Pillar of the refurbishment

  • The List
  • 16 September 2010
Pillar of the refurbishment

Corinthian, an icon of the Merchant City’s transformation from commercial to convivial hub, has just emerged from a lavish make-over. Andrea Pearson donned her frock.

You might expect the multi-million pound re-birth of the G1 Group’s flagship Merchant City property to cause such a stir that door staff would be busy all night checking the queue outside. But, other than on a Friday or Saturday night, getting into the vast Corinthian Club – as it is now known with its new gaming licence – is straightforward.

Certainly the capacity of the venue is prodigious. In various recent G1 openings the trend for multi-themed venues has become apparent, and with five floors and countless rooms to play with, the interior designers have gone to town. There are cocktail bars with a bourbon theme, a pink and sparkly theme and a Holywood jazz theme, private rooms with a hunting lodge theme and a library theme, a nightclub and a gaming room. The two dining options are the monastery-themed Mash and Press Room in the basement and the main Tellers Bar and Brasserie on the ground floor. Much of the menu is the same both upstairs and down so it makes sense to opt for the more attractive setting of the Tellers Bar. The ornate, glass-domed Victorian room once housed the banking hall of the Glasgow and Ship Bank – now just a few paragraphs in the Lloyds/HBOS archives.

Unlike the decor, the menu offers few extremes of styling and sticks for the most part to familiar upmarket pub staples such as smoked salmon, steaks, burgers, veggie pasta, garlic bread and sticky toffee pudding. It is enjoyable food in memorable surroundings and staff are pleasant and happy to help. The main components of each dish are well executed but details go missing, from rather toothless horseradish and rocket with a tender beef carpaccio to the scant lime and butter parsley sauce accompanying a nicely crispy seared halibut.

There is, instead, an emphasis on novel receptacles. Crème brûlée comes in a tiny brass skillet on a slate and a main course of cod and chips is served in a small deep-frying basket, not the easiest bit of tableware to eat from. Style getting the upper hand? Perish the thought.

+ Make-over makes the most of the glamorous central banking hall
- Rather too much of the rest of the decor is there just for the sake of it

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