Te Seba


YOU may remember this place when it was called Turnip N Enjoy which got my award for the best-restaurant-with-a-daft-name-in-all-Glasgow. It was actually quite good and the people were nice but then it just kind of closed with little more than a poignant website post to record it was ever even there.

For a while it was nothing, but now suddenly it’s reopened again with the same pleasant people and a name that is no longer daft. The new one’s actually Kosovan and means, I think, Seba’s Place, and that’s what I was told by Seba’s wife who has served me this lunchtime.

Now, before you say Kosovo and pasta I Googled this and Kosovans do indeed eat a lot of pasta. Whether they eat it with prosecco every day I couldn’t rightly say but I’m not completely convinced the Glasgow lunchtime crowd is ready for that heady combination.

Put it this way: there’s only me and one other couple in here just now. Though, honestly, almost a tenner for a bowl of pasta may be fine in the evening but at lunchtime? Lunchtime menu – and prices surely?

Anyway, pasta and prosecco is what it’s all about here and now on Glasgow’s Great Western Road, as the sun kisses the pavement outside, and people rush about outside carrying lunchtime sandwiches to stuffy desks.

I’ve just leisurely eaten a great big bowl of pappardelle with ragu – not you’ll note that awful British concoction Bolognese sauce – and I feel an overwhelming temptation to describe it as silky, even though it’s actually much better than that tired old cliche. The pasta is sleek, soft and delicious but, and here’s the cunning bit, someone has gone to a great deal of trouble to make a ragu from brisket that is rich, packed with morsels of tender meat and clinging, as it should be, to every strand. I eat it all and then scrape the very edge of the bowl with my fork.

However, given Te Seba here offers exclusively pasta and that’s either pappardelle, fettuccine or lasagne, and this is basically the same thing just cut differently, I want to know where this pasta comes from. Is it handmade in the back? At home? Is this info on the menu? Is it on the website? Can the staff help me? Ummm. I don’t get any more information than an enigmatic assurance that it’s made locally. It certainly tastes fresh.

Frankly, though, if this is an attempt to re-discover pasta – and who wouldn’t want to have glorious pasta every single day – then it may be an idea to boast a little about where that pasta comes from. If this is an attempt to do for pasta what has pretty recently been done very successfully for pizza; call it gentrification, artisanation or masterchefisation then it needs a kick in the marketing pants.

Funnily enough, and along those lines, there was more than a little wobbly moment when I first sat down and tasted my opening dish here. Cacio Mac is what it’s called on the menu, cunningly combining the name of pasta’s hottest Roman (in magazineland anyway) dish with the hipsterish vogue for anything mac.

Intrigued I waited to see what hand-crafted pasta shapes would be coming my way dressed simply and purely with pecorino.

In fact it was a bowl of rigatoni with a light and gentle sauce made from pecorino. Fine, but to my tastebuds this was straightforward dried pasta. Not that dried pasta is any worse than fresh. It’s not. For many dishes it’s better. But you can get dried anywhere. Getting a really good fresh pasta is nigh on impossible if you ignore that yellow cack they sell in the supermarkets.

Anyway, you’ll be wondering about the prosecco. Be serious. This isn’t the 90s. I have a bottle of mineral water with my lunch and head off into the afternoon thinking I had a one good bowl of pasta.

But is that enough to keep this place in business?

Te Seba

393 Great Western Road,


Tel no: No bookings

Menu: Nothing if not straightforward: fettuccine, pappardelle, lasagne, some mac ’n’ cheese and, er, that’s it. Oh and Prosecco. 4/5

Atmosphere: Quiet Wednesday afternoon and it's a pleasant enough place to while away an hour or so, with brick walls and jazzy music. 3/5

Price: Pricey for a bowl of pasta at lunch: fettuccine with bacon egg and parmesan £8.50, ragu pappardelle £9.50 and lasagne, mac 'n' cheese £6. Fine for dinner. 3/5

Service: Pleasant, they probably need to be a bit hotter on their unique selling point: that pasta. 4/5

Food: I had one very good bowl of pappardelle with a lovely rich ragu, not so thrilled with the cacio mac. If pasta is all you’re after then this may be enough. 7/10