- Telephone 0141 258 6482
- Food served Mon–Sat noon–10pm; Sun 3–10pm
- Pre-theatre times Mon–Sun 2–6pm
- Average price £6.95 (set lunch); £17 (evening meal)
- Pre-theatre price £9.95
- Website www.charcoalscafe.co.uk
With piquant tandoori starters and flavour-rich fiery curries, Charcoals Café heats up the historic heart of Glasgow.
This review is taken from the current (2016) edition.
Charcoal’s Café on Trongate is a smaller, more informal version of the award-winning Charcoals on Renfield Street. Leather booths and dark wood tables set the tone for this chilled-out and efficient little eatery. The relaxed vibe extends to the menu where diners can take a tapas approach, ordering a selection of small plates or stick to the old starter and main routine. Staff are amenable and attentive, excited about the menu and happy to recommend. The selection makes good use of the café’s tandoor oven, with even the introductory poppadums – gently spiced and less oily than usual – benefiting from the traditional cooking method. Starters are particularly accomplished – the vegetable samosa arrives topped with a lightly spiced chickpea dhal, which offers a tantalising clue to the quality of the main courses. Delicious paneer tikka is also deserving of mention, its chunks of triangular paneer coated in a sticky marinade and baked until tender. Like a number of the dishes on the menu, and the restaurant on the whole, it seems to add up to more than a sum of its parts.
- High point: Tandoori poppadums
- Low point: Staff almost too attentive
- Notable dish: Paneer tikka
- Delivery: £1.75 per delivery, 3 mile radius
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Halal options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Pre-theatre menu, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Romantic music
- Capacity: 48
- Largest group: 50
- Open since: August 2013
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 3
- House wine: £13.50 per bottle