Grand premises, grand food?
Over the last few years Glasgow’s St Vincent Street has become burger central with properties transformed into burger chains seemingly as soon as they become vacant.
Miller and Carter is sited at 47 Vincent Street where the Post Office used to be, and long before that a bank (as referenced by the bank vault doors to the toilets).
Miller and Carter is part of Mitchells and Butlers. You may know them better as Harvester, Toby Inns, O’Neils etc. In total they operate about 1,700 pubs and food outlets. Mitchells and Butlers have done well in the pub food market, and Miller and Carter is clearly their expansion into the higher end of the grilled beef market.
The first thing to strike you is the interior. The room is large, open and decorated in a traditional style that reflects its heritage. We were picked up quickly at the door and within a few moments were seated and perusing the menu.
Waiting for the starters gave us time to reflect on our surroundings. The room is a sea of dark veneer and marble dotted with bulls in print and sculptural form. One side provides a large bar while another is taken up by the open plan kitchen.
Surprisingly for a restaurant focusing on dry-aged steaks there was no visible sign of the usual drying cabinets displaying the beef on offer, like at say Porter & Rye or the Leith Chop House in Edinburgh.
Our starters arrived. My Prawn Cocktail (£6.50) was fine; half a dozen medium-sized prawns with leaves, sauce and for some reason bits of tortilla crisps. My companion had the Ginger and Beer Glazed Pork Belly Bites served with an Heirloom Tomato and Basil Salad (£6.50). Again fine but not outstanding.
Miller and Carter do sell burgers and fish, pasta and salad dishes, however, we were here for the meat.
There is a good range of steak choices including an 8oz Rump at £14.50, a 10oz 30-day dry aged fillet at £28.50 and a 16oz 30 day Dry Aged T-Bone at £25.95.
It was disappointing to see no Scottish beef on the menu. Did they really have to go all the way to Australia for frozen Black Face Angus when the world's finest Angus beef is to be found locally?
We plumped to share 30oz Long Bone Tomahawk. For those unfamiliar with the cut, it is a double sirloin with a long rib bone attached. In practice, that means at least half the weight is bone. So roughly equivalent to two 8oz off the bone sirloins.
All steaks are served with parsley butter, seasoned fries (we tried the Sweet Potato), onion loaf, a quarter beef tomato, steak sauce and a lettuce wedge.
For the truly hungry there are sides including a grilled lobster tail (£5.95), Mac and Cheese (£3.95) and a half rack of barbequed ribs (£7.50).
The steak was tender enough and certainly not short on fat. But the flavour was ordinary, there was no hint of the richness and depth of a decent dry-aged steak. And that big bone left my dining companion to wonder why they still felt hungry after what was supposed to be a huge steak dinner.
We shared a bottle of Argentinian Finca Andinos Malbec. At £19.55 it is the lowest priced wine on the list and will be a popular choice for matching with meat as it was priced well and tasted well.
The Lettuce Wedge is a quarter iceberg lettuce drizzled with dressing. It is a rather big cumbersome lump that in another life could have been a decent salad. As such it looks as if it has been carved with an axe. A good piece of eating out advice is never order spaghetti early in a relationship. Slurping and covering your front in sauce is not a good look. The same could be said of the Lettuce Wedge. Unless you want to look like a lunching hippo, give it a miss.
The Porcini and Black Garlic Sauce (£1.95) weans Ok but I would order the British Beef Dripping (£1.95) which was a worthwhile accompaniment.
The onion loaf comes as standard and was battered onion rings gone badly wrong and another item worth giving a miss.
We went for the Banoffee Pie (£5.50) and the Belgian Chocolate Ganache (£6.50) for desserts.
If you seek a sugar hit at the end of your meal, then these are for you. I was intrigued by what looked like cherry pie filling that surrounded what would have been tasty on its own ganache.
At the end of the day Miller and Carter was OK. Prices are lower than other steakhouses nearby and the surroundings are impressive. The waiting staff tried their best so credit to them.
+ An alternative to burgers in the nearby surrounds.
+ It's very nice inside
+ Friendly staff
+ Good price for food
- The lettuce wedge
- The onion bread
Location: 47 St Vincent Street, Glasgow
Have you been? What did you think?
We were invited by Miller and Carter to review.