Musa goes Gaga for Guga – First UK restaurant to serve Gannet

By | Oct 18, 2010

Musa Restaurant in Aberdeen is offering ‘guga’ to its diners. This controversial bird dish made from young Gannet is on the Musa menu this week. Musa becomes  the first UK restaurant to serve this seabird delicacy in the UK.

Around 2000 baby gannets, known as gugas, are culled annually on Sula Sgeir, an uninhabited island 40 miles from the Isle of Lewis. Most UK seabirds are protected under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act, but guga hunters have a special licence from the Scottish Government. Musa in Aberdeen has secured a limited supply of the bird and intends to serve it to diners on request on 19th and 20th of October

Musa is described as a quirky little restaurant – a gastro gallery where food, music and art form an attractive and vibrant mix. A recent menu featured Scottish buffalo, haggis and apricot spring rolls as well as their innovative blue cheese ice cream. So I guess a side order of guga isn’t going to raise an eyebrow here!

Musa restaurant manager Jimmy Elliot is quoted as saying: “This is exciting for us. Musa has always tried to offer the exotic and the unusual, so to get our hands on some gannet was fantastic and our chefs are looking forward to seeing what they can make with it. Gordon Ramsay’s moment in the F Word when he tried gannet is still spoken about until this day. Even as Gordon discovered, it’s lovely but hard to get as it is only meant to be killed and eaten on the island. But not everyone can get to Lewis to try it so we’re delighted we’ve been able to legally source some and offer it to our customers. And if it proves popular we’ll do our best to get more in.”

The concept of eating Gannet hit the headlines in 2005 when celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay traveled to the Isle of Lewis for his F Word show.

Ed: We have reservations about culling and eating seabirds especially when there is so much excellent Scottish produce that deserves to reach a wider audience.

9 Comments so far
  1. George Oxendale October 20, 2010 6:18 pm

    Totally unacceptable – completely disgraceful – utterly insensitive – killing and eating young Gannets. Do you realise that people like me have been drawn to Scotland to witness the largest Gannetry of Sula bassana on the planet? And you’re serving them up for free like a slice of toast and butter!

  2. Eat a Gannet in Aberdeen « foodarena November 3, 2010 1:40 pm

    [...] Musa Restaurant in Aberdeen is offering ‘guga’ to its diners. This controversial bird dish made from young Gannet is on the Musa menu this week. Musa becomes  the first UK restaurant to serve this seabird delicacy in the UK. ……..read more [...]

  3. Sue Roberts November 7, 2010 9:17 am

    If there is a law to allow the culling of the gannets then we can’t judge those who choose to eat them. The same can be said of shooting pheasants, quails, ducks or other birds for the dinner table.I visited England and found it distasteful seeing beautiful birds hanging dead outside a shop, but I understand it was part of the culture. I visited China and found it distasteful seeing the skin off pigs heads hanging in the markets. I breed alpacas for fleece and find it distasteful that people eat them, but I will not criticise others for their choice of food. It is up to each person to choose whether or not they ‘partake’ of unusual foods.It would be better to change the law than to criticise someone who has accessed the seabirds legally.

  4. Colin Stewart January 20, 2011 10:06 pm

    The people of Lewis have been eating Guga since the beginning of time, the cost of living in the islands is extortionate if there was a supermarket round the corner that sold reasonably priced food the people would buy it. The people of Harris and Lewis live of the land and they eat everything according to the season. I can see the argument that if the people of the islands are wealthy there would be an objection. Do any of the three people who have commented live in a remote place on the islands, I don’t think so.

  5. Jimmy Elliot July 23, 2011 9:21 pm

    Well,

    I found guga to be an unusual and exotic dish and the reponse on the whole from the public was positive. As colin has quite rightly said guga has been a huge part of scotland’s history and for the majority of people on the mainland something they will never get to try….I have given the opportunity.

    I have since moved on from Musa and run another restaurant in Aberdeen where I can continue to serve traditional Scottish food – some unusal some not….but all good!

    If anyone wishes to give me the opportunity to go on the hunt next year for Giga I would be there with bells on.

  6. Dr John B Hunt FRGS. August 31, 2012 3:21 pm

    wel done.. having enjoyed for many years the faeorose delicacy of puffin I am intrigued myself to try a traditional Bitish sea bird and being disabled can no longer travel to the Isles so if I can ever-reach Aberdeen from France you will be where I am heading humans hav eaten these birds from the earliest of Mesolithic times and whilst it is harvested sustainably and the stocks and environment well valued and appreciated this non-crurel way of finding sustainable food source should be cherished. As a professional environmental scientist I deplore the over-reaction of the ill-informed public to such an age-pld practice as this & the awareness raising that your menu initiative offers may well have long term conservation benefits

  7. J. M. Gillies April 27, 2013 10:26 pm

    As a Lewisman away from home, I have just enjoyed my annual treat of guga, which has been in my freezer since last October awaiting the right moment: my wife is away with friends, and there is no need to divide the small supply.
    I am truly puzzled by those who affect disgust, because the taste and texture are very close to those of confit de canard, which few people have been known to mock. I confess I am no traditionalist – I have not yet tried guga with green lentils and saucisses de Toulouse, but it is in my plans. But tonight I accompanied my guga with a nice bottle of Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2000, twelve years older than the fledgling. They were made for each other, and made me a very happy witness.
    As somebody once remarked, the taste of guga is proof that God loves us.

  8. Derek Cumming November 8, 2015 2:29 pm

    I saw The Guga hunters of Ness and have been willing to try Guga , in fact there is a few of my mates that would like to try this but I don’t know where to buy this , I would be grateful if anyone could tell me where and when I could get this please .

  9. jimmyroman July 28, 2016 6:27 am

    I wood love to try gamit..its ok to eat chicken but not gamit, ridiculous. …let me know how to order a BIR . Or two and i wood be so gratefull….

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