Bar Gambrino, Great Western Road

Usually I want to be positive about things – it’s just better to be brighter, especially in a dark old winter like this one.  However, post work dinner at Bar Gambrino was sadly disappointing this week :(

Popped in to taste the delights as I had heard very good things – particularly that the chefs from Gambrinos across the street had moved and were now working there instead of established Great Western Road restaurant Gambrinos.

Well, it was a Tuesday night in December so fair dos – it was pretty dead. Two guys at the bar drinking a bear.  We sat in one of the seats in the restaurant bit and were given menus and a glass of water.  I may as well come clean, this is going to be a grumpy review… first gripe; the menus!  The recent trend in Glasgow for restaurants to create menus out of random bits of different sized paper and written in convoluted English and crazy fonts is wearing thin.  I can put up with it in the Butterfly and Pig but honestly, it’s getting boring!

Now, before I get into this I should give you the history… I love the building that Bar Gambrino is in; it holds some very funny and slightly blurry memories for me, was practically my living room when I was a student, I lived above it at 360 Great Western Road for 2 years from 2002-2004, two of my flatmates waitressed there, I have had many an all day session followed by a lock in, it was the Cheers of my life – this was back in the day when it was a Russian bar called Oblemov and had great beer, nice food and a host of regulars that would ensure it was always busy.  In my opinion it had never been as good since but I was up for trying it out –  gone was Oblemov, Junk Yard Dog and Bier Halle, it is now Bar Gambrino.

So now you know that I enter this place with love in my heart, you’ll understand why it was so disappointing to be well, so thoroughly disappointed!  My pet pub and restaurant hate and the thing that made me want to leave first was the toilets.  First of it was baltic (very, very chilly) and the paint job was shocking – one coat, badly done :( – first cubicle – the lid of the loo wouldn’t stay up, it’s hinge seemed to be jammed so there was no way no body gonna sit on that successfully! So, loo number two – no toilet paper and the dispenser was hanging off the wall – classy.  Cubicle number 3? Not to be outdone, the last option had no door handle.  A hat trick of sub par ladies toilets. Grr, I was well annoyed.

So I stomped back out to the next annoying thing – the wait;  hmmmm, the waitress was pretty quick at coming back to us with the menus and drinks but she was not to be seen again – at least 20 minutes before we decided that we were bailing and went round the corner to the warm, welcoming and delicious Lansdowne pub on Lansdowne Crescent.

Perhaps we didn’t give it a chance but my waitability was lacking and with an annoying menu, a cold, empty bar, inattentive staff and rubbish toilets we didn’t even get chance to taste the potential yumyum.

Boo :( How sad :( I know the times are a changin’ but through my wine tinted student glasses – it used to be much nicer in the olden days when we rocked it like this…

Ah happy new year on Gt Western Rd – le Oblemov days
Welcoming in 2002 ala The Flat