Review: Dakhin, Candleriggs

Glasgow certainly has no shortage of Indian cuisine. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more Indian restaurants than almost anything else in the city. In such a saturated market, how does an establishment truly excel and not just become part of the scenery? We visited Dakhin, in the Merchant City’s Candleriggs, to see if their promise of unusual Indian cuisine would impress.

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The first thing which strikes you when you walk into Dakhin is the stylish modern interior. Clean, straight lines; robust wooden tables; floor to ceiling windows, it’s a great looking place. Modern and clean, but comfortable and nicely lit.

Upon being ushered to a table by one of the attentive staff, the mind naturally turns to drinks. The selection here is a tad disappointing, with only one beer on draft, Kingfisher, a light Indian lager. Fortunately it’s a great beer and goes beautifully with a spicy curry, but a bit more choice would be appreciated for those who like something a bit more interesting. Otherwise, a fairly standard selection of wines and soft drinks are available and reasonably priced.

This lack of choice certainly doesn’t follow through to the menu, where you’ll find page after page of delicious South Indian treats. It’s important to note this North/South distinction here, as you won’t be ordering the food you’re used to when you go to your local curry shop on a Friday night, although it’s not entirely dissimilar. We went for a variety of starters, including crispy and delicious spinach and green chilli bhajjis; “Botata Bonda” (a deep fried mixture of mashed potatoes, spices and coconut) and button mushrooms stuffed with spicy chutney and deep fried. With the exception of the bhajjis, these were all a tad on the stodgy side, although perfectly tasty. Everything is nice and spicy, but won’t blow your head off. The star of the starters are the selection of Indian condiments which you are presented with upon arrival to munch along with some smashed up poppadoms.

For main course, you’ll generally order a curry each and then a selection of accompaniments for the table. This is where you will encounter the mighty Dosa – a huge pancake/bread beast, about 3 feet long, with a sweet naan flavour but the consistency of a chapati. If you come to Dakhin and don’t get involved with one of these, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice. The quality of the curries themselves are absolutely top notch. I opted for a spicy lamb number. The lamb was beautifully cooked, melt in the mouth, and still just a tad pink – the flavours were spicy and aromatic and absolutely sensational. The menu also contains a selection of grilled meats, seafood and even vegetarians are well represented with a dedicated section of the menu, which is always nice to see. The whole meal was served with a smile by attentive, if slightly shy, staff and they certainly did nothing but enhance the wonderful meal.

To revisit our very first question – how does an establishment in such a saturated market excel? Well, Dakhin, seems to answer this question easily, offering delicious Indian food with a twist, in a great environment with attentive, polite service. You’ll pay a bit more than you’re used to, but believe me, it’s worth every penny.

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