LOOK at all the peaches, someone is sleepily singing over and over again in a croaky, folky, hippy-dippy voice on the sound system. So seductive is this mid-afternoon drawl that I pause my descent into a gloopy pond-green chipotle and tomatillos salsa verde and Shazam it just to find out who the hell it is. Aldous Harding. Uh? No, I’ve never heard of her either.

But then I’d never met the waitress before I walked in this place 10 or so minutes ago and she’s already calling me my love. It’s that kind of place. Bare brick walls, clean white tiles, exposed sandstone blocks and everyone seems to know everyone else.

Within an hour or so of kicking back on the old metal-framed chairs and grazing through the day’s specials I’ll have learned that the guy in the corner is getting married in exactly a week. That the 70-year-old father of one of the couple with the dogs by the counter was so impressed with the service that the waitress actually literally blushes deep pink as she’s being complimented. And that the foursome by the door like having their photies taken in cafes.

There’s a beardy chef in the open-ish kitchen which is not, I know, definitive proof that we’re in post-hipster land but as Dennistoun here and Duke Street out there is, to my mind, Glasgow’s coolest quarter, an Arizona in sandstone rain and attitude, then it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume this is where they bolted when that beardy-love thang all but died.

Still, you’ll be wanting to know about the food. It's good.

“How did you like that little blue Smurf,” one of the waitresses says looking down at my plate splattered with the remains of three fat, fresh pancakes, lemon mascarpone, pear puree and cinnamon sugar. I’m so zoned out by the whole vibe that for a millisecond I have no clue what she’s talking about.

Then I look down at the remains of the pale blue butterfly pea malabi, still trembling like a girly panna-cotta, and a low watt light-bulb switches on in my head. Ah, I blurt, “kinda reminded me of Angel Delight”. Probably not what the chef had in mind when he infused the distinctive blue petals of the exotic butterfly pea plant in milk and created a wibbling, wobbling, shimmering jewel of the north. But them’s the breaks. And it was certainly pleasant.

Pleasant, too, was the huge plateful of food that came with that salsa verde I mentioned up there. It pooled around rich, dark leaves of cavallo nero and sat beneath blobs of creamy herbed labneh, while they both covered hunks of spiced and pulled duck leg and the whole lot positively smothered a slab of toasted sourdough. And there’s a poached egg, that split and oozed a deep, orangey red over the whole shooting match. I ate it all up.

Now, there are possibly more flavours here than anyone should be able to safely shake a stick at but taken in big, fat forkfuls, followed up by smears of that crazily vibrant salsa? It works.

Oh, I did something when I ordered that I don’t think I’ve ever done before in what must be getting reasonably close to a 1000 or so restaurant reviews. I ordered the soup. I’m not a soup person, preferring to save it for the days when I’ll have no choice…but baby it was cold outside, took a while to warm up in here, and cauliflower and thyme for some weird reason sounded like a quick and fast fix.

Was it? Ummm, it will be a while til I order soup again. This being white and speckled and dripped and dropped prettily with some reddish oil but it didn’t really taste of anything much.

I’ll have an Eccles cake to finish and another coffee and sit back and enjoy the world going slowly by. It really is that kinda place.


567 Duke Street


0141 237 2040

Menu: Hipster-happening exotic ingredients including butterfly pea malabis, labneh, and chipotle-a-go-go. On sourdough, and eggs, with pancakes too. Interesting. 5/5

Service: Both waitresses are cheery and chirpy, warm and friendly. Quite possibly this cafe’s No1 secret ingredient despite the exotics on the menu. 5/5

Atmosphere: It’s cool, man, but so is Dennistoun and a corner spot with brick walls, white tiles and someone called Aldous Harding on the sound system is good. 5/5

Price: I paid £8.50-ish for each of the huge specials from the roll-down paper menu and £3.50 for soup so it's good value. 4/5

Food: They’re not reinventing the wheel but what they do do, they do well and with a serious eye to the flavours. The duck thang with sourdough was enjoyable. 8/10