THE owner of Helensburgh's newest restaurant has spoken of his delight after the business received a glowing review from one of Scotland's leading food critics.

Will Smith said Joanna Blythman's Sunday Herald review was a testament to the hard work of all the staff at Sugar Boat in Colquhoun Square.

Ms Blythman described Sugar Boat in Colquhoun Square as “not just a new restaurant for Helensburgh, but also a rather remarkable community asset” in her review – and gave the food a score of 9.5 out of 10.

Describing Sugar Boat, which opened its doors in May, as “a properly professional outfit with a breezy metropolitan confidence that’s clearly based on time-served experience in smart outfits in London”, she said it was “clear that Helensburgh’s rebranding as a place with more to offer than a poke of chips while shivering on a seaside bench, is no overnight sensation”.

Mr Smith told the Advertiser: “Some of the things she said absolutely nailed what we're aiming to be.

“I'm just thrilled for the team to have a review like this just three months in.

“We knew the review was coming out, but we had no idea in advance what she was going to say.

“We also didn't know she was here. She just got the normal service anyone would receive, rather than any sort of schmoozing, which is the best way.”

Mr Smith's Sugar Boat team is led by head chef Scott Smith – no relation – and by the restaurant's general manager, Alastair Begg.

He continued: “The guys in the team have been awesome. They've performed to the level I always want the restaurant to be at.

“I'm so proud of Scott and Alastair and the efforts of everyone in our team.”

The restaurant's Sunday Herald review came hard on the heels of Sugar Boat's inclusion in the 2018 edition of the UK Good Food Guide, as reported by the Advertiser last month.

Mr Smith added: “To be named in the Good Food Guide was absolutely amazing, because Cameron House apart, there's not much else from this area in the Guide.

“It's a great feather in our cap for the future – it won't make a massive overnight difference, but it means people around the country who buy the Guide might seek us out, and seek the area out, in future.

“The Guide is invaluable, especially in countryside areas, across the UK in helping put a restaurant, and an area, on the food map.”

A spokesman for the Helensburgh and Lomond Chamber of Commerce said: “It is always a pleasure to see Helensburgh and Lomond businesses getting recognition for what they do.

“Helensburgh has an ever growing reputation as a destination for foodies and it is fair to say that the district now offers something for everyone and, literally, for every taste.

"This is a trend that we hope to see growing further and it will be part of the Chamber's mission to encourage our local tourist and business development organisations to promote the town as widely as possible."