Nam Tuk Tram Stop really is a breath of fresh air when it comes to dining in Glasgow. It has a relaxed, laid back atmosphere about it that really sets it apart from other eateries in the city. The newly opened Pan-Asian restaurant has bags of potential to become one of Glasgow’s places to be for East and South Asian cuisine. The decor is eclectic, bright and cool, incorporating design elements from each of the nations who’s cuisine it offers. Bamboo plinths serve as walls, allowing the space to be broken up into several dining areas; large tables, ones for couples and high stool seating. The resulting space is open yet intimate, colourful yet cohesive, and creates a wonderful atmosphere to dine in.
Big things are coming to Nam Tuk in the coming months with a Korean Barbecue section being added to the menu, a delivery service being rolled out and the restaurant even setting up their own app to offer exclusive offers and rewards for customers. Innovation is at the heart of Nam Tuk, and this is one of the reasons I think they’re here to stay.
I visited on a Wednesday evening at 5.30pm, and there was a steady stream of customers in and out of the restaurant during the two hours we spent there. I have to be honest and say I saw a lot of people come and have a look a menu and walk away, but I really feel this is because people are afraid of trying new things. I visited with my mum, who has never eaten Pan-Asian food apart from Thai green curry, and she enjoyed her meal so much. If you’re really not sure about things on the menu, all you have to do is ask. The staff are so knowledgeable about the menu and really good at providing recommendations.
The Main Menu is a quasi-tapas style one, with the suggestion being to order two or three small dishes with one accompanying side, or a larger curry with a side. Each dish arrives at your table once it is prepared, not in the form of courses or in any particular order. There are dishes from China, Thailand, Japan and Malaysia to name a few, so I tried to encompass as many dishes from different regions as I could for the purpose of this review. Items from the Main Menu range from £2.95 to £7.95, with sides costing around £2.50 and larger sushi platters in the higher teens. There are also separate Takeaway,Festive and Lunch Menus. Along with our meal we had a few drinks from the impressively diverse Drinks Menu, including a Raspberry, Passionfruit and Jasmine Highball (£4.25), a Lychee, Peach & OrangeBranca Iced Tea (£2.45) and a pint of Singha (£5.45):
- Salt and Pepper Squid (£5.50) – These calamari rings were a little thicker than I normally prefer them, but the batter and vegetables they were cooked in were so delicious. This is definitely a dish for those who are looking to ease themselves into Pan-Asian cuisine, as they are cooked in the Chinese style familiar to many. A flavour packed, generous portion which is incredible value for money.
- Crispy Fried King Prawns (£7.95) – Another generous portion, with large prawns cooked fried in a crisp light batter. The sauce these prawns are dressed in is both sweet and spicy, with sliced chillies spread throughout to allow it to be made even hotter. A delicious dish, one of my absolute must orders.
- King Prawn Pad Thai (£7.95) – This was the first time I had eaten Pad Thai, and I was so delighted by the version presented to me at Nam Tuk. Made with rice noodles, bean sprouts and spring onions and topped with the same king prawns as the last dish. My favourite part of this dish was that chilli and cashew nuts were served separately, giving us complete control of how nutty or spicy a taste we wanted. We started with the Pad Thai on its own, added the lemon juice and after some soy sauce. Finally we sprinkled the nuts and chilli powder over the dish, which completely transformed the taste.
- Gyoza (£5.95) – This dish is a prime example of why you should listen to the staff’s recommendations. I really (really) do not like pork, but in this instance I was pleasantly surprised by how it tasted. Three crisp dumplings were stuffed with pork in a pate style consistency and alongside a sweet honey and garlic soy sauce. I would never had even considered ordering this, but it ended up being one of my favourite and my mum’s favourite dish of the meal.
- Panang Seabass (£7.95) – Again, this was not a dish I would have ordered without it being suggested to me. Two Panko breaded seabass fillets were served in a panang curry sauce, which I could akin to a green or yellow curry in terms of heat. This was my first time trying seabass, which was white and flaky when cooked. The fish wasn’t overpowering and the taste complimented the heat and sweet of the curry sauce.
- Rainbow Roll (£7.50) – These four huge servings of sushi were topped with avocado, tuna and salmon and filled with crab sticks. The presentation of this dish was really beautiful. The four rolls were accompanied with salmon and wasabi. My highlight of this dish was the tuna and avocado, and the consistency of the rice was absolutely perfect for sushi.
All in all we tried six dishes, and by the end of our meal we were absolutely stuffed. Was I to visit again I would probably limit myself to five, purely so I didn’t have to roll home afterwards. I was really impressed that the quality of the food and ingredients didn’t waver across the types of cuisines, and that the customer was allowed to control the heat of their own dishes.
Despite its fresh and cool interiors, there were older and younger couples, families and friends all dining in the restaurant. Its close proximity to the Subway and bus stops makes it easy to access from the city centre. I can’t think of any other restaurant in Glasgow that has such an array of cuisines that isn’t a buffet, and Nam Tuk provides this range of dishes with quality ingredients and flavour forward dishes.
I’d just like to add a very special thanks to Denny and his wonderful team for making sure my mum and I had such a great experience.
Nam Tuk Tram Stop
2 Partick Bridge Street, Glasgow