Koh-I-Noor – Indian Restaurant – Glasgow
Laurence and I visited the Koh-I-Noor on a rainy day near midnight while we were in Glasgow for just a few nights. It had been a long day, and this time we hadn’t gone over for a holiday. Our trip to the Koh-I-Noor was admittedly unplanned, and coincidental, as it was the closest thing to our hotel and easiest to get to, us not knowing the streets very well. However, I think at the same time it was a wonderful stroke of luck, because it being my first time at an Indian restaurant, I couldn’t have imagined it going any better. And since then, it having sparked a craving to visit many more, I can still say that this experience remains one of my best.
The first thing you notice once you go in is the décor. It’s luxuriant, and striking, with rich colours of red and yellow. Everything is patterned, styled, and seems particularly selected. While it is surrounded with details and art, it is not overwhelming. It remains classy, a somewhat fancy feeling combined with cosiness, and that’s what I like about it. You feel immersed in the culture, and even while waiting, you look around and feel like you’re learning simply gazing at the walls showing so many different cultural paintings.
The staff must be mentioned as they were so polite and respectful despite us being late, that it honestly felt touching. We felt somewhat embarrassed and like intruders coming in so late, however they couldn’t have made us feel more welcomed and relaxed. The manager himself also served us, and made jokes, freely conversing with us as if we had booked the place to ourselves. Him being the third generation of this family run business really showed, as he seemed to be very well connected with the customers, some of which had been coming since they were very young!
But the star of the whole show was the food – the glorious, delicious food. We got poppadom’s with a selection of dips to start, and we were surprised by the large portions we received, as well as the expert blending and thickness of the sauces. They were oozing with richness and flavour! The spicy onion, the yoghurt tart raita, the sweet mango chutney. It’s seriously up there with one of my favourite starters ever, and just writing about it now makes me wish I were eating it!
For mains, at first, we were deliberating heavily on what to get as we were not expecting such an extensive menu. The variation was incredible, with many sections and detail, but we soon made our choice. Laurence got a lamb Tandoori, and I, a Jalfrezi – spicier than I usually would get.
The curries were thickly rich, copious, and came still hot on a separate fancy plate. The flavours in the curries were so vivid and punchy that it was clear they had been stewed for a long time, an amalgamation of herbs and ingredients blending together. There was also a separate pot we each got of our basmati rice, which was delicate, fluffy, and I can only describe as clouds of heaven. I could not stop eating it – it filled me so gradually that I didn’t realise how much I had eaten until I was about to pop.
But perhaps this final addition to our main meal helped to cause that – the garlic naan bread. It was literally the size of my whole forearm, and there was one for each of us. My God – one could write legends about this garlic bread. It was so incredibly soft, elastic to perfection, the garlic definitely came through, and despite it being so abundant it was so easy to eat. It was firm enough yet pillowy so that it just blended so well with the sauce and the rice. I know – carb crazy, but you gotta treat yourself every now and then!
Despite the fact that I had prepared myself mentally for going ‘all out’, I have never been able to eat as much as I did at Koh-I-Noor’s. The flavours complimented each other so well, it was an experience just to eat it, rather than simply an act of filling the stomach (hence why I couldn’t stop even after it was full!).
In the end I was more than surprised – I was satisfied and blown away. And since my experience at the Koh-I-Noor I have been craving to go back. For Indian cuisine with style, atmosphere, amazing staff and most importantly – undeniably satisfying and rich Indian cuisine, the Koh-I-Noor is one of my top recommendations.
Check out their website to learn more about them, to book your table, and to catch a glimpse of their new book! Being the first Indian restaurant in Glasgow, and having run it for 3 family generations, they not only have a wonderful connection with the people of Glasgow but also a very interesting history. It also features some recipes to recreate some of the favourite dishes!