This review was originally posted on my travel site, www.caitlinjeanrussell.com
Earlier in the week I was lucky enough to collaborate with Topolabamba Glasgow, a Mexican restaurant on St Vincent Street. In recent years, this area of the city centre has flourished with new and exciting restaurants, and Topolabamba fits the bill perfectly. Glasgow has very few sit-down Mexican restaurants, so it’s great to find one that makes great food, drinks and has a good ambience.
Our table was booked for 6 o’clock on Monday evening, and I was pleasantly surprised by how busy it was. We were greeted and seated in a large booth, although there are several different styles of seating areas – small tables, larger tables with chairs and these brown leather booths. Walking through to our seats I was struck by the eclectic interior design: there’s quite a blend of wood, painted brick and metal, but colourful artwork and icons ensure there’s nothing industrial about it. There was Latin American music playing, plenty of staff and overall the entire place had a great feel to it.
Our waitress Ellie explained that the menu was split into several categories. There are starters and smaller, tapas style dishes in the ‘Street Food’ which range from £3.95 to £5.95. The Classics and Big Boys sections have larger dishes that include steaks, ribs and chicken wings. It’s the perfect menu to mix and match, and has vegetarian and gluten free options. The dishes are served as soon as they’re prepared, which is great if you’re ordering multiple dishes and it means you don’t have to wait long at all for food to start arriving on your table. We ordered seven dishes in total, as well as a glass of prosecco (£4.25) and a classic margarita (£4.95).
- Guacamole with Tortilla Chips (£3.95) – We started with this generous serving of tortilla chips and fresh guacamole. The chips were dusted in a salty, slightly spicy seasoning and the light, creamy guacamole was the perfect counter to cool them down. The citrus through the guac also meant these were also a great pallet cleanser between our other dishes.
- Crab Ceviche Toastadas (£5.95) – These were the first of the ‘Street Food’ dishes to arrive, the crab was fresh, cool and well seasoned. The tostatas kept their integrity which I was pleasantly surprised about considering how succulent the crab was. The topping of crema espesa and greens and squeezed lemon meant the fishy taste was broken up.
- Prawn, Cucumber Salsa and Guacamole Toastadas (£4.95) – These were my favourite of the three tostada dishes. The fresh water prawns were generously portioned on top of the mixture of cucumber and guacamole. Again, the tostadas kept their structure and didn’t get soggy or soft. This is a really cool dish, and perfect for those who like to stay away from spice.
- Jalepeno Poppers (£5.95) – Hands down the best jalepeno poppers I have ever tasted in my life. The poppers themselves were large, breaded croquettes stuffed with finely chopped jalepenos and molito cheese. They were served in roasted brava sauce, a spicy maranara style sauce that counter balanced the coolness of the cheese with gusto. They were spicy, the jalepenos were the perfect size and consistency and the sauce set them apart from the poppers available elsewhere.
- Poblano Chilli & Crumbly Cheese Taquitos (£4.20) – Two corn tortillas stuffed with chopped poblano peppers and crumbled molito cheese. The crispy shell and creamy filling was perfect dipped either in guacamole or hot sauce.
- Homemade Chorizo & Melted Spicy Cheese (£4.50) – The only meat based dish I tried, I wish I ordered two or three of these. The chilli was spicy yet slightly sweet, and the medium heat cheese complimented it perfectly.
By far, this is the best Mexican restaurant I’ve been to in Glasgow. The atmosphere was upbeat, as were the waiting and bar staff. The decor was fun, vibrant and eye catching. The food and drinks were fantastic, and now that I’ve been I will definitely be back to try even more of their items. In a street so synonymous with exciting new restaurants, this one definitely stands out as one of the best.
89 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5TF.
0141 248 9359.