7 Church Street, Glasgow, G11 5JP
  • Telephone 0141 339 7711
  • Food served Sun–Thu 5–10.30pm; Fri/Sat 5–11pm. (Takeaway: Sun–Thu 5–11pm; Fri/Sat 5-11.30pm)
  • Average price £21 (evening meal)
  • Email
  • Website

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Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2014 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

This review is taken from the 2013 edition.

The grand piano that seemed out of place in Balbir’s Saffron Lounge is more suited to the opulence of its popular West End sibling. Chandeliers and metallic beads hang in the vast restaurant, crisp white linen and tables set with wine glasses and modern square vases provide a European hotel vibe rather than a traditional curryhouse ambience. Contemporary and refined is the aim of Balbir Sumal, attested by the plentiful number of smart waiting staff. Balbir’s healthy eating focus is its point of difference, with an experienced kitchen preparing dishes with cholesterol-free oil and no ghee. Standard pakora starters sit under more unusual mussels and bhatura chana – light fried bread served with chickpeas. Kormas, bhoonas and biryanis accompany pricier fish curries including jhinga acharri with huge prawns, with many dishes given a spicy kick from fresh green chillies. Banquet-style menus offer tweaking to particular tastes. In these elegant surroundings, many diners choose a bottle from the large wine list but asking will reveal a range of bottled and draft beers.

  • High point: Refined surroundings for a fancy night out
  • Low point: Seafood curries on the pricier side
  • Delivery: £2-3 in local area only
  • Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Halal options, Gluten-free options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access
  • Music on stereo: Contemporary jazz
  • Live entertainment: Occasional jazz pianist
  • Capacity: 150
  • Largest group: 90 (Mon–Thu)
  • Open since: 2005
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 12
  • House wine: £13.50 per bottle

Comments & ratings

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6. weeminou22 Apr 2011, 4:37pm5 stars Balbir's Report

When I was in Glasgow last month, I made my usual pilgrimage to Balbir's. The food was better than ever. we were a medium sized group and everyone enjoyed everything. Balbir's trick of not using ghee is so clever. The food is full of flavour, and yet so light. Can't wait to get back next month

5. wills24 Mar 2011, 2:52pm5 stars Balbir's Report

very good servise and no problems with online reservation

4. Andy W1 Sep 2010, 1:20am1 star Balbir's Report

I thoroughly enjoyed Balbir's when it 1st opened in the West End. It offered innovative food, comfortable surroundings and excellent service. I stopped going about a year ago because I felt that the standard of food had dropped to the merely average.
I revisited it today and really wished I hadn't. The decor is early Co-op
funeral parlour and gives you a real flavour of where your relatives are liable to have your post funeral do, if they don't like you.
The service remains excellent ,if you don't deviate from the script i.e. enquire about something that isn't on the menu.
The menu itself has reverted to what you could order in the 70's. Specials have disappeared- there is a tasting menu but unless this is your first experience of Indian dining ,there's little on it to excite.
Portions are small. Generally the food is ok (one up from Pataks Sauce) but hugely overpriced .This is a restaurant to be avoided unless all of those surrounding it are closed.

3. BigMc12 Dec 2009, 3:16am5 stars Balbir's Report

I was never a lover of Indian restaurants until Balbirs appeared on the scene. Virtually pressganged into a night out with boys in 2006 I went againt my wishes. It is now December 2009 and I / We have been in Balbirs not less than monthly since then.

I / We just love the place and sadly we have introduced others there making it more crowded as they have repeated bookings.

The meals are fantastic and the staff are great.

The banquet is an experience so dont have a quick "Greggs" just to fill a "space" mid afternoon. Nothing wrong with Greggs but not advisable before the banquet.

The negative side is Nickies' ties he really needs a lady in his life to sort him out. Know what I mean Nick !

The Bhel Puri and Tandoori Salmon is a must.

Overall 11 /10 for this restaurant. IS THAT POSSIBLE ?

2. DAB29 Oct 2008, 3:20am5 stars Balbir's Report

We had an excellent meal at Balbirs. Good tasty food combinations resulting in a treat for the tastebuds. Tell the waiting staff what you fancy and enjoy the result. Best to book as it gets very busy

1. Andy D19 May 2008, 8:30pm5 stars Balbir's Report

Very nice food. One of the best Indians in Glasgow. the banquet is a must. They do takeaway as well which is great as we live just around the corner.

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Average rating 4.5/5 from 6 reviews of Balbir's.

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