The Grill Room at the Square
- Telephone 0141 225 5615
- Opening times Mon–Sat noon–3am; Sun 12.30pm–3am
- Bar open Mon–Sat noon–3am; Sun 12.30pm–3am
- Food served Mon–Fri 8am–10.30pm; Sat/Sun 10am–10.30pm
- Pre-theatre times Sun–Sat noon–6.15pm
- Average price £16.50 (set lunch); £35 (evening meal)
- Pre-theatre price £16.50
- Website www.grillroomglasgow.com
A steakhouse for the upwardly mobile with swanky surroundings and a great view of Royal Exchange Square propping up an accessible menu.
This review is taken from the current (2016) edition.
Steakhouses are allowed to have a touch of swankiness about them, which the Grill Room at the Square embraces with neon gusto. It’s the in-house restaurant of the private members-only venue 29, but this is no old boys’ club. Wooden and leather furniture compete with glitzy details that remind you that, in fact, the One Up nightclub is only next door. An accessible menu (including modern pub favourites such as lamb hotpot and chicken teriyaki) makes sure to show diners that steak has decent credentials if it wants to be a member here: there’s a USDA grain-fed sirloin, all the standard British cuts (28-day-aged Scotch Beef Club standard), and a very ‘on-trend’ bone-in ribeye with lovely depth and texture. A wagyu steak at under £30 is another competitive touch, with the requisite delicate, marbled ‘give’ to the meat in full presence. Smaller plates such as smoked chicken caesar or beef rillettes are similarly tasty and refined, without ever being risky. This place knows what it is, and plays its upwardly mobile hand pretty well.
- High point: Wagyu beef for under £30
- Low point: A venue too big and brash for some tastes
- Notable dish: Bone-in ribeye
Ascending from the discreet entrance at the corner of Royal Exchange Square, housed within private members’ club 29, The Grill Room at the Square likes to think of itself as a place to see and be seen. Although showing signs of wear around the edges, a window seat overlooking the twinkling canopy of lights that adorn the cosmopolitan area below, is still an impressive vista and one of the best in the city. Starters have mixed success – Cajun spiced prawn spring rolls are rich in colour, crisp to the bite though could do with more punch in flavour. Instead opt for a duo of hot and cold smoked salmon – the quality is evident, draped over a zingy micro salad of capers, red onion and dill. As proud members of the Scottish Beef club, meat is taken very seriously and cooked with utmost respect over a specially designed grill. Choose whatever cut you fancy, all arrive with a charred crust, pink flesh and laced with rippling golden fat. Desserts don’t seem to get as much attention as the meat, though their sticky toffee offering is a good example of this popular pud. Live Jazz accompanies Sunday lunch while a pianist adds a classy note to weekend evenings.
- Private dining: 16, 22 & 40 (marquee on roof terrace)
- Provides: Gluten-free options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Pre-theatre menu, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
- Live entertainment: Live jazz every Sunday afternoon. Pianist Fri/Sat 6pm–10pm
- Capacity: 120
- Largest group: 120
- Open since: 2005
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 9
- House wine: £18.95 per bottle