Review: The Sparkle Horse, Dowanhill Street
The Sparkle Horse opened its doors about 9 months ago, replacing The Dowanhill which stood there before it. Now angling itself much more towards the trendy West End market, we went along to sample the food, drink and atmosphere of this new Partick staple.
The interior of the bar has been left relatively unchanged from its predecessor, simply given a freshening up with a lick of black paint on the walls and a bit of reupholstering. The bar has a nice charm to it, feeling like a traditional pub, but with a modern twist. A few paintings of horses dress the walls and the space above the bar.
Speaking of the bar, this place has a very solid beer selection. I’m a huge fan of West’s beers and I love to see them around the city. The Sparkle Horse had a couple of them on tap (St Mungo’s and Hefeweizen) which was great, as well as Krusovice and a few more generic lagers. The fridges were well stocked, too, with a great variety of bottles as well as wine and soft drinks.
After a few beers, it was time to delve into the menu. It’s not extensive, with just 5 or 6 options and it’s fairly pricey for what can only be described as “pub grub”, coming in at around a tenner a main. I opted for their Cheeseburger, and my friend the Steak & Ale pie. One word and one word alone can describe the food – average. It was neither here nor there, tasty nor bland, it was just ok. The burger came in a decent bun, but was a bit overcooked, and light on flavour. The chips were bog standard, the cheese was simply there. The Steak and Ale Pie really looked the part, but again missed the mark on flavour. Something as classic as slow cooked steak in gravy should really be a rich satisfying experience, this didn’t meet the mark. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the food whatsoever, it was just nothing to write home about, and for 10 quid I’d expect more.
So there you have it – Sparkle Horse is a great pub and somewhere I would definitely go for a quiet, comfortable, quality drink. Just don’t bother with the food.