Cafe An­daluz West End

Evening Times - - TIMESOUT - 2 Cress­well Lane. Tel: 0141 339 1111.

FOOD AT­MOS­PHERE SER­VICE

THE Moll’s mood was as black as a witch’s kit­ten. I needed to act and fast.

I’d got a tip off a Glas­gow din­ing in­sti­tu­tion was cel­e­brat­ing a mile­stone birth­day. There was no need to rev up the Buick ei­ther, the joint was just a stone’s throw away from Tec Tow­ers.

Cafe An­daluz has been serv­ing up a taste of South­ern Spain on Cress­well Lane for 20 years. No small feat in to­day’s com­pet­i­tive din­ing cli­mate.

With so many new restau­rants open­ing up, it’s easy to for­get the old favourites. The owner tells me some din­ers wrongly as­sume Cafe An­daluz is a chain be­cause there are now restau­rants in the city cen­tre,

Ed­in­burgh and Aberdeen but it’s a home-grown Glas­gow busi­ness.

Step­ping in­side, the decor in­stantly evokes im­ages of balmy Span­ish nights, with ter­ra­cotta tiles, pat­terned ce­ram­ics and An­dalu­sian art­work.

We are shown to our ta­ble and I or­der up a pitcher of San­gria while we pe­ruse the goods on the menu. I’m not a huge fan of the Span­ish tip­ple but this one is the cat’s py­ja­mas. It’s fruity, mor­eish and light and the jug emp­ties quicker than a gang­ster’s poker night be­fore a po­lice raid. We de­cided on three tapas apiece and it’s a dif­fi­cult task to choose. There’s dishes to suit ev­ery taste, in­clud­ing sep­a­rate ve­gan, veg­e­tar­ian and gluten free op­tions. The grilled goat’s cheese with home-made Seville or­ange and chilli mar­malade is gen­er­ously pro­por­tioned and ex­tremely flavour­some.

I’ve cho­sen the Span­ish sta­ple of Tor­tilla Es­panola, which is thick with­out any hint of stodge and served with a lovely Pixto salsa. To mix it up I can’t re­sist the Gam­bas Pil Pil, hot roast king prawns with olive oil, chilli, pa­prika & gar­lic and they are mouth­wa­ter­ingly tasty.

The por­tions are gen­er­ous and there isn’t a scrap of food left on my plates. The Moll made light work of the fil­let of sea bass with slow­cooked red pep­pers, gar­lic, pa­prika, chilli, black olives, ca­pers and an­chovies. She paired this with the En­sal­ada An­daluza, a salad of as­para­gus tips, ar­ti­chokes and sun blush to­ma­toes with a sweet hi­namin dress­ing.

There was just enough room for her to jam in some skin-on halved new pota­toes in a spicy tomato sauce and ali­oli or Patatas Bravas if you speak the lingo.

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