Good things come in small packages – and this compact sushi bar in Finnieston is a prime example.
Newcomer Cailin’s is one of Glasgow’s lesser-known sushi takeaways, but that’s changing thanks to its reputation for great prices, a packed menu with unlimited mix-and-match potential, and a commitment to fresh and healthy eating. The miso soup is aromatic, and the chicken dumplings crispy, while the sushi comes in bite-size hosomaki roll quartets, loosely packed gunkan cup duets with fillings such as crab meat or corn, or nigiri topped with the likes of omelette, eel or octopus. A mix of all three varieties costs as little as a fiver, while bigger platters and catering-size options are also available. The parsimoniously filled bento boxes and reams of plastic wrapping can make it all feel a little in-flight meal, but importantly the same can’t be said of the freshness. Everything is made on the day, with any leftovers at half price after 10pm.
This review is taken from the current (2016) edition.
If Japan is famed for good use of small space then Cailin’s Sushi is a skilled proponent. It may look unimpressive, with just two tables and a kiosk-style counter but do not be fooled. Behind the scenes – somewhere – exquiste sushi and sashimi is being prepared. There is an appealing and simple artistry in the whole experience as well. First a selection of ginger and sauce – with small bowls to mix the wasabi and soy to a strength of your choosing – arrives with chopsticks. Choose a mixed sashimi combo, and thin slices of raw fish arrive on a platter shaped as an ornamental garden bridge. The delicate slices of fish are simple but delicious. Dragon roll – a whole sushi roll resembling a dragon complete with head and tail (prawn tempura) – impresses with perfectly ripe avocado serving as a foil to the crispy batter. A black dragon roll has less drama but makes up for that with a grilled eel topping – a succulent and flavoursome revelation. There is plenty more going on (bubble teas, ramen, bento boxes, rice burgers, etc) but the sushi and sashimi are the stars of the show.
- High point: Black dragon roll
- Low point: Only a small space for dining
- Notable dish: Black dragon roll
- Delivery: Mon–Thu noon–3pm/5-10pm; Fri–Sun noon–10pm. G1: £3; G2: £2.20; G3: £1.50; G4: £2 G11-12: £1.80 G20: £2.50
- Provides: Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Free wi-fi
- Capacity: 12
- Largest group: 12
- Open since: 2012