As I first set foot inside ‘Babs, my first impression was that it felt like I was on holiday. The bright, fresh tilled décor, the stripped back lighting, the winding staircases and bright colours are a breath of fresh air. I felt like I had been transported to somewhere in the Mediterranean – and as long as you don’t look out the huge windows on West Nile street, you probably will too.
There’s lots to choose from, including the ‘Babs doner, a superb chicken souvlaki dish, salads, skewers of seafood and plenty of veggie and vegan options too. But I was here for a different menu.
We’d arrived for brunch and there’s a lot on offer on the separate weekend menu. ‘Babs is part of the Bread Meats Bread family, so there’s top notch burgers as you’d expect, but they’re all given fresh twists and really fit in with the menu and style of cuisine that the restaurant is going for. It’s not just Bread Meats Bread burgers at a different location. There’s baked eggs, risotto, coffee and even oats on the brunch menu and I wanted to try all of it.
First up was Che Babs and spicy ‘Nduja sausage. Baked eggs in a spiced marinara sauce, mini koftas, spicy ‘Nduja sausage, creamy cheese and garlic yoghurt. It’s served with a grilled chilli pepper sourdough bread too. This dish simply looked stunning. One of the best looking dishes I’ve seen, in fact. The bright colours really popped off the plate and it looked almost too good to eat. It tasted every bit as good as it looked too. It really packed a punch too – it was too spicy for my better half, but I scoffed down what she couldn’t finish. The marinara sauce was rich, the eggs were well cooked and the mild, creamy cheese really helped to offset the spice. It was all very moreish and I was mopping the sourdough around the dish at the end to soak up every last bit of flavour. This is clearly the star of the show.
The Shakshuka burger is topped with spicy marinara sauce, scamorza cheese and a baked egg. The burger was the usual good quality that you’d expect from the folks behind Bread Meats Bread and the guys could have easily just ported a couple of burgers from their existing BMB menus over to the new restaurant. Babs; however, have taken that strong foundation and worked some magic to create some new and exciting burgers that fit in with the theme of the restaurant and that don’t feel out of place on a brunch menu. Marinara sauce and a baked egg on a burger works – and surrounded by the gooey, melty cheese, this is one sinful and decadent burger.
I was worried that the burger might have been a tad soggy, but the fact that scamorza gives a slightly more dry texture than mozzarella, while still being every bit as melty and gooey really helps. The marinara sauce almost clings to it and the baked egg sits nestled perfectly in the middle. The patty itself is thick and while I’d have preferred a thin, smashed patty, it was a good, hearty burger.
On the side, we sampled the doner fries, which are basically exactly as they sound. Thin, crispy fries layered with doner kebab and spicy tomato sauce. I’m usually not a huge fan of kebabs – or at least the types of kebabs you’d typically find in Glasgow – but the stuff here is worlds apart from your typical takeaway fare. It’s not dripping with grease, it’s high quality and just another thing that helps set the kebabs here apart from most other places.
Oh and don’t forget to try the coffee too. The greek coffee will blow your socks off and I could easily see myself getting hooked on them.
‘Babs has really found its feet after being open now for several months. The new brunch menu is yet another home run.
Price: Burger £8. Baked eggs £9. Doner fries £4
THE JUICY BITS
+ Big, bold flavours.
+ Great looking food.
+ Good, varied menu.
+ The coffee!
– Baked eggs were delicious but spicy, so make sure you like a bit of heat!
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49 West Nile Street
No bookings. Walk-in only.
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