With July almost over, it’s time for me to give you an update of all the new places I’ve visited this month. We have some new spots in Glasgow’s food scene to discuss, as well as some spots that have been here for a while. Big theme this month is the trendy sushiritto (AKA sushi-burrito), which first appeared in Glasgow at Temaki (previously covered here and also featured in my Glasgow best of Lunch spots in town post), can now be found in the West End too at Wudon and Dai Pai. Continuing with the Japanese Theme, I also visited Koko’s Japanese Kitchen, currently residing at Nice N Sleazy. It wouldn’t be me if I don’t feature also some delicious brunch, so you can also read about my visit to Italian cafe North Star.
Koko’s Japanese Kitchen – City Centre – Japanese/Pop Up
Koko’s Japanese Kitchen has been residing at Nice N Sleazy for several months now and it has already received much praise. The menu features a good selection of Japanese home cooking dishes, that cater for the carnivores as well as for those favouring a plant based diet. In fact, I was impressed about the fantastic range of vegan/vegetarian dishes on offer.
The menu is made of small dishes and therefore is perfect for sharing. We went for the Chicken Karaage, kimchi topped fries (this should be a standard menu item EVERYWHERE) and the cheese filled dry wudon dumpling-crips. We weren’t that impressed by the latter of those, but the chicken karaage and the kimchi topped fries were delicious. I will be returning to sample more Japanese deliciousness from Koko’s menu!
- ££ – reasonable, ok value for money, but you need to order a couple of dishes to share for a good sized meal.
- Good for: lunch, dinner, Japanese food, casual dining.
North Star Cafe – West End – Italian/Cafe
North Star has been around on Queen Margaret Drive for a while, and it’s one of the most loved cafes in the area. And there is a good reason for this. Owned by a charming couple from Italy, Ester and Maurizio (and possibly a couple of other friends/family?!), North Star has a real family feel to it. The owners and their staff are always absolutely lovely, chatty and incredibly friendly, and it’s always a delight to pay them a visit. They remember they loyal customers as well as those that pop in occasionally and really make an effort to make everyone feel welcome. That’s not always easy in a cafe quite as busy as this one, but they manage nontheless.
With an open kitchen at the back, the cafe is always filled with noise from the kitchen, background chatter (often in Italian) and smell of delicious food and coffee. Everything about this cafe is authentic – from the atmosphere, the people to the delicious food they make. Their menu features daily specials and regular Italian dishes (expect delicious pasta, risotto, stews…) as well as some non-Italian favourites – Full Scottish breakfast and other standard breakfast items, and French Toast with plenty of choice of toppings.
On this particular visit, we went for the French Toast – mine topped with maple and berries, and my friend’s with pistachios, and of course, plenty of coffee to wash it down with. But on previous visits, I’ve tried a lot more of their breakfast menu and brought countless friends to get some solid breakfast which also does not cost an arm and a leg! They also offer a lot of freshly made cakes which are definitely worth a try too.
- ££: Very good value for money, inexpensive;
- Good for: Breakfast, brunch, lunch, coffee & cake, Italian food.
Wudon – West End – Japanese
Wudon is fairly local to me so I’ve visited it a couple of times over the past few years. When you want Japanese food, they are definitely a robust option. Over the summer, they have also started offering the trendy Sushiritto – a sushi burrito. Chances are, if you like sushi you will also like a sushi burrito. Usually, the only common thing a sushiritto would have with a burrito, is the fact it’s rolled up like one. It doesn’t actually have any ‘Mexican’ flavours, so it’s very much a ‘loaded’ temaki, if anything. AND I LOVE IT! Wudon offers four different flavours – salmon, chicken, beef and tofu, each coming with a unique range of toppings. I went for the Sake Salmon which came with crispy salad and cucumber, tempura flakes and kimchi mayo dressing. It was sublime and I would definitely recommend catching Wudon’s sushirittos before they go!
- ££: Moderately priced, sushirittos just under £8 (average price for Glasgow at the moment, slightly cheaper than Temaki)
- Good for: Japanese food, casual dining.
Dai Pai – West End – Asian Street Food
Dai Pai is a very welcome addition to Byres Road in my opinion. Offering a good variety of Asian Street Food favourites (think ramen, sushi, dumplings, chicken karaage and so much more) in a stylish and relaxed setting. So far it’s been getting very positive reviews but I can’t really give a full ‘verdict’ yet as I’ve only tried their sushirittos. They offer 5 sushiritto flavours – salmon, salmon + tuna, chicken, beef and tofu – and they are all loaded with different toppings depending on what you want. I had the Salmon Chilli Bomb, which came with cucumber, avocado, spicy mayo and pickled ginger and it was also pretty good. I will be going back to Dai Pai to try more of their offering so I’ll update my short review in coming months to feature more about Dai Pai.
- ££: Moderately priced from what I saw of the menu. Sushirittos start at £6.95, slightly cheaper than Wudon and Temaki.
- Good for: Asian street food, casual dining.
NB: I liked Wudon’s sushiritto slightly better than Dai Pai’s in terms of taste, but Dai Pai’s are the best in terms of how well filled they are! But it’s a very narrow margin and they are both amazing. You won’t be disappointed whichever one you choose!
That’s all for Part 1. In Part 2, expect to read about Glasgow new comer Absurd Bird, west end’s Kelbourn Saint, Cafe Zique, Finnieston’s The Grunting Growler and Partick’s Six Degrees North.