I haven’t really mentioned much about our recent holiday – this meal right at the end of our trip was the foodie highlight of our two weeks away. We were in Egypt for a week soaking up the heat and sun, and also spent some time in London and Essex visiting family and it was all very relaxing and much needed!
We split our journey from Gatwick back to home in Inverness, in Glasgow. After dropping off our stuff at the Glasgow Pond Hotel (which I should have written a review for, as we were really impressed – only 10 minutes by train to central Glasgow and close to the West End shops and restaurant, smart and clean bedrooms, fantastic breakfast and free parking. We paid £80 for 1 night) we caught the train into Queen Street and navigated the Merchant City streets to Kool Ba!
After reading many glowing Trip Advisor reviews earlier on in the day, we decided to shun the many good West End restaurants and headed to Kool Ba as their dual Persian and Indian menu sounded too good to miss.
I asked a member of staff if I could take some pictures of the restaurant and food for the purposes of the blog and he said that he would ask his manager. Shortly afterwards, his manager Nezam came along and was beyond helpful and so friendly, giving me full rein of the restaurant and bar for photos. I’m a bit wary of snapping unsuspecting diners in pics, so stuck to the free areas. As you can see, it is an absoutely stunning yet relaxed space – I loved the stone walls, stained glass light fittings and traditional patterns in the seating and on the walls.
This picture above shows the plethora of awards that Kool Ba has attained during almost 10 years of trading, and Nezam proudly mentioned that Kool Ba is one of four restaurants representing Glasgow in the 2015 Curry Capital Final Awards. (edit: Koolba contacted me last night to tell me they won “Best curry restaurant”!)
I also got behind the bar which was well stocked!
By this time it was time to return to Mr B who had been perusing the menu. I had already looked online so had an idea of what I might try, but even looking at the menu again I was swithering over whether to eat Persian or Indian food. We decided to go with Persian starters, a Persian main course for me and an Indian main for Mr B.
We didn’t have long to wait before the starters came out! We chose the mixed mezze (£8) which consisted of a huge pillow of naan bread, accompanied with Houmous (not pictured) Mirza Ghassemi scorched smoky aubergines in a light tomato sauce with egg and finely chopped garlic, and Mast-o-Moosir , a cooling Persian yoghurt dip with herbs and garlic.
Seasonal mixed vegetable pakora, chicken breast pakora, river fish pakora and a bowl of Chicken Oliveh, a Persian salad comprising pickled cucumber, fresh mint, potato and both chicken and egg. Everything was delicious, and so fresh. I loved the silky smoothness of the houmous and everything was perfectly seasoned and the pakora batter was light and completely filled with deliciously spiced vegetables, chicken and fish.
With those unexpected extra starters, we had to take a short breather before our main courses arrived. Mr B chose the Special Lamb Dopiaza, which as well as succulent lamb included crispy onions, button mushrooms and fresh coriander. He also had mushroom rice, and we attempted to share a Keema Naan with my choice of main course – the Majestic Kebab which consisted of 2 skewers of chicken and lamb, served with a dressed salad. From the pictures you can see everything is topped with a generous sprinkle of herbs and like the main courses you could taste the freshness and the succulent flavours of all the meat.
Of course after all this delicious food, we were well and truly stuffed, so we were ready to get the bill. However, Nezam had a different idea and as well as the bill, brought us three different desserts to sample! Mr B steered clear of the baklava due to his nut allergy, but we both enjoyed a taster of the sticky toffee pudding as well as Gulab Jamun, a milk-solids based dessert dumpling. Interestingly, it tasted similar to the sticky toffee pudding, but a little lighter than the stickier British version.
We had a brilliant time at Kool Ba. What initially was a last minute choice of evening meal, ended up being one of our favourite restaurant experiences ever! If you have even just one night in Glasgow, do head here for a lovely relaxed and high quality meal!
Thanks to Nezam and his team at Kool Ba who were so hospitable to us. We paid for our visit and received some free additional items courtesy of the restaurant, with no obligation to provide a positive review.