Mid December, miserable, sub zero and the joy of Christmas approaching has not warmed my icy demeanor or at least so I’m being told constantly by Debbie and Clair. Obviously they have not checked their sulking dials in a mirror or they would be more timorous and less critical. They are completely unsympathetic to my severe dose of flu.
Where to eat on this murky night? Step straight into crossfire Julie Lin MacLeod, the wonderfully talented Malaysian/Scottish girl who learned to cook by her mother’s side, star of STV, Street Food Queen and now she has made the brave leap into the shark infested waters of the restaurateur.
Julie has opened the coziest, coolest restaurant on the Southside, Julie’s Kopitiam. Every day is a school day my little munching muffers, a Kopitiam is a Café.
From the minute we entered we felt welcome, warm and transported far away from Pollokshaws Rd with a combination of exotic wafting aromas, soft lighting and a soundtrack that I would have believed, had I been told, was especially for me. Simplicity sums up the décor, easy on the eye and absolutely perfectly tasteful. We already love it.
We are seated quickly by a very charming young man, who probably didn’t realise, “we had four people the other night who just ordered everything on the menu” was a challenge we, (I), could not walk away from. We ordered everything on the menu.
Sweetcorn fritters, steamed aubergines and a bowl of shiitake mushrooms arrived first and were thoroughly delicious. Mutton rendang, pork dumplings and char kuay teow – smoky flat noodles fried with prawns and mixed spices hit the table with a bang.
I glanced around at the other guests, the same satisfied look on each and every face, clearly Julie has landed on the bull’s eye.
A bowl of pork mince on a bed of noodles looked like an old school plate of spaghetti bolognese but couldn’t have tasted more different. Jasmin rice, fresh pickles, spicy prawns in sambal and a vegetable and coconut curry brought us to a halt.
I think a measure of Clair’s enjoyment was when she ditched the chopsticks for the far more efficient and traditional Glaswegian eating implement, the spoon. Respect.
Shawlands has scored a cracker; all evening, red nosed newbies came over the threshold hoping to get a table. It’s small, only six or seven tables with some seats at the window ledge and a no booking policy, so it’s first come, first served. The petitenesses only adds to the charm gushing from the place.
Time to go but not before we have the very grown up and refreshing slushies, ginger or chai with lime to choose from. Brain freeze…..
Good luck to Julie, she’s sure to be going places; stand down Nigella you’re being recalled.
We’re all JK’s regulars now, we want a badge.