Gluten-free tasty food in the Merchant City
Well-located on Candleriggs but easy to miss due to its upstairs location is the amazing South Indian restaurant Dakhin, sister restaurant to Dhabba on the same street. How it took so long for us to come here I don't know. They are listed in the UK Michelin Guide as simple standard food. Once you find your way in (it's directly above Bar 91) it's straightforward.
We were seated quickly with a seat right across from the kitchen, which was handy for us nosey bloggers. Whilst we looked over the menu we received some poppadoms with various dips: mint & coriander, tomato & lentil and coconut & lentil crushed (almost) into a powder.
A couple of drinks were ordered, beer (standard Indian fare Kingfisher) for Mr Foodie and water for Mrs Foodie (trying to be healthy!). Mr Foodie's starter was haddock croquettes known as chappala urundai. Four "torpedoes" of fishiness flavoured with curry leaves, ginger and green chillies. We've always been big fans of white fish in Indian food so this got the thumbs up.
Mrs Foodie's starter was Chemeen Varuthatu which is prawns with a pepper, tomato and garlic sauce with hints of cardamom which was very fragrant with lovely plump prawns and a crisp salad.
Black pepper isn't a spice that's usually promoted in Indian cuisine, is it? Chettind Koli is chicken with onions, tomato and lots and lots of black pepper with a perfect amount of sauce so the meat isn't smothered in gloop like so many other "Indian" restaurants in Glasgow. Big chunks of chicken and a plentiful but not unnecessary amount of black pepper, providing a mild heat and pleasant savory taste.
The Mamsam (lamb) biryani was a beautifully fragrant spiced dish with chunks of lamb and chewy caramelised onions and quite unlike any other biryani we've had in Glasgow. Served with Pachadi on the side, a south Indian-style creamy raita with cucumber, ginger and spices. The sauce in the fish itself was again restrained, an ample amount, just enough to keep the food moist, delicately spiced and amazing. This is definitely a destination dish.
We also ordered their selection of breads (Thosai Thattu). Uluva Chilla bread - Lentil and fenugreek - full of flavour like a chapati. Appam a lacy ground rice and coconut milk bread and Siru Uttapam which is a rice and lentil pancake topped with coriander. Much lighter than the usual stodgy naan bread and all gluten-free.
Could we fit in a dessert? Of course we could!
Thenagai Mitha a slightly halva-like fudge flavoured with coconut and topped with cardamom-spiced milk. Moist, sweet and deliciously moreish.
Paal Payasam - Indian rice pudding. Creamy and sweet topped with fruit and almonds.
The desserts were typically Indian sweet and comforting. The fudge would go perfect with a cup of coffee to end a meal.
We loved Dakhin. The service was friendly and helpful (Mr Foodie had no idea what to order so asked for help); the food was fragrant, lightly spiced and well-cooked. The location is ideal for a business lunch, post-work dinner or pre-concert meal - the City Halls and Old Fruitmarket are just across the road. The only downside was the freezing walk to the toilets which are located outside the main restaurant area, however, once you reach the toilets they are warm! Dakhin specialises in southern Indian cuisine, now we need to check out Dhabba which concentrates on northern Indian cuisine.
+ High-quality Indian food
+ Dishes that you possibly won't find anywhere else in Glasgow
+ Great Service
- Freezing walk to the toilets
Find out more on the Dakhin website.