little bigger because it’s not really big enough to share. But that is honestly a minor gripe. I would definitely order it again without doubt.
This is a brilliant new spot, I loved the chilled relaxed casual vibe and I would happily enjoy a Saturday night here with friends or a Monday morning having a coffee doing a little work with my laptop. This is genuinely a brilliant neighbourhood restaurant...and best of all fits into my new pre lockdown mantra - if I can’t wear trainers I’m not going bby!
20 Woodlands Road, Glasgow