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Sunday, 15 July 2012

Review - The Living Room, Glasgow

Beautiful surroundings @ The Living Room, Glasgow

















The Glasgow Fair Weekend is upon us and after the horrible weather that we have had recently, it was good to see a bit of sunshine on Friday afternoon. The dry weather was especially welcome as I was meeting Nicola in town for drinks, then dinner before heading to see Blood Brothers at The Kings Theatre.


After enjoying a few drinks at Grill on the Corner, we made our way to The Living Room where we had a table booked for dinner. We have eaten here on a number of occasions and always been impressed with the quality of food that they serve. (see my previous lunch review)


When we arrived we were quickly shown to our table. As well as the à la carte menu, The Living Room also have a well priced "Perfect Set" menu offering two course for just £11, or three courses for £14. Sometimes I feel that low cost set menus are often so restricted that I struggle to find two courses that I would like, however this wasn't the case here and we both managed to quickly decide on our dinner.


We sat enjoying our chilled bottle of Trebbiano as the restaurant quickly began to fill. A combination of it being Fair Friday and Willy Russells award winning musical coming to the end of its two week run in Glasgow likely reasons for the early evening rush.


Red & yellow tomato bruchetta


It wasn't long before our starters arrived. Nicola had ordered the red & yellow tomato bruchetta with pesto & mozzarella, what arrived was two huge chunks of ciabatta layered with marinated tomatoes, red onion, creamy mozzarella drizzled with pesto olive oil dressing. The bruschetta was served cold, this gave us time to look for the yellow tomatoes without the starter cooling down too much..... We didn't find any! That said, the flavours were all very fresh although maybe more crostini than bruschetta ,as well as the obvious absence of the garlic flavour that comes from the garlic clove when it is traditional rubbed over the freshly toasted bread.
Teriyaki chicken Skewers



My own starter of Teriyaki chicken skewers with satay sauce was very nice. Three marinated pieces of chicken breast, grilled and coated with toasted sesame seeds served on a bed of cucumber and spring onion. The chicken was well cooked and had a delicious, slightly spicy satay dipping sauce on the side. My only criticism about this starter is that I could have managed a little more chicken than the three skewers that I was served.
Our plates were cleared and we sat chatting as we waited on our mains to arrive. I had ordered the Seafood linguine while Nicola had ordered grilled sea bass on tomato, lime, chili and coriander dressed noodles. There were a few mains that caught Nicola's eye but the sea bass dish was the one that jumped out. As we sat waiting, one of the waitresses came to the table to check that she didn't want any side dishes to go with the "cold sea bass salad" because the portion was quite small. The fact that the portion size was small was less of an issue than the fact that the grilled sea bass was served cold. It was explained that this particular dish had been taken from the lunch menu in order to offer a light dinner choice, however that didn't explain why the menu (or waiter) didn't advise that the sea bass was a cold dish. Had we known this simple fact then Nicola would have ordered one of the other mains from the varied menu. Fortunately, she was able to change her order and decided to plump for the steak frites.


Grilled Sea bass with coriander noodles
Seafood Linguine
After the mix up, we expected to be kept waiting for our mains to turn up, however just a few short minutes passed before the restaurant manager, Kyle, brought our mains to the table. Dinner was accompanied by an apology about the aforementioned issue as well as the dish that had caused all the problems. Kyle explained that as the sea bass had already been prepared, we may as well have it to see what we thought of it.


In all fairness, I really enjoyed it. The sea bass was well cooked and served on a wonderful, zingy bed of egg noodles and fresh coriander & tomato salsa. Nicola also enjoyed the noodles but couldn't cope with the cold fish. Thank goodness we found 
out beforehand because if this had been served to Nicola as her actual main meal, then the Johnstone brothers wouldn't been the only ones to see blood!


The seafood linguine, packed with king prawns, squid, and huge mussels was a delight. The tomato base was well seasoned with just a little chili kick, the sweetness from the plum tomatoes was balanced well by the saltiness of the mixed seafood. I was surprised to see quite so many prawns in the dish, especially for a dish on a set menu. I would have paid the £11 for the linguine dish alone.


Steak Frites
Nicola was quiet across the table as she delved into her steak frites. A well cooked, slightly pink 5oz beaten steak covered with garlic butter and served with crispy hand cut frites. The steak had a wonderful smoky flavour from being cooked on grill, complimented by super sweet slow roasted tomatoes.


When we had finished or mains, Kyle reappeared to check that we were happy with our dinner, and to get feedback on the poorly worded sea bass. All of the food that was brought to our table was delicious, of course some of the food was presented in a way that was not exactly as we had expected. Putting aside the fact that the waiter could have advised us about the way that the sea bass is prepared and served, the overall customer service that was offered by the waitress initially, followed by the way that Kyle made us feel at ease after the issue had been resolved, shows why businesses need to invest in the manner in which they look after their clients.


The Living Room made sure that regardless of what had happened over the mix-up, we still left the restaurant feeling good about our overall dining experience. I can't fault the quality of the food that they serve, and I can only sing praise for their approach to customer service. Lunchtime treat or evening meal, either way, you should find something that puts a smile on your face.





1 comment:

philcordiner said...

Another good honest review - A reminder that customer service isn't so much about getting it right all the time as it is an opportunity to exceed expectations to correct things when it goes wrong!!

I do like the Living Room in Glasgow and love the way te serve the chips!