For the past several months I’ve been eyeing up the the “coming soon” sign of ‘Babs – a place boldly claiming their “kebabs are done right”. The lure of charcoal-fired meat and soft, pillowy bread was too great; I was salivating every time I walked past.
And with it opening just a day ago (June 15th) I could finally pay the place a visit.
It’s brought to you by the team of the well-loved Bread Meats Bread, so I had some relatively high expectations for ‘Babs and here is how I got on.
I get that there will definitely be teething problems since Mr. Snacks and I only went on their second day open. First up: they do not have an alcohol license yet. So, you cannot order anything off their drinks menu, including a beer specially brewed for the restaurant.
The decor is very lovely, clean and sleek. I loved the etching on the tables and the bright whites and blues.
The staff was very nice and greeted us with the no alcohol warning while letting us know our food would take up to 20 minutes. We were in no hurry.
I’d snuck a peek at their menu online and was excited by the scamorza fries, which are essentially smoked cheesesticks. Mr. Snacks and I were both very disappointed to find out they didn’t have any; another thing not ready for the launch.
It was tough to choose something as the menu reads well. We decided to start with pita and babaganoush, which had a great smokey taste. It wasn’t too smooth either- nice chunks of pepper. My only complaint was the size. For £3.50 it was on the small side. It would have been nice to try a couple (or all!) of the dips as a starter.
For the mains we played it safe and went for grilled chicken. Chicken Souvlaki and Chicken Spiedini alla ’nduja kebabs.
Honestly, I was pretty disappointed with the portion size. The star of the show should really be this grilled meat – which tasted excellent, but there wasn’t quite enough there to give it the wow factor or to make me feel full. I really would have liked a couple more pieces of chicken for both plates and a bit more greenery. A few more peppers would have been more than welcome. The grilled chilli pepper was a nice surprise and gave the dish a good heat, as the red onion puree on the Souvlaki was quite sweet.
The Spiedini was served with a really thick and spongy focaccia that was quite nice. The dish held a light spice with the nduja, but still could have been a bit more sizeable. Maybe we’re just pigs.
Since the scamorza was a no go, our server suggested the bacon fries. It’s not normally something I would order, but why not? The shoestring fries were fun, I don’t think it’s something I’ve really seen in Glasgow before. They could have been a wee bit crispier – that’s just to my personal taste though. The Harissa mayo was nice and they were pretty generous which the bacon topping. I like my bacon well cooked, so it was to my liking, if a little chewy instead of crispy. Really nice and salty though. I mean, bacon is a tough thing to complain about!
Decided against dessert this time, though the Candy Floss Affagato and Baklava were definitely in my thoughts.
While the service was really friendly, we had to ask three times for our bill over the course of about 15 minutes, when the place was pretty empty. Also, the wait for our mains was just over 30 minutes, with the restaurant again not being full.
I’ll definitely return to ‘Babs because I still want those scamorza fries and there’s a few other things intriguing me about the menu, but I think I’ll give them a little time to get settled. I’ll keep a scope out to see if they get a little more generous with the portions too!
49 W Nile St, Glasgow G1 2PT, UK