Topolabamba

Mexican food is always one of my first choices of cuisines to go for & when I heard a new one was opening, I obviously was looking forward to trying it. I hadn’t heard of the name Topolabamba before so assumed it wasn’t a chain & was even more surprised to find out it was owned by the company who also own Glasgow favourites such as Di Maggios, Pinto & Cafe Andaluz. Before I go on with this post, I will state that we were invited along to the pre-launch night after I posted information about the restaurant opening in an earlier post.

Mexican DecorMexican Decor

On first impressions, I was taken with the decor which contained a lot of wooden wall panels dotted with authentic looking Mexican bric-a-brac. Now I love skulls & was taken with all of the sugar skulls they had dotted around the restaurant. My most favourite part of the decor was, surprisingly, in the toilets which are covered with Mexican skull themed wallpaper. Unfortunately it was custom made for the restaurant so won’t be able to get my hands on some!!

WallpaperWallpaper

Topolabamba is another restaurant centred around sharing food with lots of small plates. The menu is split into 3 sections – bar bites, street food & bigger plates. The drinks are a mix of margaritas & mexican beers along with some imported soft drinks.

Mexican Decor

When seated, we were asked if we wanted any bar bites whilst waiting for others to arrive. Since we had literally just sat down, we suggested that the waitress bring anything. From the menu we had crazy corn & nachos with both guacamole & salsa. I don’t really know what was so “crazy” about the corn since it was 3 bits of corn on the cob with some crumbled cheese over it. Nothing really jumped out. The guacamole was fantastic, with big chunks of fresh avocado & a nice kick to it. The salsas that they have range from mild to quite spicy on the scale, however we could not find much difference between the house & the spiciest salsa which was a bit disappointing.

Crazy CornNachos & Salsa

The street food section contains typical Mexican dishes such as taquitos, tacos & fajitas whereas the bigger plates have more variation with stuffed peppers, coca cola short stack ribs, burritos & baked fish. I was really pleased to see cactus on the menu in a few dishes as I’d only come across it in the Wahaca restaurants in London. As we were at a sampling night, we were encouraged to order a few dishes between us to start then order more once we had finished.

From the street food section, we sampled dishes including crab ceviche tostadas (the crab was fresh but lost in the lemon that had been added), barbacoa beef tacos (nice strong flavour from the meat but accompanied nicely with a blend of spices) & our favourite dish from that section – fish tacos which were in a light batter & accompanied by a smoky & spicy aioli.

Crab Ceviche Fish Tacos

Ever since I’d seen the menu I’d been really intrigued to try the coca cola short stack rib. However, I was quite disappointed by the dish which consisted on one large beef rib with a little sauce on the side. The meat was tender & fell off the bone but the lack of sauce meant there was no edge to it & it was at the end of the day, just a bit of beef. Other dishes we sampled went down a lot better:

  • Stuffed pepper – it contained crumbly cheese, spicy cactus, potatoes & chipolte peppers which gave it a good spice rating but you could taste the individual elements
  • Salt & Pepper Ancho Chilli Squid – this was my favourite dish filled with fresh baby squid (including some tentacles) & accompanied by such a delicious ancho chilli aioli that added so much flavour
  • Chargrilled flat iron steak with peanut mole – The steak was pink in the middle & had been seasoned with some spices. The peanut mole was so full of flavour with the spicy chocolate richness & texture & slightly salty taste of the peanuts
  • Queso Fundido – a melted cheese dish containing chorizo & roasted peppers which was a bit sickly in my opinion, with the cheese overpowering the meat & pepper.

Stuffed PeppersBarbacoa TacosSalt & Pepper Ancho Chilli Squid

I sampled a few of the margaritas they had including the house & mango versions. I have to say, that for being affiliated with Jose Curevo, the margaritas were slightly lacking in any oomph or taste. The mango version was a bit better than the house but I think that was due to it being a more fruity flavour. The Mexican beers went down well with A, with a porter, IPA & pale ale being on offer. I also liked them but only for the amazing labels!!! For dessert I sampled some of the churros which didn’t contain cinnamon sugar as you would normally expect & had been slightly overcooked since they had lost their doughy texture. I did eat some as the dark chocolate sauce that came with them was so moreish. I accompanied it with a pear & chocolate margarita which was quite sweet but a nice flavour from the traditional lime margarita.

MargaritaPear & Chocolate MargaritaMexican IPA

Churros

Overall, I quite enjoyed Topolabamba but there are clearly some areas that need to be worked on before I could class it as in the same category as Bibi’s.

Sombreros

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New Restaurant: Topolabamba

I recently received a press release about the opening of a new Mexican restaurant – Topolabamba. As you may have guessed from previous blogs, I am a big fan of Mexican food so this was music to my ears. With Juan Chihuahua & Las Iguanas popping up in Glasgow over the past year, there has been a definite shift towards Latin American food, which in my opinion is a welcomed relief from the American based dishes.

Topolabamba is situated on St Vincent Street (near Bread Meats Bread) & will open its doors next Wednesday (16 July). The restaurant boats a varied gluten free & vegetarian friendly menu as well as street food favourites such as Chargrilled Steak Tacos & some more regional dishes such as Coca Cola Mexican Short Stack Ribs (definitely one I want to try to see if it works!). They also boast a healthy tequila and mezcal selection with over 30 available as well as Mexican craft beers and, of course, my favourite cocktail, margaritas!

Since the restaurant is opening next week, they are offering places to one of their VIP Opening nights. In true social media style, they are asking members of the public to take a selfie outside the building & use the hashtag #toposelfie when posting the image. The winners will be announced tomorrow so you better be quick!

They are also offering the change to wine an all-inclusive holiday for 2 to Mexico. To enter, just follow this link & enter your details to be in with a chance!

I’m definitely excited about a new Mexican place opening but more excited about another place to go to find the best margarita in Glasgow!!

The Richmond

The Richmond has been on my list of places to try for a long, long time. We finally popped along on Easter Sunday (yes I am very behind in blogging!) to have dinner & some drinks. The Richmond is situated in Kelvinbridge in the West End of Glasgow. It’s not one of those places that stands out as it’s at the end of Park Road, but just off the popular Gibson St area. The restaurant provides a mix of modern dishes along with some Indian influenced meals. One thing that stands out for me with their menu is the amount of offers they have. Every night Sun – Thurs, they have deals such as 2 burgers & beers for £20 or 2 steaks & a bottle of wine for £25. Not to mention that most of their cocktails are £3.50 each Sun-Thurs.

Inside, the decor is very modern, with blacks & silver being the prodominent colour scheme. We were seated to the left of the bar so had a good view of our drinks getting mixed. I opted for a margarita straight away (my fav as you may have guessed) & I have to say, these guys know how to make a good margarita. As it was Easter, they also added a wee chick as a garnish too!

Margarita

For starters, I opted for the fishcake & Al went for the bloody mary prawn cocktail. When my starter arrived, I was a bit disappointed to see just one fishcake on the plate. Usually, you are given two or three fishcakes as a starter. I quickly took that back as it was full of flavour, with the fish being very fresh. The accompanying mixed pepper salsa was also really fresh tasting & added a nice flavour to the dish. And once I had finished, it really was enough for a starter, I had underestimated how big it looked. The prawn cocktail was really nice as the bloody mary sauce gave it a nice kick. A pleasant change from the usual prawn cocktail!

Prawn CocktailFishcake

As it was a Sunday, I opted to go for the beef Sunday Roast which was really tasty. The beef was perfectly cooked, being still pink & was accompanied with roast potatoes & buttered veg. The veg was really moreish & I honestly could have went another portion. [Edit – there was a Yorkshire pudding with the roast. It was a bit dry & overdone for my tastes] The other main was The Richmong burger consisting of a lightly spiced patty, cheese, pancetta & jalapenos served with chips & onion rings. I had a bite of the burger which was really juicy & well seasoned.

Sunday RoastThe Richmond Burger

I almost ordered a dessert but after my roast, I was stuffed. We decided to stay for another drink after dinner & when we asked for the bill, we were given an Easter egg! Such a nice touch to round off a lovely dinner. The cost of the meal was surprising – we were just over £50 for 2 courses & 3 drinks each. A rarity in Glasgow these days! A definite gem in the West End & we will definitely be back!

Easter Egg