I have passed Rogano over the years and looked wistfully towards the door in the hope that someday I might experience the “unique 1930’s ambiance” offered by Glasgow’s oldest surviving restaurant. Well last Friday that moment came; together with a dear friend of mine, we excitedly took ourselves through the famous door expecting to find all the luxury, glamour and exuberance that Art Deco represents. Sadly that was not the case; my immediate thought was how tired the place looked and wondered if it was experimenting with the latest in ‘shabby chic’ but even shabby chic is clean.
The upholstery on the seats was literally threadbare and grubby looking. There was not one art deco lamp or wall light to be seen with lighting provided by spotlights haphazardly arranged around the restaurant so the overall ambience of the Art Deco period was missing.
On a more positive note, we were pleased with our choices from the lunch menu booked through 5pm.co.uk; both courses were nicely presented and we were delighted to find each one to be truly delicious. Whilst the food offered reasonable value, we had to settle for 2 gin and tonics to accompany our meal as £33 for the cheapest bottle of wine was not within our budget. The quality of service was excellent but so it should be with a discretionary surcharge of 12.5%.
Going out to lunch is a treat and whilst the quality of the food is clearly important, the atmosphere provided by the surroundings adds to the overall experience of the diner. Rogano appear to be relying on reputation to attract its customers but in honesty, the place is in need of some tender love and care to restore it to a former glory that is not quite visible.
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Johan Gerrie - 26/03/2015