Glasgow’s Indian food innovator Chaakoo expands east into Edinburgh

SINCE 2016, Chaakoo has been rewriting the rules of Indian food in Glasgow, offering tapas-style small plates fusing Mumbai and Iranian cuisine, in a smart, comfortable setting cheerfully evoking a sub-continental railway station.

Having already successfully established a second venue in Glasgow’s west end, the business will soon open its first Edinburgh outpost, following a £400k investment in a space on Lothian Road.

Operations manager Iain Gallie said: “We are excited to bring the Chaakoo experience to Edinburgh. Authenticity is always at the heart of what we do. From the buzz of our cafes to the flavour of our dishes, they’re as close as possible to the original Bombay Cafés that Chaakoo is inspired by.”

Mr Gallie noted that the launch will create over 50 new jobs in the city, and add to Lothian Road’s growing reputation for food and drink.

“Our sister venue, Topolabamba, was one of the first to kick start the buzzing foodie scene here. The area has become a hotspot of brilliant bars and restaurants, and Chaakoo will bring another great choice to the table.”

While UK curry restaurants have traditionally leaned heavily upon the decadent decor of the pre-Raj Mughal Empire, Chaakoo’s interior design broke the mould by referencing the bustling Irani cafes set up by Iranian and Persian immigrants who came to India in the 19th century – the transport cafes of their day.

This stylistic choice was a passport to a different style of menu, offering a melting pot of classic Iranian grill dishes alongside Mumbai staples.

Head Chef Rohit Benjwal said: “We take pride in the fact everything is freshly made, and it’s as close to authentic as you’ll get. It’s a unique experience.

“Every curry is freshly made in batches from scratch – it’s as close to authentic as you’re going to get. Our chef Mani has worked all over the world and he draws flavour inspiration from his travels that customers experience in our dishes.”