Mini Grill (Glasgow, Scotland)

Last Sunday, I got to have a complimentary birthday meal in one of TripAdvisor’s top 5 restaurants in Glasgow. Mini Grill is located in one of the trendiest areas of Glasgow’s city centre, where there are plenty of pubs, clubs and theatres to enjoy before or after your meal. What sets Mini Grill apart from its contemporaries, I feel, is the way it combines a laid back, rustic approach in its decor and refined fine dining in its dishes. In terms of steak and grill houses in Glasgow, Mini Grill supersedes the competition comfortably.

Situated in the basement floor of an incredible sandstone building, Mini Grill is tucked away, softly lit and decorated with nods to its Scottish origins. Tartans, bare brick and wooden deer sculptures make it not only a perfect spot for tourists to visit, but makes it feel homely and comfortable for locals. One of my favourite and undoubtedly unique features in the restaurant was the playing of a Kevin Bridges stand up comedy show in the bathrooms, meaning every time I went to freshen up I was able to have a laugh. Such a small detail, but something that let me know no part of the restaurant had been left out when the curating of the Mini Grill experience.

Mini Grill offers three menus: A la Carte, Pre Theatre and Lunch. The price range of these menus is very fair, meaning that regardless of your budget you’ll be able to find a menu to suit. The Lunch menu is offered Monday to Fridays, between 12pm and 1.30pm and consists of a one course meal with optional additional sides. The price range of the courses are between £8 and £12, and includes fillet steak, Thai curry and duck stir fry. Pre Theatre is between 12pm and 5.45pm every day of the week, with Monday to Thursdays costing £13.95 per two courses and Friday to Sundays at £15.95 for the same. From my experience in Glasgow restaurants, the extensive time frame for a pre-theatre menu is really generous. This menu offers a range of main courses, from mushroom risotto to fish and chips and of course their steaks, which in this case incur a £4 to £12 supplement depending on the cut.

We ordered from the A la Carte Menu, where starters range from £7 to £12 and main courses start at £16. All of the steaks on this menu are Aberdeen Black Angus, sourced locally from Ayrshire. The menu is very much a tribute to Scottish cuisine, with the chef’s own twist. With our meals I started with the Parini Pinot Grigio (£6.75/ 250ml) and then a Short Mile Bay Sauvignon Blanc (£6.45/ 250ml).

  1. Duck Breast Shredded (£7) – After looking at the menu I decided I would try the Asian inspired duck dish to start. Served beautifully in four crispy Wonton parcels, this finely shredded duck was served with ginger, garlic and chilli. To the side was a spoon full of Siracha jelly, which added heat, sweetness and moisture to the parcels. A deceptively large portion, this dish was the perfect prelude to my fish main course.
  2. Haggis Trio (£7) – Paul had the haggis trio to start, something I have never seen in a restaurant before. Haggis cooked and presented three ways; in puff pastry, rolled in sesame seeds and haggis filo. Each of the items was presented in a sauce; one in a turnip (or neep as we say in Scotland) puree and two in a creamy pepper sauce. I loved my starter but once I tried this I instantly regretted not ordering it. The spice from the haggis was balanced, but not overwhelmed, by the cooler creamy sauces. To have a Scottish staple incorporated into the menu was fantastic to see, but to see it elevated and made in such a creative and new way made it all the better.
  3. Pan Seared Atlantic Cod (£17) – Although Mini Grill is known for its steaks and burgers, because I’m not a huge eater of red meat I really wanted to try and consequently write about things that people who aren’t huge meat lovers could also  try. This cod was a seriously good decision, as it had so many of my favourite foods in one dish: quinoa, white fish, prawn and a creamy broth that was reminiscent of a Thai curry. Served in a bowl, the dish was layered; the Thai quinoa salad in the broth as the base, the cod, crisp on the outside and flaky, tender and succulent on the inside and a large King prawn at the top. Like the starter, presentation was incredible, and the taste was too.
  4. Fillet Steak (£32) – This steak was advertised on the menu as being 300g, but when the dish was brought out we knew it had to be bigger than that. Paul opted to have his cooked rare, and the meat really was cooked to perfection. Slightly charred on the exterior, with a thin layer inside being light pink and the rest a deep pink and then red in the centre, it was topped with tomatoes, served with a generous serving of peppercorn sauce and a portion of sea salted chips. The meat melted in the mouth, the sauce was creamy with a subtle hint of heat and the chips were crispy, kettle style on the exterior and fluffy on the inside.

Both of our orders were entirely different, because both of us have such different preferences when it comes to meat and fish. Whilst I opted for the Asian inspired duck and fish dishes, Paul stuck to haggis and steak. Its a testament to the Mini Grill menu that people with differing tastes, who are looking for entirely different things on the menu, can both leave more than satisfied with their order. Often I find that one of us is slightly underwhelmed when we eat out, because the menu will cater to either one of us, but at Mini Grill all the boxes were ticked. For those who don’t eat meat or fish, there are vegetarian options in all of the menus, as well as there being the option to have dishes made gluten free on request. An accommodating menu that exceeds in creativity, quality and sourcing of ingredients, Mini Grill is rated so highly for a reason. A must try if you’re visiting Glasgow or looking for somewhere to dine out at home.

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Mini Grill:

244A Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JW.

0141 332 2732.

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