A Star is Born: Pakistani Cafe

Photo: pakistani cafe.

For me the most exciting new arrival on the local restaurant scene this year has been the opening of Pakistani Cafe at the foot of Byres Road ? on a site which has played host to a seemingly endless stream of dining propositions which didn?t make it.

There was (in no particular order) Beetlejuice, Gordon Yuill, North of Bondi and Ad Lib, and something called The Long Way Home which I?m afraid I never tried during its all too brief incarnation. If you were of a superstitious frame of mind you might conclude there?s an ancient witch?s curse on the site, which doesn?t seem to have done too well as anything since it was …a bank.

All that, however, is about to change. I could be hugely wrong, but I sincerely hope I?m not, because owner Mr Sharif has brought something rather special to what could become a really legendary West End venue … which is arguably all the more surprising since the venture is an offshoot of a successful restaurant developed in Pollokshaws Road.

Mr Sharif has had his battles to fight on the south side ? and more on that another time ? but I?ve a feeling this could be a very rare case of somebody moving to exactly the right location at the right time.

Since we?re obviously talking about a place which is first and foremost an Asian restaurant this might seem a trifle ambitious, since near neighbours include The Wee Curry Shop in Byres Road and Balbir?s in Church Street ? but in a few months time diners may increasingly start to see Pakistani Cafe as forming the third point of a triangle.

Only an Asian restaurateur with sublime confidence in his food offer would surely dream of moving into a high profile site in the middle of an area well-served by superlative Indian restaurants ? but it?s confidence well founded.

The daytime offer allows you to choose from assorted Asian light bite options, but also to choose slimmed-down versions of the dishes on the evening menu.
This allowed me to try a chicken and fresh spinach dish which was fantastically gingery yet beautifully ?balanced? in every way, set off by wholemeal basmati rice, a fresh wholemeal chapatti, and a generous serving of lime pickle.

Admittedly it will take a few trips to get the hang of a menu clearly inspired by authentic Asian home cooking but this initial experience was enough to convince me that the reputation established in the south side (and not just for the cuisine) will be amply replicated at Partick Cross.

There?s an eclectic range of music playing, from trad Asian to blues, a large rack of books which are clearly there to be read, and a sort of implicit mission statement that says something like ?We?re giving you the best stuff we can manage at the price, in a place where you?ll feel at home?.

More on this one soon, but in an area where there?s usually something exciting to talk about where Asian restaurants are concerned this is genuinely different ? and fans of venues like Mother India, Banana Leaf and Balbir?s should investigate it without further delay.

Glasgow is Capital of Curry

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Avatar of JimByrne West End based web Developer, writer, songwriter and musician. And the person who takes lots of photos for the Glasgow West End website.

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