If you’re looking for an authentic Neopolitan restaurant in Glasgow providing a touch of the Mediterranean, then Dimora should be your next stop.
Located on the south side of the city in the upmarket suburb of Newton Mearns, the restaurant is on a bus route, however, it’s much easier to reach by car or taxi.
There’s only a very limited number of parking spaces available, although on-street parking can be found directly outside. But be prepared for a short walk if you can’t find local parking nearby.
The restaurant sits at a higher level from the street on a slight incline and therefore may make access more difficult for disabled or elderly diners.
Based in a former residential dwelling on Ayr road, many of which have now been converted to business use, might well explain the lack of private parking.
The restaurant has two dining rooms, the main open plan one and a further smaller, more intimate and private option located within the conservatory overlooking the beer garden. Our visit was in January 2020 and given this is Scotland, there was nobody sitting outside. Quite likely because of the 50 mile-per-hour storm and the -2c temperature!
We were met on arrival by the manager/owner, who escorted us to our table in the conservatory. This had been decorated in a clean palette of whites and ecru and differed substantially from the main dining room, which predominantly features dark woods and richer earthy tones.
We were dining on the seven-course menu designed to offer a taste of Italy and the Mediterranean, while at the same time showcasing some of the house specialities.
It was nice to see that we were given the option to advise of any allergies or dislikes before service took place. A further extra touch that was appreciated was the glass of Prosecco brought to the table along with drinks and wine menu. A pleasant way to kickstart the evening
So, up first was the aubergine parmigiana in tomato sauce with a hint of chocolate, served with home-made focaccia bread.
Dish two was an Italian antipasti selection containing salami, Parma ham, mozzarella, pickled vegetables and onions, mixed olives with a rocket dressing.
Dish three was a cod ravioli with spinach pesto and for two of my dining companions who are not keen on seafood, deep-fried pizza with tomato and Parma ham was provided.
Dish four arrived as a fish stew or bouillabaisse containing king prawns, mussels, squid, and cod in a traditional tomato and garlic base with crusty garlic bread. Again for my two dining companions, they were given a chicken roulade with sunblush tomatoes.
Dish five was a home-made tagliatelle with a slow-cooked beef ragu with peas served with fresh Parmesan.
Dish six started the dessert offerings of an open cannoli, chocolate brownie and an original Italian cake.
Dish seven, the final course of the meal was a raspberry sorbet.
This assortment of dishes contained a good selection of flavour combinations, textures, proteins and carbs. Overall it was a very balanced degustation menu allowing the chef to display his skills across-the-board in both cooking and presentation.
All the dishes were piping hot on arrival at the table, and, a nice touch was the description provided by our servers for each dish that was brought out.
The aubergine dish was perfectly cooked – neither too firm nor overcooked which can happen all too easily if not dried out using salt before cooking to draw out the moisture. And it was a good portion. The piquant tomato sauce was home-made, as one would expect from a restaurant of this quality. The sauce was thick enough to coat the aubergine well and with just enough of a kick without being too hot. The Parmesan cheese coated the top of the dish and had melted to a soft, thick, gooey, salty crust. Although the dish contained a hint of chocolate, it was difficult to find it amongst the myriad of other flavours going on. The home-made focaccia, perfect for soaking up the remaining sauce was well received at the table.
The antipasti platter was really quite special – a great mix of meats, cheese, veg and pickles. The salami, although unnamed had a nice peppery kick with a lovely soft garlic overtone and a good meaty taste overall. Too often cheap salami can be very fatty and this leaves a greasy taste on the tongue, not so with this variety. The Parma ham was paper-thin, deliciously earthy with just the right amount of fat to balance out the richness of the meat. The mozzarella was a large ball of creamy goodness. When married with the Parma ham, this was a delightful mouthful. And, by adding the pickled veg into the mix, we had a plateful of goodies that I’d happily have eaten all night long.
The cod ravioli was a great marriage between fish and pasta dressed in a pesto sauce as it was. The fish was cooked well and encased in a heart-shaped, squid-ink-infused pasta parcel that was soft on the inside with a lightly crisped shell. The pesto sauce added another level of flavour to what was already a first-class dish but didn’t overpower it. It’s dishes like this that really do show off the chef’s skills. As for the raspberry, well, we shall leave that there. It was easy on the eye though…
The deep-fried pizza with tomato and Parma ham was a small parcel of thin pizza dough rolled into a bite-sized calzone shape filled with a tomato and Parma ham mix. My two dining companions who don’t like fish certainly devoured this one.
Dish four was, from my point of view, the best dish of the evening. A fish stew or bouillabaisse, call it what you will. A huge bowl of seafood goodies arrived at the table for both myself and my son. Jam-packed with mussels, king prawns, squid, and cod fillets all enrobed in a lush tomato and onion/garlic “soup” and to ensure complete satisfaction, was served with slices of crusty garlic bread on the side which was used to soak up the remaining liquid. Yes, it looks a little messy in the picture, but do remember that was after it had been portioned onto separate plates. When food tastes as good as this did, I couldn’t care less what it looks like on the plate!
The girls, who, as mentioned earlier don’t like seafood, were given a chicken roulade with sunblush tomato. This, it has to be said wasn’t the best dish. The chicken was slightly on the dry side while the tomato filling was on the wrong side of spicy. Perhaps just a bit heavy on the pepper in the seasoning, or could it have been pureed peppers/chilli? And as for the forest of greenery, well sometimes less is actually more!
Dish five was yet again another winner. Home-made tagliatelle served with a slow-cooked beef ragu and peas with freshly grated parmesan. The pasta had just the right amount of bite left in it – neither too chewy or too slimy and soft with the latter being something that can happen if overcooked. This wasn’t. The beef was so tender it literally melted in the mouth, to steal a well-used phrase. To be honest it didn’t need the peas which added nothing except a colour change and it may well be that was their intended purpose. I could easily have had more of this.
Dishes six and seven were the sweets/desserts. Now it’s fair to say I’m more of a starter or mains sort of guy, but with the right dessert, I can be tempted. And anything with rhubarb or raspberry in its ingredients and I’m sold!
Dish six was a selection of Italian traditional desserts including an open cannoli, a chocolate brownie, and a traditional style Italian fruit cake – a bit like a mix of fruit cheesecake or baked custard pastry. Of these, however, the cannoli was certainly my preferred choice. Crispy light pastry, sweet smooth vanilla creme filling dotted with chocolate shards, mmmm very tasty. Serving it on a slate did it no favours whatsoever.
However, dish seven the raspberry sorbet was an absolute killer finale to a quality meal. Sharp yet sweet, cold and smooth with no ice crystals, it was truly an achievement in sorbets.
So, in conclusion, if you’re ever in the Glasgow area looking for a good quality Italian meal with a traditional touch you could do a lot worse than trying Dimora on the south side of the city. It gets a good 8/10 from me.
For further information, menus or to book, visit the restaurant’s website here.