IT’S SO busy, so buzzy, families piling through the door and queuing up higgedly-piggeldy around the greeter guy, tables behind awash in food and drink and people, all talking and eating, that I panic and realise we’re not getting in. And I need to get in tonight.

So I do what I have done maybe only once before. I phone a man. And he phones a man. And a man suddenly appears amidst the hustle and bustle and shouts over it: are you, Ron? And I shout excitedly: hey, man, yes. And a few moments later magically I find myself…at the end of the queue.

What the…? Sigh. Should have said I was a blogger. Still, it gives me a chance to ask the family waiting beside me – mum, dad, lots of smiley little kids – what’s going on. Wednesday Night? 6.45pm? This queue is now actually, literally, spilling out onto Victoria Road. They dunno either.

Kebabish reopened last week – around two years after they had a big fire. The usual nosebag for the great and the good took place, then the public got in, then it was under siege at the weekend, so the family, like us, picked the quietest time. On the quietest night. To try it out. As, obviously, d’uh, has everyone else.

Fast forward say, I dunno, 15, 20, 25 minutes – there’s so much hustle and bustle that I lose track – and we’re at a two-seater. Stopping one of the waiters with iPads – there are actually 12 staff in my line of sight right now – to order a mixed grill, a machli fish, an aloo methi with fenugreek and potato.

We’re drinking – make that inhaling because it’s so light – mango lassi from an £8 jug, all ice cold, sugary sweet and so absolutely seductive that Luca and I agree we could easily spend an awful lot of money, very, very quickly on this stuff and be unable to eat a mouthful when the food comes.

When it does, it's relentless – pakoras, and curries, great floppy nan breads, jugs of lassi, but mainly heaped, seared, charred and tantalisingly aromatic grilled stuff. From that enormous charcoal grill right at the front door, manned right now by teams of brow-wiping griller-men, whole baby chickens behind them dripping roast juices, lamb chops before them – all a-sizzling. Skewer upon skewer of seekh kebabs being turned with regimented regularity.

We have poppadoms; spiced onion; the machli fish arrives – a haddocky whiteness beneath a crisp spice-encrusted crust, a mound of soft, sweet white onion underneath that. Steam still rising slowly as we pick it apart in quick gobbled-down chunks. We dip bubble-laden pieces of nan into an aloo methi that is packed with crumbly potato, rich with vibrant herbs, laced occasionally with refreshing slivers of fresh tasting ginger.

The grill is coming, a waiter says, looking over the throng behind him towards the action, pausing to say the same thing to the table of young dudes beside us. And it does and it's why everyone is really here. It's why most people in Glasgow, from the Asian community anyway, go to most Indian restaurants in Glasgow: desi food, fresh from the fire. There are lamb chops, grilled tikka chicken bits, seekh kebabs, more chunks of freshly grilled meat, chicken wings, sauces...We eat the chops, nodding while doing so, taste the seekh kebabs, juicy, moist, charred but we can’t go on. We’re full already. And £20 of the house speciality defeats us.

Now, I should say, at this point, before Kebabish went up in smoke, back in the day, and was closed for so long, we ate from here regularly. Baby chicken takeaways, the occasional mixed grill, crispy crumbled onions covering everything. It hasn’t changed. The food is still good, the grilled stuff is still what it’s all about. It’s not fancy, it’s not cheap (and btw I paid for our food, as always), but it’s got something.


323 Victoria Road, Glasgow,

0141 424 1879

Menu: Pretty much all about that giant charcoal grill at the front door, and the baby chicken, mixed grills, lamb chops, but they turn out curries too. 4/5

Atmosphere: Right now, probably the hottest, busiest, most bustling restaurant in Glasgow, as it reopens after a long closure. 5/5

Service: Under siege when we were in, but swarms of waiting staff turned things around swiftly and efficiently. 4/5

Price: A mixed grill to feed a few is £21, the aloo methi cost me £8.95 while the machli was £9.95. Not cheap but they’re queueing to get in. 3/5

Food: Straightforward and simple village food and probably all the better for it, faultlessly turned out, good freshly made curry. 7/10