Sunday, 19 November 2017

Fun Lunch Friday – Topolabamba, Glasgow

Since starting a blog, I’ve had so many brilliant opportunities to discover new things and visit a whole host of exciting new places, but my favourite thing to come out of the blogging world is definitely the wonderful people I’ve been able to interact with! As such, I wanted to include the lovely Lis (from Last Year’s Girl) in mine and Sarahjane’s semi-regular ‘Fun Lunch Friday’ exploration of the Glasgow food scene!
This week has not been a particularly good one for general health – Sarahjane was off ill and I’d had a churning stomach all morning – but I was determined not to cancel when it was Lis’ first choice of lunch destination. The original location was Chaakoo Bombay Café on St Vincent Street, but we arrived to find it fully booked out for lunch! Luckily, their Mexican sister restaurant was only a few doors down on the same street, so we opted for a stop at Topolabamba instead, with a view to returning to Chaakoo at a later date.

Despite it not being the original plan, I’d been meaning to visit Topolabamba ever since a work colleague mentioned it a wee while ago, so it would have been likely to appear in our ‘Fun Lunch Friday’ line up before much longer anyway. We are usually used to visiting places a bit closer to the university buildings, but St Vincent Street is not too far away and made the lunch date easier for Lis to get to from her work. We were seated almost immediately, and served water from reused tequila bottles, so I was excited to see what the rest of the lunch had to offer!

As is common to most of the places we visit, Topolabamba also has a lunch menu available throughout the week. Although, on first glance, the price tag of £9.95 seemed quite steep for an ‘express lunch’ deal, we’d paid more than that when visiting Café Andaluz, so I was willing to give it a try. It is advertised as ‘1+1+ fries or rice’, and allows for a choice of either tacos, tostadas or taquitos plus quesadillas and a choice of either salt and chilli fries or spicy rice. There are also Tortas Mexicanas available at individual prices, but I wasn’t sure how these factored into the deal, so I went with the first option.
Trusting Lis’ knowledge of the cuisine, I chose chicken tinga tacos, smoked chorizo and quesos quesadillas and salt and chilli fries. Lis went for almost exactly the same dishes, but swapped out the fries for rice, and avoided any crema topping on the tacos.
We were advised that the dishes would be brought out as soon as they were available, which allowed you to eat the food at its freshest, but I still waited for everything to arrive so I could get that perfect photo for the blog (obviously)! I was also surprised to see the tacos consisted of little soft tortillas, rather than the hard shells that my limited knowledge of Mexican cuisine led me to believe – regardless of impressions, I couldn’t wait to dig in!

I was initially put off by the large amount of greenery decorating the tacos, but when rolled up together, they were absolutely delicious, even if the chicken was rather spicy! The quesadillas, were less appetising due to the large amount of sneaky onions that I could detect, but if I carefully navigated the filling, the chorizo and quesos was the perfect second choice to complement the chicken and I would definitely order then again, although perhaps minus the added veg. The salt and chilli fries tasted just like my familiar peri peri comfort food from Nandos, so their addition to this meal finished everything off nicely.
After some rather messy eating, and me begging Lis not to judge me on my terrible ability to hold a taco together, we finished up off the dishes and paid the bill. I think the overall price for the lunch was definitely fair for the amount of food that arrived on the table, and the service we received was quick and very friendly. I’d love to visit Topolabamba again, but I’d recommend you ask a server exactly what is in each of the dishes, especially if you are as fussy as me - the menu doesn’t state what extra veg is included, so my hidden onion drama could have been avoided if I’d enquired beforehand!
It was a shame Sarahjane missed out on this visit, but I’m sure she’ll be well enough to join in again on the next one, when we can (hopefully) sample the lunch delights of Chaakoo – although we will definitely make sure we book a table!

So pleased to have Lis included in 'Fun Lunch Friday'!
I always seem to look uncomfortable in these lunch photos, ha!
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