It’s safe to say that the Glasgow street food circuit has given some of the best restaurants in the city their start over the years.

Despite enjoying his own time as a pop-up venture Robert ‘Big Smokey’ Lorimer, owner of Smokey Trotters Kitchen, is glad to have found a permanent home at his new unit in The Barras. He said: “We’ve been here for six weeks now. It’s the first place we’ve had that’s purely ours. It’s exciting and nerve racking all at once.

“When you’re doing pop-ups, it’s almost like you’re moving house every couple of months, having to pack up all your equipment and produce. I just love being here now.

“Week on week it just keeps getting busier.”

Glasgow Times:

Robert’s excitement to lay down roots is understandable, given that he has spent years working his way through the ranks doing everything from kitchen porter shifts to launching his own artisan sauce company - The Glasgow Sauce boss. He said: “I grew up in Glasgow and worked front of house jobs from the age of 15.

“I had no intention of being a chef. I was studying sports coaching and working as a KP when I got asked to fill in for a commis chef who was off sick.

“That was it. Just by pure chance, I did one service which was basically just putting vegetables and lettuce on plates but I was hooked.

“I loved the buzz.”

Glasgow Times:

Going on to work at some of the city’s best restaurants, Robert began to realise his own ambitions to create a unique dining experience which would focus on keeping all of the flavour with none of the fuss.

“I got a bit fed up with all of the rosette style food. There was so much focus on British or French influences and I just felt it was a bit stuffy for me.

“I decided I wanted to make tasty food that’s dead simple, that’s how the street food thing happened.

“The cool thing about street food is that it can be anything you want, whether that’s Indonesian or Korean.

“If it tastes good, it’s on the menu.”

Glasgow Times:

After following his instincts and going it alone as a pop-up restaurant in the likes of McChuill’s Bar and The Dirty Duchess, Robert has truly hit his stride with the current Smokey Trotters Kitchen menu.

Years of experimenting and a 'treat yourself' mentality mean you can expect to find everything from over sized 'Surf and Turf burgers to vegan 'Nasi Goreng' on offer at the East End diner.

Robert said “It’s hard to put us into a bracket when it comes to our style. We started off doing food from anywhere and everywhere.

“Then in 2017 we won Glasgow’s best burger and since then I feel like I’ve kind of become ‘the burger guy.’

“But really I just love indulgent food. Our menu now is a bit dirty and a bit naughty. You definitely shouldn’t come here if you’re on a diet.

“I didn’t even sell diet soft drinks for a while because I really believe that if you’re getting a big burger and fries then you should just go for it. Go all out.”

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The Smokey Trotters Kitchen's quirky and bold menu fits right into their new surroundings in the heart of The Barras market. Robert said: “I used to go to the Barras with my granny when I was a wee boy, so to actually be here now and be a part of it is amazing. I love the history of it all.

“We’ve got a sliding door that opens right into Randall’s so we’re actually in the Barras itself, but the whole area is becoming a really cool place to be around.

“All the people are just totally salt of the earth, I’m glad to be in on it.”

Although Robert is still enjoying the novelty of settling in a permanent space, when it comes to the Smokey Trotters Kitchen it’s all about looking forward.

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Robert said: “We’ve only been here for six weeks and we’ve already changed the menu twice.

“I’m really looking forward to winter when we can change it again.

“There are certain things we can’t take off the menu now because people have become attached to them. The amount of messages I got when we took the Odyssey burger off was insane.

“It’s nice as well though because it shows you have that kind of support and repeat customers.

“I love what I do.  I’m obsessed with cooking and providing people with food that they can enjoy in a relaxed atmosphere.

“We’re just all about getting better all the time.”

Find Smokey Trotters Kitchen at 233 London Road in The Barras for more information click here.