Even though I was only away from Glasgow for three weeks this autumn I managed to miss a lot of new eateries opening and Glasgow’s first ever cheese toastie festival.
Gutted about the latter.
So, not only am I behind on sharing things about my trans fat adventures stateside, but I’m behind on what is happening in Glasgow.
The first new place I decided to check out was Chaakoo Bombay Café, which has now been open for about a month.
I pass by this location all the time and was immediately interested when I saw that work had begun on what used to be an Irish Pub. I know it’s not supposed to affect the actual taste of the food… but during the early stages of the restaurant I was very much in love with the green and gold styling and the chosen window font.
If I’m being completely honest the main reason I wanted to try this place was based on that and the fact that it’s a new place in Glasgow. Sorry, I’m a bit of a sucker.
Indian food isn’t my favorite but I do enjoy it. Mostly during cold weather months because the food so rich with cream and spice that it’s very much cozy comfortable eating. So, right now is the perfect season to visit Chaakoo!
The menu is set up ‘tapas’ style and is relatively straight forward, offering a good mix of curries, grilled meats and various sides (Naan, please). Strangely enough some Chinese inspired dishes too, with a bit of an Indian twist.
Although maybe it’s not so strange: The menu states that 1950s Irani cafés are the main influence and often had a ‘melting pot’ menu pulling from different Asian cuisines.
Our server recommended 2-3 dishes between us, plus a side. This is what we ordered for lunch:
Smoked Chicken Tikka
All our food arrived at pretty much the same time: a plus for me as I like spooning bits of everything on my plate then tucking in. (Apologies for the grainy photos)
My favourites were definitely the Kerla Monkfish and the grilled cauliflower. Monkfish is my favourite fish because of it’s meaty taste and delicate texture. I think it goes really well with curry spices. Chaakoo didn’t disappoint, the little bowl was well balanced and the monkfish was cooked perfectly. I could cut it with my fork.
The grilled cauliflower was a nice surprise.The yogurt marinade added a great texture to the cauliflower that still left it feeling a bit creamy on the palate despite all the charcoal. But the charcoal bits are the best. It was served with some thinly cut vegetables and a lovely green mint sauce that was super cooling and refreshing. Our smoked chicken was also served with the same sauce. I nearly finished both servings of the stuff.
Both the smoked chicken and the chicken pakora (Masahari) were fine- not mind blowing, but good. To be fair, they are rather standard choices – so in the future I would likely skip these and get something a little different.
The Daal was also a good shout if you like a bit of ginger. Smoothly cooked lentils- very homely and delicious.
And for the sides… I love carbs. So bread and rice- why not. The rice did have a little lemon zing and a bright yellow colour. The peshwiri naan might not be the biggest naan in town, it’s more on the elegant side.
Perfectly formed, round and quite thin- felt a bit more like a chapati. Not a lot of filling, but a good amount of sweetness and not overbearing. I felt it mixed well with what we ordered and to be honest, I’d be tempted to order one each next time.
It would be nice to see some spicer choices on the menu, but maybe that’s a work in progress.
They also have a breakfast menu from 9am (10:30am on Sundays) offering the classics with an Asian flair. I’m definitely intrigued by the breakfast naan rolls and suspect Mr. Snacks might have already popped in for a try without me.
The service was great- quite attentive from not just our server but other staff floating around and I absolutely love the interior. The colours, the old train signage, the staff uniforms – Everything about it is very stylish and quite beautiful.
I’ll definitely be heading back for a little cocktail or two… there’s a full bar and a nice list of around 15 or so cocktail choices. Tiny elegant glasses spotted.
Chaakoo Bombay Café
79 St Vincent St