Food Review: Section 33 at Britannia Panopticon, Glasgow

giant salted caramel profiterole section 33 pop up

section 33 pop up guerilla dining glasgow

Pop up dining with Section 33 and Britannia Panopticon

We visited the inaugural section-33 guerrilla pop-up last year at Govanhill baths and it was disappointing not to mention freezing!  However, this was the first event they had held, and contrary to Mrs Foodies resting bitch face at times, she likes to think the best of folk and give them a chance.  This time around the venue was the astounding Britannia Panopticon.

The Britannia Panopticon Music Hall is the oldest surviving music hall in the UK.  Built in 1857, it has the honour of being the place where,  in 1906,  Stan Laurel made his first stage appearance.   After closing in 1938, the hall has been many things and is currently being conserved by a Trust – please give them your support at their shop, by becoming a friend or just donating.  More information can be found on their website here.

For an entrance fee of £5, we entered this historic A listed building.  This is the best place for a pop up.  History, a stage, and although freezing due to the work going on, a cosy atmosphere.

We checked out the menu:-


We have been on a red wine kick lately so chose the Nyala Cabernet Sauvignon (£5), which was a bit rough making the Tisia Malbec (£6) a better choice. (ha ha Mr Foodie!)

chilli and soy caramel chicken wings section 33 glasgow pop up

chilli and soy caramel chicken wings.

The chill and soy chicken wings fell apart so easily, and with their sticky, caramelised covering were delicious.  Just not chilli enough for us but definitely the getting the gloopy covering.  Perhaps the weakest item on the menu, possibly as it wasn’t “unusual”.  That’s just us food snobs !

mussel popcorn with a black garlic mayo section 33 glasgow pop up

mussel popcorn with a black garlic mayo. Section 33.

Mussel popcorn, now there’s something you don’t get very often.  In fact, we’ve only had it in Edinburgh before at Safari Lounge.  A crispy coating, very like buttermilk chicken coating not a tempura style made these mussels fresh and not an oily blob.  The garlic dip could’ve been more garlicky – but again that’s our preference (we would give Dracula a good run). These were a favourite and will have to try at home.

seared hand dived scallop caramelised duck, peanut and pineapple. Section 33 pop up

seared hand dived scallop caramelised duck, peanut and pineapple. Section 33.

Loved the Asian flavours in this dish and the presentation with it being served in half a coconut shell.  The textures of duck and scallop were interesting and something I hadn’t thought of before.  Thumbs up.

wild venison hotpot beetroot slaw section 33 pop up

wild venison hotpot beetroot slaw. section 33.

Served in a quirky (or hipster!) mason jar so a lot better than a paper plate.  Inside lots of chunks of meat, pickled onions, turnip
The biggest portion of the lot and a good winter warmer.

pork cheek, pear mustardo, brussel sprout and glazed carrot. Section 33 pop up
pork cheek, pear mustardo, brussel sprout and glazed carrot. Section 33.

A sweet and fruity dish with slivers of sprout and carrot.  The pork cheek was perfectly cooked, and broke apart easily.

butermilk fried pheasant and bbq beans section 33 pop upbuttermilk fried pheasant and bbq beans. section 33.

WOW, Pheasant is one of those “what the heck do I do” reverential meats. It’s too dear to waste and so end up scared trying something different. Try this.  We are going to try and make this at home as it was delicious.  Not too gamey but a mark above in taste compared to buttermilk chicken (and that is good).   The beans weren’t very BBQ, however, the pheasant…

pumpkin cheesecake maple and pecans section 33 pop up glasgow
pumpkin cheesecake maple and pecans. section 33.

We usually avoid pumpkin in desserts as we find it pretty tasteless. However, Mr Foodie loves cheesecake so was swayed.  Thick, smooth cheesecake mixture topped with tart dehydrated raspberry pieces, oats and a couple of pecans with a sweet (pumpkin?) sauce on the base.
Sadly no (buttery biscuit) base. Mr Foodie, gutted at this as he does love a buttery biscuit base.

Next up was a GIANT Salted caramel profiterole.

giant salted caramel profiterole section 33 pop up giant salted caramel profiterole. section 33.

Served in a half coconut shell this creamy profiterole was slathered in caramel with a pinch of salt on top to give it that salty, caramel goodness.  Could easily have eaten another …two!

Overall, the venue was cold but it had a heart with real music in the background, chatter and quick, friendly service.  Lessons have been learned and everyone seemed a lot more chilled.   The food had a few twists to keep things fresh and we’ll be looking out for the next one.

+ cool underused venue in central Glasgow
+ tasty food with a few twists
+ good service

– expensive as £5 ticket fee was required in addition to purchase of food (but a proportion of profits goes to panopticon restoration fund)


us foodie explorers



I am Emma and with my husband Mark write Foodie Explorers which is a food and travel website.

I am a member of the Guild of Food Writers and British Guild of Travel Writers.

We have a wide range of judging experience covering products, hotels and have judged, for example, for Great Taste Awards and Scottish Baker of the Year.

Along the way Mark gained WSET Level 2 in Wine and I have WSET Level 2 in Spirits as well as picking up an award with The Scotsman Food and Drink Awards.    

Usually I can be found sleeping beside a cat.

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