BY THE TIME I walk through the front door of Rickshaw and Co, head swivelling between the empty-looking dining room to the left and that mezzanine above I know the internet has lied to me. Again. Sigh.

No tables available here til at least 8pm, the restaurant’s app had absolutely sworn blind. Should I believe that? At just after 6pm on a Tuesday? In this summer of rail strikes, rampant inflation and growing poverty?

Phone the restaurant, then. But amazingly Rickshaw doesn’t appear to have a number online.

So I take a flier and jump in the car, 10 minutes later reversing into a parking space in the west end of the city, slap, bang, right outside the restaurant. And breeze in like a total random to be pretty immediately shown to a primo booth upstairs. Phew.

Amongst bicycle wheels, rickshaw hoods, corrugated iron walls (well, one), a strange booth thing against a wall and a step-ladder. Which I eventually decide is not a restaurant prop, but has probably been left there in the rush to its fairly recent opening.

Food? Tandoori broccoli, all seared from the oven, smeared with charred and bubbled ginger garlic and turmeric paste is on the table pretty fast. I’m seriously doubting whether it is actually “fresh garden broccoli” as the menu claims, but it’s hot and peppery yet light and very pleasant.

I’m somehow expecting the Beetroot Chola Bhatura to be beetroot coloured, or have beetroot in it, and can’t detect either whilst rolling puffy, flaky, pancakey layers around spiced chickpea. Not that it really matters because suddenly I’ve eaten it all, thereby ending all investigation.

They boast of baking their own bread here but when it comes to the roll surrounding Mumbai’s favourite street food, Vada Pav, they probably shouldn’t bother. It looks to me and feels and tastes the same as one from a bakery.

That disappointment aside, the combo of crisply fried potato dumpling, crumbled onion, chutneys and squirty sauces all make it worth the eating.

Street food so far, then. The latest big thing in the Indian food scene. Restaurants now popping up pretty much everywhere. There’s even a pretty tiresome UK chain now in the city centre, all promising this lighter, punchier, sexier take on what we’re used to.

I’m certainly crunching okra fries throughout this meal, refreshingly crisp spears of greenness dipped in what looks like a thin batter and fried til crisp. Once upon a time I suspect this would have been called okra pakora, but who cares?

The prawns in that Prawn Koliwada are still moist, almost sizzling on the platter, and while the menu describes it as “moderately spiced & precisely cooked” the okra have that almost indefinable and slightly seductive curry leaf tang.

There’s a big chocolatey bowl of Lamb Handi to spoon through, which I do before wading on into the House Special Black Daal. A calming bowl of lightly spiced lentil, cumin wafting here and there, that I quite enjoy but don’t actually finish because I suddenly realise it’s probably the addition of butter and cream that makes this the special. And it’s not that I don’t actually like either of them, though I don’t, but they make it gloopy.

It’s an airy spot up here on the mezzanine, high ceiling, lots of glass on the wall facing this balcony. It looks like there’s even an outdoor sitting area over in the corner there.

Sterling work has been done to create that street food, rickshaw buzz, but to me there’s still the faintest hint of former cocktail bar about it all. A good few tables have been occupied since I came in, a family of six to my left, three students in the next booth along, but there’s still plenty of space available when I leave.

Given that most dishes are cutely priced at around the £5 to £6 mark it seems perfectly pitched for a tea-time rush. Time perhaps to get themselves a phone number?

Rickshaw & Co

9 Partick Bridge Street



Menu: Vada Pav, Beetroot Bahtura, Prawn Koliwadas. It’s Indian street food, the current No 1 buzz in the restaurant scene. Slightly different. 4/5

Service: Pleasant, efficient, friendly and helpful. 5/5

Atmosphere: Almost vast, certainly airy; spirited attempts to rickshaw theme it have been made. Pleasant place to be. 3/5

Price: Vada Pau £4.50, Beetroot Chola Bhaturaa £5.50; Okra Fried £4.50. There are certainly tightly priced dishes here. 5/5

Food: It’s a lighter, small plate experience. Food is generally reasonably good, that Beetroot Bhatura sticking out. 6/10