Escapism needn’t come in the form of hallucinogenics or soap operas. Sometimes all you need is a faux waterfall bubbling gently as you eat and a few Persian rugs on the walls. One of my favourite places to eat in Glasgow is Paradise – where you step off Great Western Road and straight into a holiday vibe.
My sister, mum and I have been eating here for years, although last Monday it was just mum and I enjoying a catch up over our usual chicken kebabs. We always have number 38 ( see, even the meals are numbered in typical holiday style) which is an off the bone chicken kebab marinated in saffron, olive oil and lemon juice and comes with far too much rice for a petite woman , a blackened char-grilled tomato, char-grilled jalapeño pepper and some salad leaves.
I have it on good authority that Persian food is traditionally not very saucy yet as we seem to like our culinary lubricants here in Blighty there is always a pink marie rose type sauce brought to the table along with a super spicy hot sauce. Being true to type I like to drown my salad in the pink sauce as I find that a mouthful of tangy salad with juicy chicken and blackened tomato just works SO WELL.
For starter we usually order some fat juicy olives, hummus and nan bread which is prefect for sharing, grazing and gossiping. On this occasion we tried the Kashke Bademjan, which was recommended by a friend with Iranian roots and I would never have tried otherwise – being such a creature of habit and all. It’s a warm dip with fried aubergine, walnuts, fried onions and herbs and spices. When mopped up with the light and airy nan bread it’s bloody delicious, sort of like Baba ghanoush but with loads more going on. I ate far too much ( mum took it easy) and have thought about it quite a lot since.
If kebabs aren’t your thang ( though frankly I can’t imagine why that would be) then worry not as there’s a selection of stews available. I’m told that Persian stews are usually something to write home about so next time we go we might share one just to give it a whirl. There are a few kebab options – chicken on the bone and the option of mince, or a mix of mince and chicken if you’re feeling really wild. There’s also a choice of rice or chips for accompaniment. Price wise, it’s about £.9.50 for a kebab but the portions are enormous so you get your moneys worth, trust me.
There’ s no booze on the menu but you can bring you own or nip next door to the Cave which sells a good selection of wine and beer. The service is friendly although can be a teeny bit slow, but that’s OK, you can chill as it’s all about that holiday vibe.
My advice: If you fancy something a little different then slap on the sunscreen ( not really) and get down to Paradise!