THE greeter guy hands us one of those neon buzzer-alert things they used to have at Frankie and Benny’s, tells us it will be half an hour for a table and sends us to the bar. Half an hour? On a Tuesday?

The major problem is this: the bar is right in the middle of the very narrow bloody passageway and not only can we not get near it, when we do nobody behind it is in the slightest hurry to take orders.

What follows is a few moments of hopeless drifting to and fro, getting out the way of hustling-bustling waiters and avoiding standing beside people dining.

Oh, and trying not to look at what the folks are having at football legend turned pundit Charlie Nicholas’s table. It seems to be him anyway. He’s taller in real life. There’s an upended bottle in the ice bucket. Is it bubbly?

What’s going on in here anyway? It’s definitely a Tuesday. And it’s definitely mobbed. Ah, post-Champions League diners perhaps.

Now, after establishing the when-your-table-is-ready buzzer doesn’t work off the premises – what’s the point, then? – I’m all for going somewhere else altogether when a table becomes free.

It’s actually only been about three minutes of that chaos and we’re already being shoehorned into a scrappy four-seater under the stairs, upended chairs untidily stored behind us. Waiters schmooze-bomb the table in pairs with the usual yadda-yadda patter that always starts with: have you been here before? Obviously not, I’m thinking of saying, or I wouldn’t be here now. Boom, boom. But actually you can’t beat a restaurant with a vibrant throb and a thrum for magnetically keeping you in your seat like that Gorilla Glue off the telly.

We start ordering. Another waiter is telling us what a great thing the small plate is, as though he’s recently invented them, and how these small plates can all arrive at any time. And what a treat that will be.

Seriously? As if there’s a single restaurant left in Glasgow that doesn’t serve food in small plates and as if the greatest benefit of arrive-at-any-time-that-suits-us food isn’t to the kitchen. And der management.

And so we wait, Greg and myself deep in meaningful man chat about camper vans.

I know. What a seriously embarrassing topic for middle-aged men to discuss in public.

Then the food arrives. Just like that, waiters suddenly peeling off from the general hullabaloo to start swooping on the table with small plates. All of them. Allo baigan, kachumber, masala fries, handi lamb and more.

I haven’t even had a chance to look around and fully register that this main drag city centre place was obviously once a generic city centre bar and is clearly now one of those mash-up menu joints which with the addition of some kitschy signs (there’s a warehouse full of restaurant themed guff somewhere) and some breathless menu waffle is now a … Well, what is it? Er, um, Bombay-style, Iranian, Indian, Persian.

The flannel barely stops flowing but that means absolutely nothing if the food’s no good. And usually? The heavier the theme, the worse the food but one look at the dishes reveals they have not been sanitised by the restaurant planners. OK, the dhansak seems a bit dry but the handi lamb is dark, soft and in a sauce that’s properly flavoursome and oily as it should be.

Bombay potatoes have crackled spice throughout and the potatoes themselves are dry, floury and crumbly. An aloo baigan is potatoes again and sweet, sticky aubergine. It’s good.

Within moments of dipping forks into this dish and that dish it becomes impossible to remember what’s supposed to be in what but there’s flavour in just about everything.

Sometimes its pungent chutneys, occasionally, as in the grilled marinated cauliflower, it’s yogurt. Even a bizarre whisky-smoked chicken tikka has something to say for itself. We’re enjoying this.

Chaakoo Bombay Cafe

79 St Vincent Street, Glasgow (0141 229 0000)

Menu: Bombay-something themed bar turned small plates restaurant with surprisingly authentic tasting Indian food. 3/5

Service: Bish-bosh superfast despite the warning of a long wait. You’ve heard the small plates script before but pleasant and efficient. 4/5

Atmosphere: A restaurant with a genuine bustling atmosphere and even a celebrity or too. Cramped but part of the fun. 5/5

Price: They’re not greedy with dishes starting at £3.50 and hitting £6.95 for that handi lamb. Definitely good value. 5/5

Food: Nothing you’ve not had before but everything was packed with flavour especially the handi lamb and repackaged in the small plate style. 7/10

Total: 24/30