SO I’M driving up Glasgow’s Victoria Road of a Friday evening and I suddenly realise that Sacred Tum Taco is actually, amazingly, genuinely, shutters-up, lights on, open to the public.
At one bound I’ve ditched the car, taken my life in my hands crossing those new cycle motorways, skipped past the almost stationary traffic and am in that front door and metaphorically banging my contactless money on the table, a teeny-weeny moan part-formed on my withered lips.
It goes like this: maybe five times in the last ten days or or so I’ve come down here, based firstly on Google opening times, then Sacred Tum’s own opening times, and finally on sworn affidavits from people I know and vaguely trust who tell me with straight-faces that they were in Sacred Tum and it was open at such and such a time. Definitely, double definitely at the weekend.
Hmmm. Was Elvis in there too? Because, no, it’s wasn’t open. And I know this. As I was there. Fact.
So I’m ordering while telling the Tum Taco folks this mumpy story but they’re such smiley happy, cheery people that I find myself becoming all smiley, happy, cheery (well, sort of).
Nodding when they say they must change that Google listing and they’re definitely going to be back to opening all week soon. Definitely.
I even laugh with them when they absolutely insist they are always open at weekends. Always. Ooh. No, hang on, they say, looking quizzically at each other: I’m right. They weren’t open last weekend. That’s because they were a little bit tired.
Actually? There’s a word for all this: success. Somewhere over the culinary rainbow, new things fly, some soar, some crash-bang oh why, oh why, oh why? Uh, nobody really, really knows. If they did well there would still be scores of burger joints around and we’d be knee deep in Korean hot-pots.
But Sacred Tum Taco is definitely flying high. It seems they build the tacos, and we will come, whenever they feel like rolling up those shutters.
Take this taco here. A beautiful thing. Peering winsomely up through the square, clear window of its crisp card box. I can see freshly scissored herbs, the glisten of a coriander salsa, dark treacly pork shoulder meats simmered slowly, lovingly, and desperate to show how much flavour they have.
All wrapped in a soft corn flour tortilla with little bubbles of brown from the hot grill plate.
Even more appetising are the fish tacos: battered cod, er fish fingers, red cabbage, salsa verde, pico de gallo, coriander.
And the chipotle chicken thighs, or the slow lamb shoulder with pea mole, pickled onion and, a tad oddly, feta.
Now, I’ve spent enough money on mexgrocer.co.uk (despite the pre-industrial website) and eaten enough tacos made with their Masa Harina pan flour, on their cast-iron presses, by an enthusiastic teenage son to know you can wrap about anything in a really proper corn tortilla and it will taste bloody great. But making them is a terrible time-consuming footer.
When we sit down at the dinner table and start on these it’s not the convenience alone that makes them welcome. They’re simply very good, better even than his, our teen chef Luca admits.
The sides are maybe not so good: a ceviche of cod with a lime tang so sharp it would pucker an elephant’s cheeks; a gloopy corn of the cob with garlic chipotle, aioli and parmesan and pinto beans with cumin.
In my enthusiasm I’ve managed to spend over £60 on an awful lot of tacos (all eaten) and more sides.
Unfortunately I arrive home bearing this surprise feast at almost exactly the same time as the baby chicken and mixed grill that the family has ordered from Kebabish for tea is delivered. Oops. How we laughed. Okay we didn’t.
I need to plan better. Sacred Tum needs to pick regular opening times. Then we can all live happily ever after.
Sacred Tum Taco
522 Victoria Road
0141 237 4350
Menu: Fish tacos, pork shoulder, lamb, all brought into life with carefully chosen moles, pico de gallos, and Sala verde. 5/5
Atmosphere: They have a few seats by the window and a happy, cheery attitude which lifts an otherwise simple shop front. 4/5
Service: As I said, full of pride at what they do. Just try and pin them down on opening times, they close when they run out. 4/5
Price: Around about £7 for a portion of two. No complaints from me.3/5
Food: A properly and carefully made taco is a glorious thing and these can certainly be glorious. Full of flavour, great fish tacos. 8/10