Mondays can be tough, right? Particularly the first Monday back in class after a three week long Easter break, so what better night to indulge in a slap-up meal at one of Glasgow’s most revered hotels. That’s exactly how my blogging partner-in-crime Lis and I spent last Monday night, with a trip to Tempus Restaurant at Grand Central Hotel. Having never stayed in the hotel, I was yet to set foot inside Tempus prior to that night. However, my high school leaver’s dinner actually took place in The Grand Room and, unsurprisingly where I’m concerned, the food was a highlight of the evening.
With that in mind, I had high expectations as to what Tempus would have in store for us on an unseasonably cold Monday night. I had been expecting to find a quiet restaurant, with it being a Monday night, but instead, the huge restaurant was nearly full. Despite having a few large, lively groups in, the atmosphere was still rather intimate, making it the perfect place to catch up and enjoy a bite. Tempus offer various deals throughout the week, with a theatre menu running in the evenings alongside tempting steak offers that are perfect for a mid-week pick me up. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why the restaurant was in fact so busy on a night that is typically quiet elsewhere.
We were dining from the theatre menu and despite being a set menu we were still spoilt for choice. I was torn between three starters, the Haggis Fritters, Goats Cheese Cake and Chicken Liver Parfait, eventually settling on the latter whilst Lis opted for the soup of the day which on that evening was Butternut Squash. The Chicken Liver Parfait was served with a small tower of oatcakes, chutney and a dressed side salad. It was beautifully light and packed full of flavour, however, as is usually the case with pate and parfait I could have done with a few more oatcakes for the huge portion! The presentation, however, was ultimately lacking, which was disappointing considering the beautiful surroundings for the evening.
Unfortunately, I was confined to soft drinks for the night, so I watched on in envy as Lis ordered a delicious sounding Wandering Sailor from the cocktail menu. With a mix of spiced rum, orange and pineapple it’s a cocktail that would be right up my street, as would the refreshing Raspberry Cooler with vodka and Chambord shaken with raspberries, passionfruit, orange and cranberry. I’ve got a visit to their beautiful Champagne Central bar in mind for the future so that I can put their cocktails to the test properly.
My choice of main was a given, as although I’d been tempted by the Rigatoni pasta I’d had steak on my mind since that morning. Likewise, Lis was also swayed by the Rigatoni, but ultimately we both opted for the Sirloin. I’m a big steak fan and it tends to be my meal of choice at most restaurants these days, with my preference being medium rare. On this occasion, it was cooked to perfection, with a lightly charred flavour that added a real dimension of taste to the tender meat. It’s easily one of the better steaks I’ve had, particularly from a set menu like the theatre menu, and is one I’d very happily eat again. Served with the classic accompaniments of chips, tomato and a dressed rocket salad, this dish was exactly what I needed to kick start my week.
Tempus run an offer throughout the week where you can get two sirloin steaks and a bottle of wine for either £29.50 Sunday – Thursday or £39.50 on Friday and Saturday which I think is a fantastic deal. A steak and a bottle of wine for less than £15 per person midweek is certainly a tempting offer for me, at least! The fact that the deal runs over the weekend at all is surprising, to say the least, as it’s not something you often find in city centre restaurants in Glasgow where a decent steak alone can commonly set you back a minimum of £20.
Unfortunately, the only downfall of the evening was the dessert. I could wax lyrical about my love for Sticky Toffee Pudding all day long, as can Lis, so when she ordered one to round off the meal we had high hopes. It arrived a little bit too quickly, in fact, we had barely returned to our conversation about the best sticky toffee pudding we’ve had before it arrived, which can be a tad concerning when it comes to restaurant service – there is a happy medium. The pudding was lacking a suitable amount of sauce, making it a bit too dry for Lis’ liking, which was a shame.
Throughout the evening the service was friendly and attentive, which is all you can hope for, particularly in a clearly busy restaurant. Disappointing dessert aside, the delicious steaks are worth a try, particularly when such great value deals are available. You’d be pushed to find a better deal for a good steak in the city centre. The setting is as beautiful as you would expect from such a luxurious hotel, and it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular choice even on the typically quieter nights. In my experience hotel restaurants are mostly disappointing, so my experience at Tempus was a very welcome change and speaks volumes as to the quality of the hotel itself.