Sundays are made for savouring chocolate delights….
In Glasgow we’re spoiled for choice when comes to Indian food. So never settle for mediocre!
You will remember the first bite – and the next, and the one after that because at Dhabba every single dish is bursting with new and wonderful flavours.
Every mouthful is a delight.
Perfectly portioned deliciousness
The result: mouth-watering, refreshingly light and perfectly portioned food – thankfully no threat of discomfort or popping your trousers here.
Even the nann and rice impress
Amiable service with a sly smile – perhaps because they know you’re in for a taste sensation. And they’re happy to guide you in the right direction if you’re not quite sure what to choose from their extensive selection of tempting dishes.
We finally opt to start with Aloo Ke Soole – deep fried croquets of minced potatoes, paneer, fried onion and spices with a touch of fenugreek (£4.95), followed up by the mushroom and paneer based Bharloan Dhingri (£4.45).
Daal is a popular dish but with its rich fusion of flavours the Pilee Daal Tadka (£7.25) is a certainly far from ordinary. And the Aloo Gobi Matter Masledar’s florets of cauliflower, potatoes, peas and chilli blend (£8.25) are equally as delicious.
Even the garlic nann and rice fused with cumin seeds impress.
Make your taste buds sing
If you’ve never had Indian food before – what are you waiting for – start here! And if you’re a seasoned curry connoisseur but never experienced Dhabba, treat your taste buds.
Just over £45 for several rounds of drinks and endless food is a sweet (savoury) deal.
So go on, celebrate food – celebrate life and choose Dhabba. Your mouth will sing because really, everything should taste this good!
*Admittedly I’m not an expert on North Indian cuisine but I know good food. And this is it!
In the mood for a taste sensation – and ordinary’s out of the question?
Look no further than the fantastic Gandolfi Fish.
This magical Merchant City aquarium* offers some of the most flavourful seafare in Glasgow. Besides impressive food, they know a thing or two about service. Their knowledgeable staff are happy to suggest the perfect wine and their jovial, relaxed approach is refreshing.
Incidentally our waitress was right – the Lorendona Monterey County Pinot Grigio goes marvellously with white fish.
It’s about taste
Their menu is concise but perfectly formed – and there’s more than enough to tempt your tastebuds.
We start with their soup of the day (£4) – a hearty lentil that warms and satisfies. Next up, the baked fillet of cod served with peas and parmesan risotto with (or without) crisp pancetta (£15.95) is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. And their panko crumbed fillet of sea bass is a culinary masterpiece (16.95). If you’ve never tried Monkfish – I assure you now is the time.
Fish to go
If you’re set on staying in or saving your pennies – Gandolfi’s fish-to-go shop next door is a fantastic alternative.
Ever changing – always good
There may be more fish in the sea but few are as delish and delectable as Gandolfi’s. Their innovative and ever-changing menu is a great reason to come back – I know I certainly will.
*Ok so it’s not actually an aquarium, but at night Gandolfi’s huge windows and warm glow is completely enchanting.
The brightly coloured sofas and trays of perfectly formed chocolates instantly catch my eye. This is isn’t your average place; it’s the extraordinary No 1 Chocolate Factory in Glasgow.
Head to the back for the full chocolate experience – indulge in making, decorating and of course eating chocolate. And that’s exactly what we do.
Chocolate 101 – apparently anything goes
My son and I look the part in our chef’s hats and aprons – and we’re ready for business. We spend the best part of an hour playing with chocolate. And what an absolutely fantastic time.
My son opts for a slightly different approach splodging as much milk chocolate as possible into both the top and bottom of his pig mould masterpiece.
Once our first layer sets, even more chocolate is poured in then we click the mould shut and give it a good shake to spread the delicious mixture around.
Next up we try our hand at decorating a chocolate bar with what else – more chocolate, followed by sweetie goodies. For our final chocolate design feat we create a 3D type picture formed from yet more chocolate and chocolate play doh.
Admiring my hand-crafted chocolate creations and my beaming chocolate infused boy, I can’t help but feel it’s £13 well-spent. And truthfully I’m not sure who had more fun.
Get messy…or not
You will get your hands dirty and chocolate will ooze and gush everywhere – but in the most delightful of ways.
But for any of you who can’t bring yourself to muck in, there’s plenty of room to relax in the cafe and simply savour soup, a tasty panini or one of their many, many delicious cakes – the dark chocolate cheesecake is not to be missed.
We all do it – fall into routine. Especially for lunch.
Don’t beat yourself up. But do move away from that soggy tuna sandwich, put down last night’s left overs and step away from the humdrum look-a-like eateries on every corner. I did, and thankfully lunch will never be the same.
Fresh local produce and homemade baking
Away from the city-centre clones at the far end of the Trongate is Rose and Grants – a simple but inviting café/deli.
This friendly newcomer serves up fresh local produce, Bei and Nannini’s coffee (the good stuff) and scrumptious baked delights in relaxed surroundings that even include a few comfy sofas.
Made to perfection – your way
The food is fresh, made-your-way delicious. The huge front window is a bonus for the day dreamers and people watchers. For the hungry – their roast veg and hummus special sandwich on brown bread is a must-try flavour sensation (£2.95/£4.95).
And if you’re still set on that tuna sandwich, their tuna mayo with coriander and lime is a welcomed twist on a classic – and is never soggy! Or try the tasty tuna and cannellini bean salad with rocket (£4.50). Fantastic!
If you’re short on time, get it to go. You’ll save a bit of money taking it away so indulge in something sweet like an irresistible pecan slice or pear and walnut brownie – all homemade of course.
It’s Friday –so go on, treat yourself to something new at Rose and Grants. It doesn’t cost any more than possibly a few extra steps away from the ordinary into the extraordinary. Well worth it.
Celebrate the people in your life, not fanfare and fandangos but time together – that’s what I’ll do with my precious extra day on 29 February.
Leap into something new
I’ll explore places I wouldn’t normally be drawn to like A1 Comics , a cavernous shop on Parnie Street full-to-the-brim with poseable action figures whose names I can’t pronounce and comics boasting impossible, impractical busty women. My sons will check out the merchandise and admire the helpful staff who are old and cool enough to impress my eight and 11 year old.
Eat to your heart’s delight
Then I’ll slip away from the dusty comic cavern to the fresh, bright lights of the recently opened Carluccios for lunch with friends.
There I’ll rejuvenate my soul with a glass or two of prosecco and choose from a fantastic selection of Italian dishes prepared to perfection. Not forgetting to wander round the delicatessen to buy enormous, delicious cakes for later on.
Savour time with those you love most
The afternoon will leisurely unfold in the comforts of the company of my wonderful man and an exhibition at GoMA – followed by a poke around the Merchant City Camera shop . This wonderful wee shop has an impressive collection of camera equipment and beautiful vintage cameras, some that need a little coaxing to create pictures – but magical none-the-less.
Whatever you do – don’t cook!
The evening will bring friends and family together over food, memories and drink. And Mother India take-away means fuss-free flavourful delights in the cosy comforts of home.
An extra day to savour and enjoy time with the people you love; there is nothing better. The 29 February only comes once every four years so make the most of it and do something different, delicious and delightful.
It’s cold – bitterly freezing cold. All the more reason to sleep in and stay snuggly warm in your bed this weekend, right?
Well…. allow me to lure you out of your warm hiding place with the promise of Glasgow’s best breakfasts.
You weekend late risers fret not because Delizique Cafezique offers an all-day breakfast menu every day until 5pm. So whether you’re after the big fry up (£8.95) or eggs in a variety of enticing ways, you can find it in this laid-back welcoming eatery.
Always a good sign – the smell of something wonderful fills the air and everything is the freshest of fresh because the cakes, breads and other baked goodies are all made locally – in fact next door. In warmer weather this West End treasure’s outside seating is an absolute must.
The quirky and cosy Two Figs is great spot for meeting up with friends the- morning-after-the-night-before to refuel while nursing sore heads or wounded egos. The figs’ weekend brunch runs from 10am – 5pm and here it’s totally ok to have curry for breakfast.
So if you’re looking for something spicy, look no further – their Thali breakfast is a flavourful aubergine, cauliflower, masala potato and flatbread mash up (£6.95). A true taste sensation and a nice change from the basic bacon and eggs, though they are also on offer.
Popular for dinner and late night fun and frolic, the Corinthian may still have yet to be discovered as a fantastic breakfast spot. Or possibly its 8am– noon breakfast is too early for most on the weekends.
But if you can get yourself out of bed and into the Merchant City, you’re guaranteed a seat in splendid surroundings. Their breakfast of champions will set you up for the day – and possibly leave you wanting very little for dinner.
Corinthian’s fantastic selection makes facing the cold and braving an earlish morning bearable. Once there my hardest decision is choosing between griddle pancakes (£4.95) or toasted soda bread with smoked salmon and fluffy scrambled eggs (£5.75). Even if you’re not a veggie, it’s hard not to be tempted by the hearty full veggie breakfast that includes vegetarian sausage, fruit pudding, vegetarian haggis, hash brown, tomato, mushroom and your choice of egg (£6.95). This is exactly what I go for.
Outta bed lazy bones – breakfast calls
So this weekend get yourself outta that bed because these places will make you believe that breakfast is not only the most important meal of the day – but the most delicious.
Normally I wouldn’t get excited about fish and chips….because really depending on your taste and possibly how much alcohol you’ve had, one take away is just as good (or bad) as the next. Isn’t it?
Well no. Or at least not if Merchant Chippie is anything to go on.
Located on the tip of Ingram Street and the High Street, this isn’t your average chippie. For one it’s sparkly new and boasts fresh fish brought in daily from Aberdeen and Anstruther – home of the legendary ‘best fish and chip bar’ in Scotland… well for now that is.
Fresh fish galore
But my enthusiasm isn’t just because of the glossy newness of the place, or the friendly staff or even the fresh fish (though all of this is appreciated) – my excitement stems from the vast selection of delights from the sea.
In addition to the usual haddock fish and chips (£2.95), they offer the most delicious cod supper. Yes admittedly more expensive at £6.30 but less than restaurant prices and arguably fresher and just as tasty.
My cod is light, flaky and cooked to perfection – definitely the best fish supper I’ve had in Glasgow. In addition to cod – they also offer sea bass, pollock, and salmon to name a few – all at around £6.30.
So the next time you’re in the mood for fantastic fish and chips but don’t fancy mushy frozen goo, make your way to Merchant Chippie. And be prepared to be wowed, even more so if you swap the standard haddock for tasty cod or one of their other fresh seafood fare.
Admittedly it’s not every day that people get excited about their weekly shop. But hear me out.
On a quest for healthy food after the excesses of Christmas I found myself in on the South Side of Glasgow in Giffnock. At the end of what feels like the longest road is bright lights shining big, bold and welcoming. Simply put, this is not just M&S – because it’s not M&S. It’s Wholefoods.
I am Alice in healthy Wonderland where samples of food with Eat me and Drink me entice me to try wonderful things like blood orange juice and butterscotch chocolate. And here bigger is better – in the distance I see colossal balls of cheeses and huge perfectly formed meringues. Heavenly!
No ordinary peanut butter
Even better are the clever gadgets to make buying your food that much more interesting. Wee porcelain scoops for the spices actually work out much cheaper than the supermarket, 69p/100gms chilli powder.
My personal favourite gizmo is the churning machine that allows me to magically turn (churn) peanuts into peanut butter – and for the more discerning taste there’s cashew butter!
The helpful man working behind the fish and meat counter – who rushes to my rescue when I’m in danger of walking away without pricing up my spices and peanut butter – is reflective of the friendly accommodating staff at Wholefoods.
Satisfy your soul and your sweet tooth
And if after roaming around the wares your appetite is awakened, appease your hunger at the far side of the shop boasting a comfy café and a selection of stalls, a delicatessen and you can even create fresh sandwiches or build tortillas. And don’t forget to satisfy your sweet tooth at the decadent cake counter – rocky road and bumpy brownies galore.
I leave Wholefoods feeling remarkably ‘whole’ with my bag full of carefully selected goodies, but £20 poorer – admittedly the jury is still out on whether I’d shopped wisely. Among my finds I seem to have acquired two random coconuts obviously bought in the height of excitement.
I am greeted by an extraordinary selection of sweets and wonderful aromas. Tapa coffee and bakehouse in the South Side of Glasgow is heaven on earth – especially for any bread-loving, café enthusiast like me.
It’s a busy, bustling cheerful place and popular with young, old, families and friends alike. It has an everyone-is-welcome kind of feeling – my kind of place.
Delicious soup, sandwiches and so much more
Although this award-winning café specialises in appetising sandwiches served on a variety of enticing homemade organic breads, I cannot pass the up their puy lentil and pine nut burger on focaccia served with a side of relish and tobbouleh (£7.95). This is only perfected by possibly the best chips I’ve ever had. Ever.
Their hearty breakfast (£8.25) is also highly recommended or of course there’s a the slew of unique sandwich selections ; you probably won’t find the ingenious grain mustard, red onion relish, veggie sausage and sliced egg anywhere else.
No ordinary bread – ‘you’re in for a treat’
Although sadly we are too stuffed for dessert, we cannot leave without getting a loaf of bread to take away. After much debate over the rye, sourdough, and even malted pumpkin seed, we opt for sunflower wholemeal. Our very friendly server assures us that we are ‘in for a treat’ – and he is so right. This is not just any bread – it’s life-invigorating, grainy goodness.
So all you West End or City Centre dwellers who never venture far from your spot – I assure you that making the short trek across town to this South Side treasure on Pollockshaw Road is worth it!
Their acclaimed espresso blend coffee, scrumptious cakes, breads and wonderful staff and surroundings will not disappoint – and will certainly entice us back time and time again.
And next time I’m having dessert!