Food Review: Tasty at Alea Glasgow

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Gallus with a bit of swagger — it’s a description of the man as much as his menu.

When TV chef Tony Singh announced he was braving the M8 to open a new place in Glasgow, the foodie Twitterati went wild.

A mere month and a bit later and the other half and I were braving the Clydeside on a stormy day for the launch of Tasty at Springfield Quay’s Alea Casino.

Pictures of Tony weightlifting lobsters have replaced the glittering interiors of the Red Leaf — a restaurant well rated in The Extra, even if it was a tad WAG-tastic in the style stakes.

But the space suits the Leith chef much better; graffiti, pops of colour and squirtable sauce guns on every table making sure you don’t take thing too seriously. Add a stunning view of the Clyde into the mix and it’s a special corner of Glasgow worth sampling.

And sample we did. The OH and I made new friends around the table, embracing Tony’s street food sharing mantra over a mish mash of dishes.

First up, steamed buns and pickles; a nod to trendy Korean cuisine with cloud-soft pillows ready for filling and crunchy, chilli-kicked veg ready to oblige. It was a great start, and I would have scoffed the lot if politeness wasn’t holding me back.

If there’s one thing that had to make it to the menu, it was haggis pakora — but, true to form, Tasty’s offers a twist on the Scottish-meets-Indian staple. The batter was light, the haggis suitably fluffy and, if you were lucky, you might have caught a great big lump of buttery tattie in the middle. It’s a signature dish for a reason.

The rest of the table weren’t too keen on sea bass ceviche — which only meant more for me. A punchy salad of cured fish, chilli flecks and red onion seasoned with Peruvian Chicha, it was my standout dish — and I would battle wind and rain again for another taste.

A bang bang Asian salad was lovely and crunchy, bursting with peanut flavour, and onion rava dosa was a treat too — think spiced dhal, but with a mushy pea and vinegar twist.

Then came the poutine. I wanted to like it; chips, gravy and mull cheddar sounds a winner to me. But skinny fries and a thin gravy made for a soupy dish, and I found myself picking out solitary cheddar cubes instead.

The menu offers the chance to pimp your poutine with lobster, filet mignon, wild mushrooms and truffle or chicken tikka — but I’d suggest chunkier chips to soak up all that sauce before expensive ingredients are added to the mix.

Thankfully, the final two dishes saved the day. Vuhra — a spiced lamb kebab with mint and coriander drizzle — was a clear winner around the table; the generous hunk of meat tender and falling apart to the touch, the flatbread grilled just right. Tony’s kebab is what you’re dreaming of when you hit the local takeaway at 2am, except this one doesn’t disappoint.

We finished with chocolate brownies and vanilla ice cream from a Willy Wonka-esque dessert menu; a gooey, chewy delight, and one of many I’d like to head back and try.

Much like the man himself, Tasty is a glorious mash-up of cultural and culinary influences, all brought together by a decent kitchen, relaxed dining room and — let’s be honest — a Glasgow, rather than Edinburgh, audience.

We’re all for putting the fun in food over here, and as long as Chef Singh keeps cooking what he loves, food genres be damned, I have a feeling Tasty will live up to its name.

TASTY BY TONY SINGH

Alea Casino

Springfield Quay

Paisley Road

Glasgow

G5 8NP

0141 555 6100