Koolba - a shining light or left out in the cold?



This review of Koolba, Candleriggs, is the third by the Oakham Curry Club (OCC), Scotland Branch.


Koolba is a warm, modern, and inviting authentic Indian restaurant in Glasgow, located in the heart of the Merchant City. We have worked hard and KoolBa has now become synonymous with quality Indian and Persian cuisine. We have achieved this with our commitment to using the best local produce, fresh herbs, carefully selected whole spices, but above all offering genuine appreciation and care to all of our customers.


The OCC is a well-respected Institution with multiple international franchises. The OCC takes pride in searching out the finest Indian restaurants and providing impartial reviews of Curry Houses all over the world. Members vote anonymously without being influenced by other members (we call this “no swaying”) on 5 categories, and an average score out of a maximum 10 is given to each restaurant we review. Restaurants must score an average of 7/10 or above to receive the OCC sticker of recommendation. All OCC members have been through a rigorous selection process to gain entry into the Club. In short, we all know our curries.


Do we enjoy appointing the club to judicially appoint the scores? I’ll let you, the reader, be the judge of that!


Quality: 7.45

Value: 7.05

Service: 6.15

Atmosphere: 6.85

Customer Care: 7.35


Located in the heart of the merchant city in Glasgow, is Koolba. A stylish and welcoming curry house, that boasts the title of winning Curry House of the Year in Britain three times in a row, which, no other curry house has achieved. However, would it stand up to the scrutiny of the OCC?


On a cold Thursday night in January, you could probably forgive some hospitality venues for not being at the top of their game. It’s a slow, depressing month in UK. Cold, dark and generally miserable. To add to the melancholic overtures, we’re still in the recovery of global pandemic that has decimated the hospitality industry. But, surely a trip to Koolba would brighten up our lives.


Well, in a sense, maybe… or should I say nearly.


The overall score for Koolba is 6.97… 0.03 of a point away from the approval benchmark for the OCC, and like the missed score line, it’s the little things, the sometimes over-looked things, that makes all the difference.


The quality of food was good, there’s genuine pedigree in the Chef’s at Koolba. The Poppadoms are probably the best I’ve ever tasted. The breads were good. The rice was good. The Curries, well… a little mediocre. The Punjabi Chicken, Lamb Karahi and Garlic Chilli Chicken, all tasted the same. Nothing was outstanding. No curry jumped out to say “I’m the best you’ll ever taste!!” or “I’m award winning!”


The service should have been better. And the Service is probably where the main issues are. There is an expectation that many people not in a curry club have for service, this expectation was not met. No engagement with the customer, let Koolba down. One word or short answer from the staff didn’t make us feel overly welcomed. And there was a 20 minute break between the starters and mains, which wasn’t addressed by the staff.


However, the customer care was redeemed by the Manager at the end of the night… simply by making conversation and engaging with us, the customer! This would have been a different story had that happened at the beginning of the evening. Also, for me, Service is key to recovery. It’s the little things that matter.


All in all, Koolba wasn’t the outstanding example of what curries should taste like. Not the shining light to brighten our cold, dark January. It was just Ok.


OCC Core Competencies

#1 

Service

 

#2

Quality

 

#3

Customer Care

 

#4

Atmosphere

 

#5

Value