79 St Vincent Street | Glasgow G2 5TF
Phone: 0141 229 0000
A couple of doors down from the Topolabamba Mexican Kitchen – its Vincent Street-sharing sister restaurant – the Chaakoo Bombay Cafe is set out with the same desire to transport you from Glasgow’s city centre to an authentic piece of another region.
In this case, it’s the Bombay (or Irani) cafes, which were hugely popular in India up until the 1950s. Originally created by Persian and Iranian immigrants arriving there in the 19th century, these plush cafes drew in people from all walks of life to drink Chai teas, eat from the grill, take in the easy atmosphere and relax.
Sticking firmly to its roots, Chaakoo is designed with the fluidity of a bustling city centre in mind: adapting from day to night and weekday to weekend to form a social space suited to the mood and moment at hand. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a range of nerve-soothing teas and brain-smashing cocktails. It can turn up the tunes to match the energy of the Friday pre-drinks crowd or chill it down to the soft and lazy style of a midweek afternoon catch-up.
Taking a tapas-style approach to its vast menu of curries and traditional grilled dishes, the whole experience is tailored towards sharing, emphasising the value of spending a little time away from the milling crowds outside to sit over a meal or a cup of tea with friends and family. It worked in 19th century Mumbai and it still works now.