I am well and truly enjoying my year out of my body-building diet and as a result visited one of my favourite restaurants which just happens to be Glasgow’s (nay, Scotland’s) one and only Russian restaurant, Café Cossachok. The King Street eatery offers the most popular ethnic dishes of Russian and Eastern European cuisines. I first visited the restaurant last year after fawning over the silk scarf-laden lamps and Persian-style rugs in the window. The décor really does pay tribute to traditional Russian and former Soviet Union styles. I particularly appreciated the 1970's Soviet movies projected on the big screen, and the sheet music of Tchaikovsky violin concertos pasted on the bathroom walls.
Not sure what Russian food entails? Think good, honest hearty food, presented beautifully. The stand-out starters include their soups such as Borscht (a traditional Russian soup with sour and spicy notes, thanks to it’s beetroot, tomato and garlic base, and comes with delicious syrupy dense rye bread and a dollop of sour cream to lighten the mood). And how can you go wrong with meat, potatoes and veg? The eatery’s shashlik (chicken, pork or lamb) are definite crowd-pleasers. On my most recent visit, I had my first ever taste of monkfish and was not disappointed; pan fried, in a mussel and white wine sauce, served on mash with seasonal vegetables.
We booked through 5pm and got 2 courses for £15.95 (some supplements apply to some courses). If I had any room left I could have taken advantage of one of their many honey-based desserts for an extra £3. Considering we visited on a Saturday night, this was particularly good value for money. Even so, main courses (including steak) range from a mere £9 to £15. BARGAIN.
My review would not be complete without commenting on the excellent service we received. The staff are friendly and look genuinely delighted to hear that you are enjoying your meal. There is a real sense here that it’s a family run establishment and the staff put their heart and soul into your experience.
So next time you are in the City Centre and are looking for a bite to eat, whether a snack to share with a coffee or a cocktail (there’s many a Stalin and Putin-punned cocktail) or a full slap-up, rib-lining meal, skip past the usual generic chain eateries and give this place a go. I guarantee you’ll be RUSSIAN back.
Yes, I did just say that.
10 King Street