Chip off the old block
Though only open a few weeks, Cafézique is proving a very complementary companion to its parent deli. Donald Reid went along to check it out
If a deli is trying to tempt you to spend a bit more than you might at a supermarket on the basis that their food is better selected, in better condition and better quality, then you’d fully expect a partner café alongside to be operating under similar principles. The deli should be the best advert available for its neighbouring eating space.
So to the West End of Glasgow where Cafézique has opened where Delizique used to be until a year ago, when owner Mhairi Taylor shifted the latter along the block on Hyndland Street. A mezzanine level has been inserted, while the U-shaped ground floor bar and open kitchen takes up a lot of room on the ground floor – not unlike the new deli, where customer floor space has been compromised to give staff room to work, cook and bake. The walls are lined with reclaimed wood and decorated with a large old black-and-white photo depicting an Arcadian picnic, while there are tables squeezed in beside the large windows.
As with many casual eating places, Cafézique sets out its stall with a rollicking good breakfast menu. It helps, right enough, if your deli is pulling scones, brioche and properly made sourdough bread out of the oven at regular intervals. Glasgow’s West Enders like their brunch spots and that they are flocking here is testament to Cafézique’s right on-ness, but this isn’t a place where style wins over substance. Quit the opposite, actually.
A good example: the long list of specials includes dishes described as Dover sole with grilled asparagus and Jersey Royals or lamb chops with caponata and Arran leaves. You don’t put that sort of thing onto a menu unless you’ve very little imagination or you have absolute trust in the ingredients and your chef’s ability to cook them just right. No hiding under sauces or fusion confusion.
Thanks to its relationship with the deli, the menu also demonstrates that proper good food can look great. A smoked mackerel and beetroot pate is a wonderfully extravagant cerise colour – with a rich, earthy taste to it too – while salads burst with colour and vitality. But the relatively simple dishes don’t diminish the efforts being put in by the kitchen and elsewhere. Thus something as familiar as a Cullen skink has been thought through and reworked, so that instead of a silky, cream-dominated fish and potato soup the Cafézique version is a messy, slurpy affair with a yellowy-green tinge and large flakes of Arbroath smokie.
Anyone who has been watching Delizique’s fairly protracted shift up the street and the gradual unveiling of the café will appreciate that Cafézique isn’t the finished article just yet. The balance of specials and regular menu items has yet to settle and the service seems to be whirring rather than purring. Though of course, if you get hungry, or bored, waiting, you could just nip a couple of doors along to the deli.
66 Hyndland Street, Partick, Glasgow
0141 339 7180, Mon–Sun 9am–10.30pm
Sidekick café-bar-bistro for a highly regarded local deli.
Average price two-course dinner £22