My Month in Food – May (Part 2)

In the second part of May, I visited one of my favourite cafes which somehow I haven’t written about before – Kelvin Pocket. I also went along to SmashBurger to try some of their new menu items. I went back to Babs for my third visit (and probably last, but you can read more on that below). I also went along to Dixie Chick, a fairly new chicken joint on Ashton Lane, which turned out to be not as exciting as I had hoped. Read on below to get the full details!

Kelvin Pocket – Kelvinbridge – Breakfast & Coffee

Kelvin Pocket is a small cafe situated by the entrance of Kelvinbridge Subway Station. It’s long been a favourite of mine, pretty much since it opened and with good reason – their delicious, smooth coffee. They also have a selection of cake on offer, some light food – soups, salads and sandwiches for breakfast and lunch. As for the interior, it’s calm, friendly and also has a good number of plants you can also buy! I love going there to work and you’d often find me going there for a coffee.

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Avocado and sriracha on cashew butter toast
  • ££: Inexpensive, breakfast dishes around £5, lunch dishes around £5-8.
  • Good for: coffee, cake, breakfast and lunch.

Smashburger – City Centre – Burgers

You might recall that I’ve already covered Smashburger in a previous post. I liked their burgers and they are certainly better than a lot of chain restaurants in Glasgow. On the back of that, Smashburger approached me and gave me a voucher to try some of their new menu options: The Triple Double Bloomer, BLT Crispy Chicken Bloomer, Mac & Cheese bites, new shakes (I had the Salted Caramel Popcorn and popping candy shake) and new drinks range, including Long Flint – think Hibiscus Gin & Tonic, Ginger & Rum Fuego and Rhubarb & Vodka Seltzer).

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The Triple Double Bloomer

I’m surprised to say this, but I actually liked their Bloomers even more than their burgers. I think the Triple Double Bloomer is my new favourite thing on their menu! It was really full of flavour and the bread (which I believe they make themselves) was very good. I also really liked the Mac & Cheese bites which I had with my burger. Finally, I should say, that the Salted Caramel Milkshake with Popcorn & Popping Candy is the first milkshake I’ve had in years and since I don’t really like milkshakes that much I didn’t think I would enjoy it. But I did and would definitely have again.

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Salted Caramel Milkshake with popcorn and popping candy

Note: Smashburger sent me a voucher to try the new menu items, so I didn’t pay for any of the food, however, all views and opinions are my own.

  • ££: Bill came to just over £30 for 2 Bloomers, 2 sides, and 2 drinks. Reasonable but slightly on the pricey side for a casual burger restaurant.
  • Good for: burgers, shakes, large groups, casual dining & for when you want something quick!

‘Babs  – City Centre –  Dinner

‘Babs is a Middle Eastern food restaurant from the crew who brought us the very much loved Bread Meats Bread. Their tag line is “Kebabs done right” and indeed they offer a wide range of posh kebabs, along fusion dishes with a middle eastern style (like their thin fries with feta for example). The restaurant is nice, staff are usually friendly but there is nothing memorable about the place, food included. I’ve been to ‘Babs three times now and really wanted to love it. However, when it comes to Middle Eastern food their offer is overpriced and just okay. The stars of the menu, the Kebabs, are really overpriced in my opinion and often come with curious combinations of middle eastern flavours which are nice in their own right, but not quite right together in some cases. On the other hand, some of the food they just didn’t get right. Like the Greek Salad, for example, which had a considerable lack of olives (there were none in mine, though they are mentioned on the menu). So far I’ve tried the lamb kebab, which is probably my favourite, and on this visit I tried the squid iskender which was also nice. What was nice about them was the quality of the meat which was cooked to perfection. However, still not worth the £10+ price tag. This perhaps reflected in the fact I’ve never seen ‘Babs full and every-time I’ve been there it has been fairly empty.

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The Squid Iskender

I think this will be my last visit to ‘Babs for a while. It’s underwhelming and it lacks the simplicity and fantastic flavours which Bread Meets Bread brought.

  • ££: Kebabs range from £9 to £15, nibbles and sides £3 – £5, and mezzes (starters) – £7 – £15. Very overpriced.
  • Good for: Large groups, specialises in middle eastern food.

Dixie Chick – Ashton Lane, West End – Dinner

Dixie Chick is a fairly new addition to Ashton Lane. and I was quite excited about it’s opening because Glasgow needs more restaurants doing chicken wings well. I’m very jealous of the people of Edinburgh because they have Wings which is one of my favourite spots in Scotland. There aren’t that many restaurants which specialise on chicken and chicken wings in Glasgow, and even less good ones… So you can see why I was excited.

Dixie Chick looked to be the part. Simple menu, good number of toppings/sauces, selection of wings, chicken strips, halloumi bites and burgers and a more interesting selection of sides and loaded fries. However, the disappointments started rolling shortly after we had ordered our drinks. When we went to give our order, the waiter informed us they were out of chicken wings. What?! One of the main things you offer is not available? And you didn’t think you should mention this to the customers as we sat down? All four of us thought this was very poor. We settled on ordering chicken strips + halloumi bites and a couple of loaded fries to share. We chose a good number flavours to go with them. When they arrived the sauce was served separately to everything which surprised us. Instead of having a pleasant and appealing golden colour, both the halloumi bites and chicken strips had a slightly burned brown batter all over them. And the taste, well, very underwhelming. The halloumi was marginally better than the chicken which was quite dry. The loaded fries, on the other hand, were quite tasty and I did like the good choice of toppings. We went for the chilli & chorizo and the beetroot blue chips.

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Beetroot blue fries, halloumi bites, chicken strips.

I don’t think I’ll be coming back any time soon. Both because we all thought the service was pretty poor – mostly because you’d expect to be told that the kitchen has ran out of stuff before you start ordering. We would have left if it wasn’t for the fact our drinks had been served. And to be honest, I probably would have come back at a later time. But because they didn’t handle this so well and because the food was quite underwhelming, I’m not sure it’s worth going back to try the chicken wings either.

  • ££: Dishes range from £4 – £12, so fairly cheap.
  • Good for: quick food, casual dining, specialises in all things chicken.

I can’t wait to share Part 1 of June which should be coming out fairly soon. In the mean time, be sure to check out the first part of my May food summary.

My week of food #9 (19-25 Mar)

Not every week of eating out can be spectacular. I know that… but I guess I have been pretty lucky over the past couple of months and have somehow managed to mostly have good food. Last week, however, had some real ups and downs. With two notable exclusions it has been mostly unimpressive food.

Tuesday – Bar bites @ Strip Joint (Finnieston)

Can’t believe I’m writing this, but my friend published a book last week! And of course, there was celebrations to be had. A good number of people headed over to Strip Joint in Finnieston for some drinks mostly, but some of us were hungry so we had to get food too. The bar itself isn’t very notable, it’s pretty standard as far as pubs go and it pales in comparison with what Finnieston has to offer. The food was even less notable. I ordered the chicken wings to share with my partner. Others had pizza or nachos. Our chicken wings were so dry and tasteless, and I think some of the worst I’ve had in Glasgow. Really no excuse as chicken wings is one of the simplest things one can cook! We asked for some hot sauce, and for the first time ever, I was charged for a bit of sriracha on the side… As for the pizza – no one was particularly impressed by it and it looked like it was one of the frozen ready made ones. Those who ordered the nachos looked happier and indeed they had some very big lumps of nachos to eat through which were tastier than our chicken wings. I won’t be rushing back.

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Chicken wings @ Strip Joint
  • ££: ~£20 for chicken wings, sweet potato fries and a couple of drinks. Ok for price but the food wasn’t worth it.
  • Good for: I guess that depends on your taste, but the only thing I enjoyed there was my standard rum & coke. The staff are pretty nice too.

Wednesday – Sushi Burritos @ Temaki (City Centre)

You might remember that Temaki featured in my “Best of Lunch Joints in Glasgow” post and there is a good reason for this. It’s simple – their sushi burritos are pretty good and they also offer other Japanese style food at reasonable price in their Lunch Menu too. I had the Salmon & Avocado sushi burrito and it was good. It packs a good amount of fish against some fresh salad and in this case Avocado. There are plenty to choose from and the only one I didn’t like so far is their Volcano one (melted cheese and raw fish? No, thank you!). I have to confess that though I’ve been to Temaki a number of times I’ve not tried their Ramen, Katsu or other dishes… But, on the plus side – their sushi is pretty good which is why I haven’t ventured outside of their sushi offering!

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Salmon & Avocado Sushi Burrito
  • ££ – £9 sushi burritos, £6.50 for other dishes on their lunch menu;
  • Good for: Sushi burritos and sushi! Also good for a reasonably priced and quick lunch.

Wednesday – Dinner @ ASK Italian (City Centre)

So far we have had the bad, the good and now for the mediocre. ASK Italian is a chain restaurant offering Italian food. I’m not a particular fan of it, as you know Glasgow has some fantastic Italian restaurants I prefer to go to, but it’s okay for what it offers and it’s reasonably priced. I headed there with my family as we needed something close to the bus station and being a Cineworld Unlimited card holder, I get a good discount on pizza and pasta. I like some of the touches in the restaurant in terms of its décor, like the cooking utensils all around. As far as the food goes – it’s quickly served and tasty enough. We had two calzone filled with pepperoni, ragu, tomato & mozzarella while my mother had the Tuscan bread salad. I’m not a massive chain restaurant go-er, but as far as they come, ASK Italian is okay.

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Calzone at Ask Italian
  • ££: Our bill was under £30 due to my discount, but most pizza and pasta dishes are around £10+.
  • Good for: a quick meal when you are after some Italian food.

Friday – Lunch @ Ramen Dayo (City Centre)

I’ve written about Ramen Dayo before so I’m not going to say much more than what I’ve already said. Best ramen in Glasgow, in my humble opinion! This time though I wasn’t feeling like eating ramen so I ordered the Karachi chicken and some gyoza. Their gyoza’s are outstanding. I’ve tried pork, chicken, veg and bulgogi beef and they are ALL good. The Karachi chicken was also really tasty and very crispy so would happily have again. The only thing I wish for is that Ramen Dayo expend their menu ever so slightly to include some more side or small dish options. However, if it’s ramen you are after – get it there.

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Chicken Karage @ Ramen Dayo
  • ££: Most ramen dishes are under £10. The side dishes are around £5.
  • Good for: when you need to satisfy your ramen craving.

Sunday – Dinner @ Crossing the Rubicon (West End)

I posted about Crossing the Rubicon very recently and I admitted that I wasn’t fan of it when it first came about but I had noted that they had improved their menu though still very mediocre Indian style food. This time around I ordered The Rubicon Frankie (think an Indian style burrito), masala chips – soggy and tasteless at the same time… – and poppodoms and onions. Nothing was outstanding, but The Rubcion Frankie is probably my favourite. What was quite disappointing actually was that the restaurant charged us a double portion of poppodoms because we had 2 poppodoms (for two people) – when on the menu it says “poppodomS with chutney”- implying that a portion includes multiple poppodoms. Hardly bothered over the extra £1.50 but it’s a matter of principle. My friend ordered the vegetable curry which literally had one piece of carrot in it and the rest was sauce and rice. He ended up not eating the majority of it as it was so disappointing. They really need to up their flavour game to make their fusion food work.

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The Rubicon Frankie @ Crossing the Rubicon
  • ££: Good priced dishes from around £4-£8;
  • Good for: events – live music, open mic, and a really good quiz night on a Sunday!

That’s it for this week, folks! Here is hoping for some better food next week…

~Em

My week in food #5 (19-25 Feb)

I’m writing this a bit late because this week has been quite crazy. However, we had yet another week of good food which I thought was worth sharing with you. It started with some Buck’s Bar’s chicken wing Wednesdays, continued with a fantastic seven-course tasting menu at The Sisters and finished with an all you can eat sushi dinner on Friday at Yen’s.

Wednesday – Dinner @ Buck’s Bar

If you like chicken wings, burgers, liquor, rock’n’roll and a good collection of hot sauces, then… Buck’s Bar is the spot for you! When Buck’s Bar opened a couple of years back, I was quite excited to finally get a bar that serves delicious chicken wings in a variety of sauces. And the wings are good! They are big, juicy and saucy – just like they are supposed to be. There is a good variety of food on offer besides wings, so expect to find Buck’s delicious buttermilk or Nashville hot chicken, burgers, salads, waffle brunches and even vegetarian options! They are also great for entertainment – pub quiz, live music, burger and wing offers. For all the latest, check their website.

 

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Buffalo chicken wings at the front, and Big Leo’s Firewings at Buck’s Bar

 

We had the Buffalo chicken wings and Big Leo’s Firewings with the chilli and coriander coleslaw, sweet potato fries and sweet and chilli chips. All the food was good, but we were a bit disappointed by the Firewings are they are meant to be really spicy and really weren’t. But I hear that they are changing the sauce to make them spicier, so I’ll look forward to that.

Price: £16 pp for a lot of wings, sides, and drinks | Will I go back? Yes, back anytime I need some spicy chicken wings in my life. | Where: 111 West Regent Street, Glasgow City Centre.

Thursday – 7-course tasting menu @ The Sisters Kelvingrove

The Sisters in Kelvingrove had a fantastic offer running in February for “Taster Thursdays” where they offered a delicious 7-course tasting menu for just £22.50 per person. I had heard very good things about the restaurant so this was a perfect opportunity to try it. The food was indeed delicious and included fantastic local produce, highlighting the very best of Scottish cuisine. The menu included scallops and black pudding, haggis with onion bhaji, a mushroom veloute, variation on fish and chips, highland benison, a chocolate and banana pudding and a delicious cheese board to finish off with.

 

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Highland venison pie, creamed mash & roasted herbs at The Sisters

 

The ambience at the restaurant was nice, with a classic interior. The staff were excellent and offered a fantastic service. The food was very good, especially considering the low price. I would recommend The Sister’s at Kelvingrove for when you are looking for some fine Scottish food on a very reasonable price, at a classic restaurant.

 

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Cheddar crips, goat’s cheese mouse and blue cheese at The Sisters

 

Price: £27 pp including drinks, which is just fantastic value for the food we had. | Will I go back? Yes, though Glasgow has a lot of really good fine dining restaurants which I’ve been more impressed with. Saying that, however, not many will be able to beat the value for money The Sisters offers for the fantastic quality of the food. | Where: 36 Kelvingrove Street, Glasgow

Friday – all you can eat sushi at Yen Oriental

Every so often, Yen Oriental in the Rotunda host a Sushi Night where you can eat and order all the sushi you can eat in the space of an hour and a half for just £12.95 per person.  The sushi is pretty good and you can wash it down with some of the nice cocktails they have on the menu. Outside of sushi, Yen’s offer a variety of Asia food so you can find some Japanese, Thai and Cantonese favourites on their menu. The only thing is that the service leaves a lot to be desired. It was hard to get anyone’s attention and when we did they weren’t the friendliest.

 

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Salmon and Tuna Nigiri, Salmon sashimi and Crab maki

 

Price: £12.95 pp for the sushi night | Will I be back? I would probably attend more of their sushi nights in the future! | Where: 28 Tunnel Street, Glasgow

I hope that my weekly posts are giving you plenty of inspiration of where to go and eat and about in Glasgow! Let me know if you go to any of these restaurants!