Somewhere Not So Special... - Grill on the Corner, Glasgow

Throughout my reviews, you will know that I am obsessed with steak.  When restaurants claim to have the finest cuts of meat, and specialised farms with massaged cows on specialised diets, I have no choice but to grant them a visit.

My partner Ryan and I have been excited about Grill on the Corner in Glasgow from the moment it was booked.  Saturday night, later booking - I was prepared to be enthralled by this restaurant.  Sadly, my experience of Grill on the Corner is much like Scottish weather - miserable.

The restaurant itself is a vacuous, beautifully decorated space.  Lots of mismatched mirrors on the wall, low hanging chandeliers and quirky bookcases casually decorated.  It reminded me of the mad hatters tea party, but in a sleek and stylish way.

Upon entering the restaurant, there was a waiter behind the podium where menus were kept.  Standing on the staircase beside this was a young girl, staring into space, dressed casually.  I presumed she was a customer waiting to be served, as she caught eye contact with us and proceeded to stand.   I motioned towards the desk, when she suddenly approached us, and asked for our booking details.  She did the closest walk to a run I have ever seen round the corner and away from us!  Wearing heels and also just coming out of the rain, I trotted after her with Ryan holding my back to ensure I didn't slip and fall.  Very impersonal, very rushed and not what I would have expected from a restaurant of it's stature...

Stunning interior, courtesy of "Top Ten Glasgow Guide"

We were seated and provided with our menus.  Ryan ordered a glass of water, as he was feeling very dehydrated.  The waiter serving us scrunched his face up, as if this was unheard of.  I appreciate that in a Chinese Buffet, the money is in the drinks - this, however, is a city centre restaurant!  The money that we would potentially be spending was certainly not in the drinks.  I ordered my standard glass of rose wine, and also a glass of water.  He asked if we knew what we wanted to eat - well, no, considering we were just through the door? - and stalked off with our drinks orders.  The menu is very extensive - plenty of unusual but delicious sounding starters, a vast array of main courses (seafood, grill, vegetarian) and a compelling wine and cocktail list.  Just a shame we never got given the time to actually read through it all!  He returned within a minute with the drinks, and again asked if we were ready to order!  Again I must compare to a Chinese Buffet - the 'in and out' service.  We asked for just a little more time, and he left again.
Once we were (finally) ready to order, he came back at the ready.  I was famished, and decided to go for the chicken pate with Cumberland jelly and toast.  Ryan was suffering a mild concussion, and decided against a starter.  For the mains,  I ordered the Galloway sirloin, medium rare, with peppercorn sauce.  To accompany this i chose 'crushed potatoes', that I shall explain later in the review.  Ryan opted for the normal sirloin, cooked medium with a side of skin-on fries.

 I have to admit, that the food was absolutely outstanding.  The pate was served encased in a layer of fat, preserving that delicious meaty flavour beneath.  Topped with three sweet berries, the combination was delicious and the jelly was really something.  Layered on top of thickly sliced crunchy toast, it was a taste revelation.  I only wish there had been more of the pate, as it was absolutely mouthwatering and a pleasure to eat.

Chicken pate, with Cumberland jelly and toast

Within minutes, the slate had been cleared from the table.  The funny thing is, there was no usual banter that you would expect from a waiter.  I am unsure if it was perhaps his first night, but there was no connection from the staff - again very impersonal and not particularly warming.  Usually you are asked "how was that for you?" or "was everything alright with your starter?", but not here.  I appreciate weekends may be hectic - but we were literally being served so quickly and customer service is such an important part of the dining experience.

Less than five minutes wait, we were met with our mains.  All I can say is - WOW!  The steaks were absolutely perfect.  Cooked to a precision that ensured the steaks were juicy, tender and the right consistency - very well done to the chef.

Delicious - Galloway sirloin steak with 'crushed' potatoes
The Galloway steak is from a breed of cow that is allowed to freely graze amongst heather moors and long grass.  The steak was astounding.  Very moist, tender and a fantastic shade of pinky-red.  There was a sweetness to the meat, but also a smokiness from the grill.  The peppercorn sauce was creamy and thick, and there was plenty of it to coat the meat and truly accentuate the flavours.  My side, the 'crushed potatoes' were a revelation.  Crushed baby potatoes, mixed with chives and butter.  The potatoes were soft and fluffy, the chives were strong but not overpowering, and when eaten with a chunk of flawless steak - my God.

Ryan was overjoyed with his impeccably cooked steak.  He said that in all honesty, it is the best steak he has ever had to date!  His sirloin cut was very thick, but this did not compromise the juiciness and tenderness of the meat.  The skin-on fries arrived in a miniature basket - very cute and a nice touch for decor!  Fluffy inside, crunchy outside and lightly salted - the perfect chip!

Sirloin steak with skin-on fries
Our plates were well and truly cleared, and I was elated with my meal.  The waiter cleared our plates away, again with no chit-chat or care for comments we had.  I also found it strange that he didn't ask if we wanted desserts.  The reason why?  We were given a menu anyway on his return.  No questions asked, just slapped onto the table and left.  I cannot help but ask - why?! As paying customers you expect some sort of respect, or civil conversation with the staff!  I was actually quite shocked by the attitude of the staff, and regardless of how perfect the food was, it ruined our experience.

I had asked about the desserts on the menu to our waiter on his return.  Trying to gauge him in some polite conversation about cakes and such (part of his job, really) was probably more difficult that riding a bucking bronco on a rickety bridge built on a ship that was sailing on the roughest seas.  Yes, really that difficult.

We decided to cut our disappointing visit short and say no to desserts.  The menu sounded good, but considering how extensive the main menu was, the variety of desserts available were scarce.  I quite like when restaurants do a 'special', such as a cheesecake or a meringue.  There are perhaps eight desserts available.  Although some do sound fantastic, I was beyond giving anymore chances for bad service.

Ryan paid the bill and left a standard tip.  Upon seeing the slightly skimpy tip, the card was pushed back to Ryan and the waiter then left, without so much as a goodbye or a thank you.

The bill came to approximately £66.  This was for one starter, two steaks and one glass of wine.  I am usually fine to pay this kind of money, however I would expect the staff to be accommodating and helpful, even if it is a pretence. 

My opinion of Grill on the Corner is not a good one.  The quality and preparation for the food was definitely ten out of ten, and if you aren't big on service then I would recommend visiting.  However, if you enjoy the 'out for dinner' experience like I do, then I would not recommend a visit.  To give you an overview - we were in and out within an hour.

I am tempted to revisit Grill on the Corner, perhaps to see if this was a fluke or we caught the staff on an 'off' night.  Who knows? I certainly don't.

Contact Details:

Grill on the Corner
21-25 Bothwell Street
G2 6NL

Tel: 0141 248 6262

Wheelchair access:  No


  1. The food looks amazing! Pity about the service :( If you wanted amazing food with no service you'd make it yourself! I hope it's a fluke for the sake of the talented chef!

    1. Exactly! I was so let down as I'd heard nothing but great things...


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