Located in a former cinema that looks more like a Chinese restaurant from the outside with the implied red Torii gate (we have since discovered that it was once a Chinese/Japanese buffet restaurant by the name of Koi and also a bar/nightclub called Zico and maybe even a bingo hall like the Mecca next door which also started life as a cinema!). Badabing is unsurprisingly large inside with a high ceiling and lots of empty space – it reminded us of Tusk in Shawlands (back in the day) or perhaps even a cabaret or better yet, the dream sequence from Twin Peaks, what with all those red velvety curtains along the wall…it was very dark but lit mainly by a giant screen playing music that certainly improved on the weird old Italian video that was on when we entered with our pizza/pasta Groupon deal (£9 worth to the value of £25.90)…
It was a quiet night and so we were given a choice of seats, we settled down and noticed that the menu had a few interesting choices…
“Italian nachos” for one, which we shared, basically deep-fried cheese ravioli!? They were crunchy and cheesy with a subtle kick from the dip and a fair amount of garlic in the salad. If we hadn’t shared this it would’ve been a rather large portion for one. Thumbs up and washed down with 2 soda waters & lime charged at a mere 75p each!
For the mains – Gorgonzola and potato pizza with a soft doughy base and stringy Gorgonzola, potatoes and fresh rosemary all together in one happy place. I don’t think I’ve ever had a blue cheese pizza before and you know I, sorry we (as she kept stealing slices) really enjoyed it. The patata topping was crunchy little parmentier cubes of potato (soft inside) and before anyone says a tattie pizza isn’t authentic italian we have actually eaten pizza topped with French fries in Venice so there! This was surprisingly the best pizza I’ve had for a long time! Praise indeed!
Next up is something a bit more mainstream – spinach & ricotta ravioli. The ravioli was large and cooked nicely. Fresh sage (could smell it as the food arrived) and butter sauce. Lots of pine nuts. The pasta kept its shape and wasn’t soggy like some other places. Again, thumbs up!
We spied that they had a few cocktail deals so ordered an espresso martini to go with pudding, and you could definitely taste a fair amount of Kaluha, but it took a long time for the desserts to arrive…
It was big, sugary and gloopy with ice-cream (which wasn’t all that creamy) dribbling down the sides, but overall it was pretty average.
Described as “mini fried doughnut calzones filled with Nutella and served with vanilla ice cream” their shape was unorthodox with a strong chip fat odour emanating from them so they were most likely cooked in the same oil as my patatas! However they weren’t actually that oily or stodgy and had a crisp exterior. What else to say? Basically “Italian Churros” with a slither of warm chocolate rather than a filling, also no ice-cream so what arrived was underwhelming.
Shame, they were doing so well until pudding!
No one came near us once we’d finished despite the place being near empty so we went up to the till to pay, the total cost (excluding £9 groupon voucher) was £21.81.
Overall, the food was a lot better than we expected and the interior wasn’t what we were expecting either. Both male and female toilets were clean and well-stocked. The only downsides being towards the end of the meal with a pudding let-down and the slow service (also be careful if re-adjusting on the seats as it can sound like you stocked up on beer and cabbage the day before!)
So, Badabing is actually worth the trip to Wishaw, just don’t make the same dessert choices we did, and if you’re a real ale drinker there’s a Wetherspoons right across the road (£1.85 for 2 half pints while we waited for the train ain’t bad). Badabing is about a 10 minute walk from Wishaw station where there are regular trains to Ayr via Glasgow or Lanark in the opposite direction. Journey time from Glasgow Central is 27mins+ depending on train.
Now the quest is on to find a Gorgonzola, potato and rosemary pizza in Glasgow, if anyone can recommend somewhere then fire away…but if you live in Edinburgh then you perhaps don’t need to go searching too hard.
Find out more about Badabing in Wishie here.
+ Surprisingly good pizza and pasta
+ Boozy cocktail
+ Twin peaks vibe and weird music videos let to an entertaining night
+ Toilets tip-top
– Service slow
– Desserts could’ve been better
Wed – Sun 12pm – 10pm