My little family and I went out in search of a cool new Malaysian place which was promising all new kinds of things: tapas style little bowls of "home-cooked" Asian goodies, Malaysian desserts and an assortment of drinks with cool names. Google said the place was 10 minutes from our flat and that it was open. It was closed. Inexplicably closed.
So we wondered around the west end, hungry and disappointed and looking for a new place on Great Western Road but every place we looked at offered large meals which we weren't in the mood for or didn't have a good selection of veggie options for little old me (risotto anyone? No. No one really wants to eat risotto. This girl has had enough of it). Then we stumbled across Roots and Fruits on Great Western Road. We all wanted something a little bit different and, while Roots and Fruits is more of a wholefoods store/café, their selection of freshly made goodies at the counter was ticking the box for tapas-style foods we were all seeking.
I had a coconut and vegetable Thai wrap and a vegetable samosa. The Thai wrap was tasty with some fresh and juicy vegetables but not much. The samosa was… odd. It was cooked in what looked like a panini press, which I didn't mind as it reduced the oiliness and remained crispy, but it was heavily salted. My fiancé enjoyed the beef curry which came with scented rice with a few bits of saffron lying on top of it decoratively. He was starving and was worried they would only give a tiny amount of food, however, the portion size was great. The rice was packed with star anise which wasn't very pleasant if you took a large mouthful of it.
However, after visiting Roots and Fruits several times, on Argyle Street and on Great Western Road, I feel pretty certain that the staff are perhaps not allowed to smile at you. I don't need bouncing, loud, grinning-from-ear-to-ear greetings to enjoy a meal, however I would prefer it if the staff did engage with customers. We've both worked in hospitality in the past and tend to always have great banter with staff when we're out for meals or drinks, so this is always an alien experience.
Nonetheless, I would go back here. Do you know why? Because I'm vegan and I need cake, sausages, hotdogs and cheese. And my partner is not vegan and he needs fancy-meat goodies. They do all of these things exceptionally well. Their vegan cakes are simply outstanding: melt in the mouth and a good assortment of flavours. Try their black forest cake which has fresh berries baked into it and their apple and pecan cake. My partner is similarly obsessed with their Stornoway black pudding. They also do lamb sausages which are fantastic quality.
The place is pretty expensive for a store/café, but the products are well worth the pennies and pounds if you want an extra treat.
Argyle Street and Great Western Road Average price for a family of 3: £25 (but students get a 10% discount!)