Baker’s Delight


YOU never know, I tell myself, as I drop a full five kilos of chapati flour and about the same weight in spices and pickles into my trolley-basket thing. There’s been an explosion in the range and quality of cooking at Casa Mackenna since the lockdown with my teenager Luca’s grilled cheese sandwiches and fresh-made doughnuts for Sunday brunch a genuine surprise (and not just that the house didn’t burn down).

Now that I’ve stopped panic buying Lidl garden equipment and switched my food shopping to little local stores I’m amazed that while supermarket shelves may be cleared there are absolutely no shortages here. SuperAsia today is groaning with fresh fruit and vegetables while actual genuine sacks of flours and rice reach almost to the roof.

From a distance, it looks the same at Strawberry Garden not far away in Pollokshields while at the almost mystical Baker's Delight across the road from there the shelves may seem empty but that, I’m assuming, is simply because they’ve sold out for the day.

I can certainly see that the smiley young man who has previously served me is now masked and gloved behind the counter and rattling out manakish and fatayer right beside the oven like they are going out of fashion. As the door to the back momentarily swings open I get a glimpse of what looks like a fabulous bakery conveyor belt in full, flying action – Wallace and Grommet style.

There are 62 local places (I'm in Glasgow's leafy south side) doing deliveries on my Let’s Eat app when I look. But that number tumbles significantly after I discount the ghost kitchens (can’t find them on Google Maps), avoid the ones with the absolutely worst reviews (Let’s Eat’s customers don’t hold back) and try and stick to things actually made on the premises rather than de-freezered.

I suspect it’s proving very difficult for otherwise shut-down, normally sit-down restaurants to compete on home delivery with the long established takeaway joints who completely dominate this app. And not simply because they’re discovering very few kinds of food are suitable for putting in a box and whisking across the city.

The manakish, however, is stunningly suitable for such a task. This levantine or Eastern Mediterranean flatbread, to the casual eye anyway, is just like a softer, less chewy pizza, fired in the oven till puffed and bubbling and topped with all sorts of fabulous things.

I can tell you that while Baker’s Delight’s entry on Just Eat is a little bit confusing, they do deliver until around 8pm and that later today, and post another episode of the jaw-droppingly mad Netflix series Tiger King, I will be standing with Luca at the kitchen table where we will be eating our way through three whole delivery boxes of their stuff.

Standing, because this food’s best eaten super fresh from the baker’s oven, and also because, frankly, who can wait for sit-down formality with such appetising smells?

While we’re eating we’ll chat about whether the cheese and zaatar manakish or the mince and pomegranate one is the best. For me, it’s the cheese and zaatar; the historic spice mix of sesame, sumac, salt and thyme dusted throughout the cheese, the whole lot bubbled and crusted in places into an appetising and addictively moreish vision, that fresh, supple dough.

The manakish with finely minced lamb is a good rival though, sudden swatches of sweetness from the pomegranate sauce livening it up and making it, too, refreshingly different.

We intersperse all this with mouthfuls of fatayer, pillowy parcels stuffed with steaming spinach. And, to finish, of course, another manakish with nutella and banana.

Now, I’ll pause for a moment just so you can get your heads around this: the prices here are truly startling. I’m not looking at you Domino’s, but that cheese and zaatar manakish was £2.60 (£2.50 in the shop); the minced lamb and pomegranate £2.75 and those fatayer? They’re £1. Brilliant food. Travels well.

Baker’s Delight

20 Forth Street


G41 2SS

0141 4295469

Menu: It’s a bakery with a shop and oven right out front where they fire up interesting pizza-ish manakish including zaatar and cheese, mince and pomengranate, labneh and veg plus those fatayer.

Price: Sit down for this: The manakesh, about the size of a small to medium pizza, are £2.50, the fatayer £1. Amazing.

Food: Simple, super-fresh, full of flavour and therefore almost impossible to beat.

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