Restaurant review - Limelight Bar and Grill

A Victorian building that once housed the city’s first power station

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Restaurant review - Limelight Bar and Grill

Limelight Bar and Grill
Hotel Indigo, 75 Waterloo Street, Glasgow
0141 226 7726, limelightglasgow.co.uk

Food served: Mon–Thu 6.30am–10pm; Fri 6.30am–10.30pm; Sat 7am–10.30pm; Sun 7am–10pm
Ave. price two-course meal: £12 (set lunch) / £23 (dinner)

Much has changed for Glasgow in the last century. It lost claim to being the UK’s second city as the Clyde’s tide of industry became a trickle, yet successfully reinvented itself as a place of culture and commerce (OK, shopping).

Encapsulating this transformation is Hotel Indigo and Limelight Bar and Grill, housed in a splendid Victorian building that once powered the streetlights and first illuminated the city in 1893 – a mere decade or so after Edison’s first bulb lit up. It’s an impressive edifice – and should be for the £15 million refurbishment.

For restaurateur Maurice Taylor and executive chef Gerry Sharkey, the duo behind West Nile Street’s La Bonne Auberge, it’s a distinctly hip venue for a younger crowd. Huge windows frame the streets once lit by the building’s dynamos, exposing an interior that mixes the traditional – cornicing, wood floors and chandeliers – with contemporary splashes, including a shocking pink and lime colour scheme.

Other nods to the city include portraits of some of Glasgow’s famous sons and daughters, while the cocktail menu notes the bars that introduced certain concoctions to thirsty locals. The bar also has local draughts such as WEST, some rare spirits and wines categorised by style.

Limelight’s menu plays it rather safe with plenty of mass-appeal favourites and popular grills. Starters feature a retro prawn cocktail and melon, while scallops tussle successfully with a brash pickled radish salad. Chicken satay are tender fillets but with a nutty sauce that’s too heavy on the salt.

A half-dozen light meals include salads and pastas, while mains include burgers, ribs and Black Gold steaks from Simon Howie, perfectly cooked and enjoyable, slightly dulled by the standard tomato and mushroom partners, and the extra cost for wedgey hand-cut chips. The crispy feta and nut crust atop a salmon fillet is a perky addition to a well-executed Scottish favourite.

The small dessert pots, including panna cotta, trifle, chocolate mousseline, cranachan and crumble, are fun if a bit hit and miss, some singing in the spotlight while others wait in the shadows. Rather like the whole experience – plenty of highlights but little that truly shines from the menu.

+ A venue oozing beautiful heritage

- Food that doesn’t go too far beyond good pub grub

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