During a cold and blustery Saturday afternoon in Glasgow, a trip to the Koh-i-noor was just what I needed to heat me up a little.
A warm welcome from the staff and colourful and comfortable surroundings gave the perfect start to a pre-theatre dinner at the Charing Cross restaurant.
The menu offered a wide selection of dishes and at £12.95 for three courses, I thought it was great value for money.
I opted for the cauliflower pakora to start which is something I had never tried before but thought it sounded interesting. It arrived quickly along with a selection of dipping sauces for the table and was fresh, crispy and definitely something I would choose again.
As a vegetarian, I’m always impressed with the range of dishes available for me to select from at Indian restaurants and the Koh-i-noor was no exception. My go–to meal is always a daal curry and although I did swither over trying something new, it was the old favourite that won me over.
We chose to split the accompaniments so there was a selection of rice and nan breads for us to share. A special nan was available for a £1 surcharge and I had to go for the sweet and sticky rogani nan, made with honey and coconut, which was very messy to try and eat but absolutely worth it.
The daal curry was made to perfection and there was just the right level of heat for my taste. There’s nothing worse than looking forward to a curry and then not being able to enjoy it because it’s too spicy, but that was no problem this time.
After a satisfying first two courses, there wasn’t much room for desert although the table next to me did opt for the gulab jaman which looked tasty.
I decided to finish off the meal with a strong black coffee which was accompanied with a selection of sweet treats served in a beautiful display.
The meal was one of the best I’ve had in ages and I made a promise to take my dad back for his birthday next month. The Koh-i-noor is one of his favourites and most of our family celebrations were spent in there over the years as it was always top of his list when we asked for suggestions.
I spent the evening of my college graduation in the Koh-i-noor and we even had our Christmas dinner in it one year when we were feeling particularly exotic.
Thanks to this, the staff always greet us with a warm and friendly welcome and on my most recent visit, it was easy to see just how many of the customers were made up of regulars. One of the other diners even told a story of how she remembered coming to the restaurant during her childhood as her dad used to take her and I think it shows what a great service you get at the Koh-i-noor with a high number of repeat customers.
One thing that always used to fascinate me as a child was the story of the restaurant’s namesake – the Koh-i-noor diamond – which was written on the table mats at the time. It means ‘mountain of light’ and the 793 carat diamond was found in India during the 13th century. It ended up in the hands of Queen Victoria after the British conquest and it now forms part of the Queen Mother’s crown.
Situated in the busiest part of Glasgow city centre, the Koh-i-noor certainly is a diamond and well worth a visit.