On an otherwise bleak and industrial stretch of Pollokshaws road, the Desi Dhaba is a vibrant oasis offering great food, a lively atmosphere and the warmest of welcomes.

It’s a family affair overseen by patriarch Muhammed Sheriff who has been a chef for over 30 years.

Having previously worked in restaurants all over Glasgow, including Ashoka on in the West End, he decided to go it alone in 2019 with a venture that is a true celebration of Pakistani culture.

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Pictured: Muhammed Sheriff has been a chef for over 30 years

He said: “I had a few other businesses before, but Desi Dhaba has been the most successful. 

“I believe it’s because people know that they’re getting fresh food made from scratch every day.

“We only ever make what we need so that nothing goes to waste at the end of the day.

“Even our parathas are all made on location. A lot of places buy them in frozen but like everything else we make them by hand.”

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Pictured: Vegetarian Thali is the perfect way to try a bit of everything

The small, open plan kitchen is all go, full of pots and pans with different curries for a menu that changes daily.

We were served the Vegetarian Tahli (“What do you mean you’ve had your lunch? If you’ve come here you have to try something!”) and the freshest orange juice from a brilliantly vintage looking juicer.

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Pictured: Old school orange juicers for freshness

The colourful plate with small tasters of dishes like Saag, Lentil Dahl and Chana Chat is a perfect showcase of the fresh ingredients and professionally honed comfort food that the Dhaba has become known for.

Having tried their food it’s not hard to see why the team don't need to rely on self-promotion to build their reputation.

Muhammed said: “A lot of people find us through google because we’re rated very highly there.

“We’ve never paid for advertising or anything because we know that people will recommend us, and we’ll build ourselves through word of mouth.

"That's always the best way and we’re lucky that it works like that for us.

“Recently a lot of people have been coming to us and saying that they saw videos about us on TikTok.

“In only two days a video of us was watched over 400,000 times.

“Everyone likes to take photos here because we have fresh orange juice, the charpoys and a rickshaw that they can sit in.

“They can take selfies and pretend that they’re in another country.”

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Pictured: The Desi Dhaba's roadside location

Sitting outside on a warm sunny day really does feel like you’ve escaped Glasgow completely.

Muhammed says that the bright décor used in their seating area is reminiscent of an authentic Desi Dhaba, something which has helped them find success.

He said “A Desi Dhaba is traditionally found by the side of the road in Pakistan.

“People travel through, especially lorry drivers, and they know that it’s the best place to go for freshly made food.

“This year because of covid a lot of people are coming to Scotland instead of going abroad they’re coming to us because they’re passing through Glasgow.

“We’re packed out with people coming from all over the UK from places like Manchester, Birmingham, Inverness or Stirling.”

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Pictured: There's a constant stream of customers throughout the day

The bustling surroundings of the Desi Dhaba makes it the perfect place to sit and watch the world go by.

To one side there’s a lively car wash packed out with customers and to the other a busy main road.

We’re joined by Zaitoon Sheriff, who specialises in front of house duties at the Dhaba, and tells us that this vibrant setting is the foundation of the entire business.

She said: “When we first started this the location was really important to us.

“We could have gone down the conventional route and just opened a themed café or something

“But a Dhaba means a roadside diner and if you want the true essence of that then this place is ideal.

“You’ve got the car wash on one side and then the main road. It’s a nice wee set-up, there’s always loads going on.

“Last summer the sun was shining, we had the BBQ on the go and music was playing, it’s really got its own street vibe.”

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Pictured: Muhammed and Zaitoon Sheriff

Leaning further into the Dhaba culture last year allowed the business to remain strong throughout the pandemic and even evolve into a whole new way of working.

Zaitoon said: “We were lucky this winter because during lockdown we were able to go ‘extremely Desi’ and open as a drive-through.

“They would park at the car wash and we would bring all the food, even things like our tali dishes, over to them to eat in the comfort of their own cars while listening to their own jams.

“Even now that lockdowns over we have some people who prefer to do that.”

In the time that we spend talking, this new service is in full swing as Muhammed and his team bustle about the car park delivering food to customers.

One thing that’s obvious is that there are plenty of regulars visiting the family-run eatery, each greeted with a genuinely enthusiastic hello.

Within only an hour of arriving at the Desi Dhaba we too start to feel like a part of the team, even daring to accept the offer of a ride in their rickshaw having wrongly assumed it was for decoration only.

For Zaitoon, this sense of connection is not uncommon and something that she sees as a perk of working in such a unique environment. She said: “A lot of people really like it here because it reminds them of home.

“And back home could be anywhere, not necessarily Pakistan.

“That’s just where our family originates from, but people from Bangladesh or even Romania have come in and said it reminds them of home.

“It’s nice to have the kind of place that’s grassroots and takes you back to childhood memories.

“That’s our vibe really, most of the time people will come in as customers and leave as family.”

For more information on Desi Dhaba click here.