‘Babs, Glasgow

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.

IMG_6334

Grill on

Advertisements

Super Bario, Glasgow

Glasgow Gamers can finally bask in the bright lights and nostalgic sounds of old arcade cabinets… and all while enjoying a beer or two.

The long awaited Super Bario opened it’s ‘barcade’ doors on January 13th and seems to be the talk of the town already. The bar began as a Kickstarter project in late 2015 – hit their target and was projected to open almost a year ago in February 2016. Clearly some complications in the set up… but it’s now all systems go.

img_0944

Insert Coin

Snacking Highlights of 2016

Well… Hello.

It’s now 2017 and I was so caught up/slightly tipsy through the holiday festivities that it was hard to find a moment to sit and type about all the food and fun being had.

 

I don’t feel like I can properly move into the new year without officially closing off 2016.

 

And there’s no better way to do that then a recap in list form!

 

So, here we go… My favourite new food findings of 2016.

It’s better late than never.

Chaakoo Bombay Café, Glasgow

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.

crwz2tbxyaihaaj-jpg-large-2

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!

img_8188

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:

Daal Makhani
Kerala Monkfish
Cauliflower
Smoked Chicken Tikka
Masahari
Lemon Rice
Peshwiri Naan

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)

img_8193

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.

img_8192

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.

img_8191

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.

Until then.

xx

img_8187
Chaakoo Bombay Café 
79 St Vincent St
Glasgow
G2 5TF

Paesano Pizza, Glasgow

So, don’t think of this as a review, this is more about bragging rights. Glasgow has some legit pizza and I just want to show it off.
dsc_1655
Serving by far the best pizza in town and definitely better than a few pizzas I’ve had in Italy. It is my go-to eatery for practically any occasion. In fact, I’m just going to say it: Paesano Pizza is my favorite place to eat at in Glasgow.
Word. You can’t go wrong with pizza and this pizza is authentic, simple, cheap… and most of all absolutely delicious.
Here it is all about tradition. They had their wood-fired ovens brought over from Naples and adhere to pizza guidelines of the AVPN ( Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana). You can read the detailed rules here but basically it’s specific to the type flour and cheese used. San Marzano tomatoes are a must.
Paesano prides itself on its fresh and native Italian ingredients, of which the menu makes good use. Keep it simple and keep tuna and sweetcorn out of the building.
dsc_1685
It’s very rare that I wouldn’t be in the mood for pizza, Mr. Snacks and I have been round Paesano pretty often. I’ve had a chance to try all the pizzas on offer there, give or take a few specials which often involve a slightly different cheese or Ndjua. My absolute favorite thing to order is the Margherita pizza, plus chillies. I do love a bit of spice.
Also, the fennel sausage with peppers. I mean, I’ve not had a bad pizza there ever. Even the anchovies are alright for a slice. Do check the specials. If Parma Ham is an option, order it. Immediately.
img_0012
Oh… and see when part of the crust gets a little burnt and forms this little charred crust bubble?

More of that please!

Kimchi Cult, Glasgow

IMG_0842

Go on in.

Get your hands down to the ground, worship the almighty stained glass cabbage.

Don’t worry, Kimchi Cult is safe to join and the benefits… Delicious fresh food, homemade kimchi and the crispiest fried chicken in town. 

So, why wouldn’t you want to join in on the fun?

IMG_7745

Kimchi = fermented cabbage. It’s been all the rage for a while but I wondered how excited could I possibly get about cabbage… I already love sauerkraut, do I have room in my life to love another?

Yes. 

This kimchi has multiple flavor senses going on – sour, spicy and a satisfying crunch. It’s light in texture and taste, with a little afterthought of heat due to the red chillies.

I have been into Kimchi Cult a few times now and I’ve never been disappointed. When you walk in, you’ll be lucky if one of four tables is available, but if you get a seat it might just be your lucky day. 

A small, but very efficient menu is offered doing what Kimchi Cult states is ‘punk riffs on Korean classics’. 

Bibimbap is served cold or hot in a traditional stone bowl. Anytime I’ve been in the staff always ask if you’ve eaten bibimbap before and if you say no, they will tell you to break the egg yolk and stir everything about. The bibimbap feels fresh, the veg was thin and crunchy. I double checked with my personal Korean food expert and apparently it looks on the authentic side. 

IMG_2592

Flavor wise it is relatively healthy and tastes that way…If I was eating it in the house though I would add more sriracha and probably tablespoons of soy sauce. But I am addicted to Kikkoman. 

I tried the bulgogi bibimbap and I’ve had the same meat in tiny bao buns. As you know I am obsessed with bao lately, and KC’s bao is a good shout. The bao dough was heavier than some others I’ve had around Glasgow, but the beef is really tender and well-spiced (but not spicy).  It definitely has the fall-apart factor.

IMG_2283

Oh, and these kimcheese fries.

IMG_2551

So, by personal preference I’m not mad keen on cheese fries. It really seems like I should be, but if I was – these would be a staple in my diet. The fries at KC were far superior to what I was thinking . They were cut fresh, a bit of skin on the potato, and plenty of salt. I really enjoyed them… so next time I’ll might skip the cheese and ask for double kimchi. 

And the best for last… Fried Chicken!

IMG_2553

I know I love a lot of things and I’m always on about missing things from Texas but… damn, the fried chicken at Kimchi Cult takes me back to the south. If the south used gochujang or soy instead of gravy. 

The chicken is so crisp and comes out pipping hot and juicy. So hot, that I usually stab it with a few chopsticks to cool it down.  The crunch from the chicken skin is by far the best part- great breading and both the sauces are excellent, but not overpowering. I can’t actually decide which I prefer: sweet or slightly spicy. Order both, I’m pretty sure there is no obligation to share.

IMG_2282

The fried chicken is definitely my favorite part of the menu… but, I’ve yet to try the bulgogi fries.

I just wanted to add that there seems to be a lot of love and care into KC’s service and brand. The staff is always working away in the kitchen but always welcome customers with a ‘hello’ and come across as very attentive, even though it’s not a restaurant atmosphere. 

***Note if you dine-in there is no toilet! But… there’s always Deliveroo***

KC is fun on the social media front as well, often reaching out to their customers and showing sneak peeks of prep work.

I’m just a little in love with their look. Full-on B movie font, the kitsch style of the painted walk-in walls and multiple homages to the cabbage. 

IMG_4037

It’s all good budget-friendly fun! And of course, tasty. 

But, because there is alway one…

My KC wishlist:

1. Push the limits with the spice factor – I need more!
2. KIMCHI BULGOGI TACOS
3. Chicken wings – chicken thighs are so messy to eat with others are watching, eep!

So, Kimchi Cult thanks for moving from the streets of London to set up a tiny little hotbox in Partick. 

It’s been one year since the move and they are celebrating with a £1 kimchi hot dog party on August 18th. Sounds like my kind of party!

xx