We are big fans of the Gusto chain of restaurants, having enjoyed a great meal at their Newcastle restaurant (reviewed here); so we were keen to try out the newly opened Glasgow branch on Bothwell Street.
The menu at Gusto restaurants is amazing- so varied, and so difficult to choose from. There is something for everyone from pizzas and pastas to steak, seafood and burgers. Unfortunately, unlike the Newcastle restaurant, Glasgow just doesn't do the great menu justice- extremely slow service and cold food let the Gusto brand down. I'm hoping this is just some teething problems since they have only recently opened. With a menu as fantastic as this, it has great potential if they can only make people want to make a return visit.
Before we get down to talking about our menu choices, we just want to talk about the problems we encountered. One of our starters, and one of our main courses came out only luke warm. I suspect this is because they had been sitting on the pass for so long; since we experienced such slow service with everything else in the restaurant. We waited a long time for everything- from our orders being taken, to our food arriving. We could excuse this if the restaurant was busy; but there were only four tables occupied, and with three waiting staff and two floor managers, this should have been more than manageable. For example, we were given our dessert menus and it took them 25 minutes to come back to take our order. We also requested that coffee come at the same time as dessert- we got it 10 minutes after we had finished eating. Far from great.
The food, however, tasted (and looked visually) great. For starters we had the Deep Fried Calamari with Lemon Mayonnaise (£6.75). The batter on these was light, crisp and seasoned to perfection. Our other starter was the Tiger Prawns in a Tomato, Garlic & Cream Sauce with Grilled Ciabatta (£7.50), which was full of flavour.
We also tried the Peach & Passionfruit Julep (£8.95) cocktail, which has a strong bourbon base. This was great, but isn't a choice for the faint-hearted.
For our main courses, we both opted for steak. The Flattened Rump Steak with Grand Padano, Rocket and Chilli (£13.95) was a brilliant flavour combination, and was very juicy. You can have this thin steak cooked either 'pink' or well done'- definitely go for pink, as the meat stays nice and moist. A side of Fries (£3.95) and Peppercorn Sauce (£1.95) finished this off nicely. The 6oz Fillet Steak (£20.95) came with Fries, Garlic Butter and Grilled Tomato. It was cooked just right, and the meat was good quality.
The highlight of the night was definitely the Nutella & Mascarpone Calzone (£5.95) dessert; basically a chocolate and cream cheese pizza. It is worth visiting a Gusto restaurant for this alone (we had it in Newcastle too) as it's complete and utter heaven. The other dessert we had was the Warm Chocolate & Hazelnut Brownie with Pistachio Ice-Cream and Chocolate Sauce (£5.95). This, unfortunately, was a let down, as they didn't have any pistachio ice-cream left, and you needed a magnifying glass to see the 'chocolate sauce'.
Will we come back to Gusto Glasgow? Probably not anytime soon... unless they don't mind us just popping in for a chocolate calzone or two.
You can view the Gusto menu and restaurant contact details online at gustorestaurants.uk.com.