Mamansan Bar BBQ and Records

Review: Mamasan, Glasgow

Ellie Forbes tries out the new Thai BBQ menu at Glasgow restaurant Mamasan, where the chefs prove cooking over coals is worth the hype. 


When it comes to cooking over coals, we really are playing with fire. 

There is an art to properly cooking with a BBQ, as I am sure anyone who has messed one up at home can attest to. You are walking the tightrope between slightly raw or completely burnt with great trepidation. 

But cooking over flames is becoming increasingly popular and fire is at the heart everything Glasgow restaurant Mamasan does. 

Earlier this year Scottish chef, Finn Steel-Perkins, and Great British Menu star, Ali Borer got together to create a new sharing Thai BBQ menu, with everything cooked over coal.

All their meat, fish and veg are slowly cooked or smoked over flames using a combination of charcoal, wood and coconut to develop the south east Asian flavours. And the result is pretty special. 

The restaurant centres around its stunning bar – floor to ceiling shelves accessed with an old fashioned library ladder which the bartenders wiz up and down grabbing spirits as they go. 

The cocktails look like works of art, coupe glasses filled with bright hues of pink and yellow, with foams and froths (and I think possibly even feathers) spilling out the top.

We tried to sample as much of the menu as possible, starting with the most incredible bowl of thai shrimp crackers with a sweet chilli jam. So good, we were forced to order them again after polishing off the first lot. 

The som tam salad with green papaya, dried shrimp, tamarind and peanuts was fresh but extremely spicy, (the waiters helpfully ask how much spice you can handle before you order). The sweet papaya brought a welcomed relief from the heat. 

Oyster mushroom skewers, with an incredibly more-ish satay sauce was a real winner. The mushrooms were buttery soft, but were covered in a lovely, smokey char. 

The kale and herb fritters with lemongrass, chilli and toasted rice powder were also delicious, and then it was on to the main event.

Fragrant chunks of sticky roast pork belly, which are rich and crispy, served with spicy chilli roasted squash and refreshing bbq pineapple. It’s everything you could want in a BBQ dish. 

The massaman smoked short rib curry has good heat and the tender meat is cooked to perfection. Accompanied by roscoff onions and indulgent bone marrow potatoes, it’s a classic Thai dish that packs a punch. 

Mamasan really has cracked cooking with fire. The menu is playful, but packed full of flavour. The dishes are balanced exceptionally well, for every kick of spice, there is a fresh hit of sweetness. 

I think in the future I’ll leave the BBQing to the experts, and the next time I fancy something cooked over coals, I’ll head to Mamasan.

Mamasan, 222, 224 Ingram St, Glasgow G1 3BX. 0141 739 1550.


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