Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the Radio Times, or at least that’s what they say on the adverts. Here are some other things which, I’m sure you will agree, are inextricably linked with Christmas time:
- Father “Daddy” Christmas
- The mad rush to make sure you’ve used up all your annual leave
- The tedious debate over whether Die Hard is a Christmas film
- Trying to think of a really good Secret Santa gift right up to the £10 budget but you end up spaffing the load on scratchcards
- The overwhelming sadness that surrounds you when you realise one day you’ll die
- Turkey (the animal)
Well, I’d like to think that there’s a new kid in town. A new, Christmas kid. But who is this Christmas kid? It is this kid —-> The annual review of the kebabs etc. from the Glasgow Christmas markets kid!
Last year, we looked at St Enoch’s Christmas Market through the prism of 80s one hit wonders “The Waitresses”, because I thought it would be funny to do so. Even though it wasn’t, I’m gonna give it another bash, but this time without the celebrity element!
This year, like Santa, I will be spreading my joy over a wide area. By that, I mean you get two reviews for the price of one! And you don’t even pay for this content! Lucky you, eh?
Greek Taste, St Enoch
Ahh yes, nothing quite says “German Christmas Market” like Greek food. As the German said to the Bishop, “Ja, das Griechenkebap schmeckt mir gut!”. Let’s face it, Germany and Greece are inextricably linked these days, mainly because the latter owes the former a lot of Deutschmark.
But what of the food?
Well, the sign said souvlaki. For a fiver. Even though the picture looked like gyros, it was worth giving it a go. Here’s what I ended up with:
This was surprisingly tasty. Let’s get the bad news out the way first – this was not souvlaki. At least, I don’t think it was. For those of you not versed in how this works, souvlaki is to shish kebab as gyros is to döner kebab – it’s grilled skewers rather than strips of meat shaved from a vertical strip. This, however, was tiny shavings of pork in a buffet tray. Now, this may well have been cooked as souvlaki; if it was, it was butchered and kept warm in a pot.
Not that this matters. As it turns out, this was really good. For starters, it was fucking huge. Half of it was chips, but they were good chips, blasted with paprika, tzatziki, covered in pork shavings, and then blasted again with tzatziki and paprika. The gyros were ok, I’ve had better, but the whole package was top notch, and it was a fiver. What’s not to like?
Buccleuch Burgerhaus, George Square
What’s not to like? Well, this place, for a start. Over at George Square, the second market (which runs until the end of December, a few days later than St Enoch) is fast becoming the more popular market. It has more bars, theme park rides, and a wider range of stalls.
It also has this place: the Lamb Cofta place.
Cofta! What is Cofta? Is it a knock-off version of Costa, the coffee shop? Is it Ukraine’s number one soft drink? No, my friends, it’s kofta with a c. Weirdly, they can spell this properly, but only with chalk. Behold! The crappy camarafone shows us this:
Blurry, but you can still, I hope, make out the K.
But it’s not the spelling that’s annoyed me with this place, it’s the almost everything that’s annoyed me with this place. Took ages to get served: not a problem. It’s a Christmas market. They are busy. Bloke said it’ll be ten minutes? Good! I’d rather it be cooked rather than me get food poisoning.
Theres the problem. This is a fucking shithouse of a kebab. You will note that it consists of the following: fuck all. Ten minutes to cook, and that’s what they came up with. But let’s break it down further. What exactly is this?
- The meat is lamb cofta, sorry, kofte. Actually really good.
- The skewers on the grill were tiny, three bits of meat each, and they cut these into two, meaning 6 really small bits of lamb.
- Next to no salad. A bit of lettuce, some tomato. That’s it.
- Squeezy bottle raita.
Now the good news is, this only set me back six quid. For reference, that’s 50% more than Shawarma King, double Kurdistan Shawarma. I say good news: the lady who served me this disgrace wanted seven. “Two things”, I pointed out, “one, that sign says £6” (it’s a bit blurry but the evidence is up there). “Second, I’ve already paid.” And I had. To her credit, no muttering, no withholding the goods, she handed it over, the deal concluded. To be honest, I kinda wish they’d kept it.
In fairness (the bit where I’m nice even though I’m still pissed off), the burgers looked alright. Brioche buns, cheese, relish, a variety of exotic meats, it’s a high end burger van. This notwithstanding, this was a travesty. Have another look:
Six quid that cost.
No-one wants to end on a sad note, so here’s the good news: the places I reviewed last year are back – the Yorkshire Pudding wrap guys at George Square and Indian Delight at St Enoch. St Enoch is open until 23rd December, George Square until New Year’s Eve/Hogmanay.
Greek Taste, St Enoch.
Pork… something. £5
A metaphor for Brexit. £6 (sometimes £7)