At the end of this meal I’ll look at the bill and realise that the four so-so poppadoms (black pepper ground on them) with chutneys we had cost… £8.50. Phew, I’ll think, is anywhere on Planet Food cheap anymore? 

Answers on that postcard, of course. But this Sunday lunch that I’ve enthusiastically dragged the family out for is meant to be Indian street food which nowadays, in Scotland anyway, usually means…full-fat restaurant prices. 

Not that I’m complaining at the Bombaywalla Chicken Curry (£9.95) a bowl of richly flavoured, obviously spiced and deftly textured, well, curry with just an edge of sweetness and even what looks and tastes like a curry leaf or two in it. 

Nor are we disappointed with the Chicken Biryani, that seems dry in the bowl at first, but mixes into light, well seasoned and fluffy rice with just enough of the good stuff in it to deliver a real comfort feel. 

The Herald: Bombaywalla,  Glasgow Bombaywalla,  Glasgow  (Image: free)
We’re sharing, incidentally, as things arrive. Arms and hands and forks and spoons are criss-crossing the table laden with a piece of Bombay Chat here (saucy and tangy), some Chinese Bhel Poori there (nothing special about this), those poppadoms with the pepper ground tumbling from them. 

So far…we’ve rattled through yet another pizza-from-another-mother called an Utta-Pizza: spicy mince variety (£10.95) which seems to be a pan-fried parathata with topping. We eat. We enjoy.  

In fact, by the time I dive in for round two of it the whole damn thing has already been eaten. Hmm. 
And then there’s a surprise dish (not just in the pricing) a humble Ghee Dosa at £6.95, large and lacy, folded and cone-shaped and as light, papery and crispy as anything made with aerated lentil and rice batter should be. But the buttery ghee aspect here? It caramelises and crisps the whole damn thing deliciously. 

Of course there’s a Vada Pav too, a mashed potato fritter in a roll (yes, an ordinary one), dry garlic chutney sprinkled around for £5.95. Honestly? Who knew mash and bread could be good, though a better roll would have wowed it. 

Meanwhile, Cal and I are sipping Nimbu Panis (£3.25 each) that strange yet familiar mix of lemon juice, salt, sugar, cumin and masala, while Debs and Seona chug tins of Sprite. 

And all the time like a wallflower in the meal of life there’s a Paneer and Pepper Frankie Wrap (£6.50) sitting at the side of the table just asking to be tried. It’s a combo of cheese, large, hewn red peppers and what tastes to me like mayo. I don’t take to it much and neither do the rest because it will remain completely untouched after the initial tasting. The only thing that is not completely finished. 

The food then? Yeah, pretty good. Portions are small, be warned. And yet when we head back up the stairs and onto West Regent Street and I ask the inevitable question – would we go back – it’s a universal: meh. 

Get Ron's review two whole days before it appears anywhere else.

Why? Hmm. It’s not just that we were the only customers there on this dank Sunday afternoon. Or that the decor is basic to say the least – it is supposed to be street food-ish. And decor is always irrelevant if the food’s good enough. 

Nor is it that the first thing you see when you descend towards the front door is a large hand-written sign ordering delivery drivers to wait outside. And we see one driver being sent outside as we eat. 
It may be that they don’t bother much with the welcome or even the customer interaction here. 

I even have to ask, eventually, if we can order. 

There’s an owner here. We know because he’s out front when we walk in. But there’s no welcome, no interaction except at a pretty basic level. That’s fine in a fast-food joint. Or even a hustly-bustly cafe where it’s all orders a go-go. But in here? This afternoon. It all felt just a little bit awkward. And the food just didn’t sparkle enough to wipe that impression away.

Menu: Bombaywalla Chicken Curry, Utta Pizzas, Ghee Dosas, Vada Pavs, Indian street food. Different. Interesting. 5/5

Price: Two poppadoms and chutneys, £4.25, Utta-Pizza £10.95, Chicken curry £9.95. Given portion sizes it can add up. And these prices is they can raise expectations. 3/5

Okay it’s a Sunday afternoon. In February. Plain basement joint needed something more to bring it to life. A bit tired and weary feeling. 3/5 

Service: They don’t waste much time on the warm welcome, or even do much in the way of interaction. Food brought efficiently enough though when it started. 3/5

Food: That curry was good, the Utta-Pizza enjoyed, the Ghee Dosa a clear standout, overall simple but decent. Needs to sparkle in these settings though. 7/10

Total: 21/30  

186 West Regent Street
Tel: 0141-628-6400