What does tapas say to you? Me, it shouts Spanish all day long, so imagine my surprise when I’m invited to review an Indian restaurant who offer tapas dishes.
Not only was it a first for me, but I think it could be for Glasgow too. It was a very clever piece of business acumen by the owners who came up with the idea, as it fits right into a perfectly self-created niche market – well it rather had to when there are nine other Indian restaurants in a two-mile radius of Argyle Street’s Green Chilli Café.
The menu isn’t as extensive as you would normally find in an Indian restaurant, however there was ample choice. I suspect this allows the chef to prepare the dishes quickly when ordered as tapas-style sizes. And on that subject, what a great idea. How often have you wanted to try something different, but for fear of not liking it have gone for your usual dish? This way you can easily sample several styles of cooking, at minimal cost and decide what you like.
We opted to try the chicken pakora, garlic mushroom poori, seekh kebab, chapli kebab and chilli chicken.
It soon became apparent, why the Green Chilli Café’s head chef Sunil Thakur has won the accolade of Chef of the Year at The Scottish Curry Awards 2016.
Worthy of a special mention was the seekh kebab (minced lamb, onion and spices cooked in a tandoor). This was not only extremely succulent and tender, but was well seasoned giving just the right ‘kick’ on the aftertaste. The chicken pakora was so tender it was broken with a fork, while the garlic mushroom poori had a good infusion of garlic overlying a general sweetness to the sauce
For mains we selected the chicken chasni while I asked if the chef could rustle up something not on the menu – a king prawn Ceylonese korma. The chasni was a nice natural looking colour not that fluorescent orange stuff you get from dodgy takeaways, as was the case with my korma. You won’t find a kitchen full of E number colours at The Green Chilli Café.
The chasni contained around eight good lumps of chicken breast in sufficient sauce to help mop up the rice. This chef certainly knows how to cook food to just the perfect level. No having to saw the chicken apart, or that stringiness you get with overcooked stuff.
Unfortunately, this is where things went slightly awry. My king prawns simply weren’t king size, and for me there’s nothing worse than ordering king prawn and getting something that isn’t. Oddly some were larger than others. Normally in this dish the prawns are so large you get four to a serving. My dish had 11 mixed size crustaceans.That said though, it was still a damn fine curry. Light in texture, sweet with the coconut and a creamy consistency overall.
For me, taking into account the food and the cracking idea it’s an 8/10.
Garlic Mushroom Poori £3.95
Mushrooms cooked in garlic, Indian spices served on poori.
Green Chilli Pakora £3.95
Only try if you are tough … hot hot hot!!!
Chicken Kofta £4.75
Spiced chicken meatballs cooked in a tomato and gravy sauce.
King Prawn Fritters £4.95
Plump king prawn coated in a crispy batter served with sweet chilli dip.
Chicken Tikka Labbabdar £9.95
Chicken tikka pieces simmered in tomato and onion based sauce, with a touch of butter and cream.
Keema Mutter £9.95
Lamb mince cooked to medium strength in authentic indian spices.
Chicken Jalfrezi £9.95
Mixture of peppers, tomato, onion, green chilli and a host of spices
green chilli cafe
1293 Argyle Street
Telephone 0141 337 6378