We caught the train from Edinburgh Waverley station to Glasgow Queen Street and then a short 10 minute walk to our foodie destination, The Dhabba Restaurant in Candleriggs, Merchant City.
Inside, the restaurant is large and fairly open. The large windows let in lots of light making the fantastic mosaic floor stand out. The colours are warm reds and oranges, with warm wooden tones. Very welcoming indeed.
We were met by the owner, Peter who very kindly helped us navigate the menu. They were in the middle of a menu change, just tweaking a few dishes, so he was able to inform us and let us know how the dishes would change. The menus come in folded newspaper form and are large and informative.
Beers ordered it was time to read The North Indian Independent menu.
First to the table were some bite sized poppadoms and dips. Quite spicy but the sweet mango chutney cooled it down. This gave us time to peruse the menu. The Dhabba has been going for 15 years and this new menu includes some great Indian street food dishes called Chaat Pakodi.
You’ll find mouth watering dishes like Papdi Chaat – spiced chickpeas and potato on crunchy
wafers with a dash of tamarind and mint and Samosa Chaat – samosa pieces, chickpeas, crisp salad and sweet and sour yogurt.
Peter ordered us the Bhel Puri – a dish of puffed rice, sev, potato, mango, with a drizzle of tamarind chutney. We had the newer version which can now be ordered off the menu. The crunchiness from the puffed rice and the pops of sweetness from the pomegranate worked wonderfully well in this cold dish. Very more-ish indeed.
Also to the table came the Ragada Pattice – potato patties and white peas topped with
mint chutney. This dish was warm and soft and you could feel the spices heating you up from the inside out. A great big hug in each bite.
The Dum Pukht, Shahi Nihari – pulled lamb, mildly spiced and slow cooked to a rich creamy perfection. Dum Pukht can be translated as to “breathe” and “cook”. It is a process of slowcooking food in its own juices, thus retaining all of its natural aromas and flavours. The results of this style of cuisine are courtly and peaceful, for a long and leisurely, well, gastronomic experience. This dish is outstanding. It’s delivered in a clay pot and your waiter removes the lid and the dough that seals the pot. The lamb is soft and tender and the taste is incredible. View the video here.
This was served with the Daal Makhani, a very rich and buttery concoction
of black lentils, kidney beans and split chickpeas.
And the Lacchedar Paratha – whole-wheat, buttery, flaky, multilayered breads to scoop up the daal and dunk in the lamb sauce.
Now to the piece de resistance – the Tandoori Monkfish dish. Macchi Tikka is the best of Scottish monkfish marinated in aromatics to bring out the special flavour.
These are succulent chunks of monkfish are absolutely amazing. The monkfish is robust enough a fish to hold the big bold flavours and take the heat from the tandoor oven.
I was never a fan of fish and curry but I’m totally converted. The monkfish is stunning – a must try dish.
And because we couldn’t make up our mind, they kindly offered to give us a scoop of each of their four Malai Kulfis to try. The Rose was my favourite, with Pistachio a close second. Mango was very subtle flavours and the Cardamom a very different taste but utterly delicious.
To finish off a very long lunch we indulged in some Chai Tea.
I honestly can’t fault this dining experience. The spice flavours were subtle, and the heat builds in your mouth rather than burning it on the first mouthful. The spice flavour profiles are wonderful, rich and quite hearty. The aromas are heavenly coming from the toasted and roasted flavours prevalent in North Indian Cuisine. I love the street food and the salads all bringing in the light, crispy and fresh elements to the overall menu along with the thick, mild curries.
The staff are very polite, know and understand the menu thoroughly and will truly look after you from the moment you walk in.
Thank you to Ryan Buchanan Photography for the great images www.ryanbuchanan.co.uk
The Dhabba, 44 Candleriggs, Merchant City, Glasgow G1 1LD Tel : 0141 553 1249 www.thedhabba.com
Utterly fabulous and I give them my Tartan Spoon Award 10/10