Watch: First look at The Merchant Steakhouse as it prepares to open its doors

“We’re not reinventing the wheel, we’re just cooking really good food.”
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Ingram Street has just welcomed the city centre’s newest restaurant The Merchant Steakhouse set to officially open for bookings on Friday 28 April. The team behind the venture kindly invited us for a first look at the interiors and a chat about what customers can expect.

With the help of Harris Tweed’s creative director Mark Hogarth the venue underwent a complete refurbishment, transforming into a New York style bar with distinct tartan accents embodied in the soft furnishings and art work which delightfully compliments the fully Scottish menu. The mood lighting that showers above the seating area creates a comfortable ambiance, making it a suitable spot for date nights or late night cocktail catch ups.

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The owner Ryan Bowman sought inspiration for the design theme from his upbringing, having spent periods of time in meat markets supporting his grandparents’ business.

“Growing up in the meat industry, it was always a dream of mine to bring a premium steakhouse to Glasgow,” he said.

The menu took over a year to perfect, according to executive chef William Lee. It features eight different cuts of Aberdeen Angus beef, hand selected by craft butchers at a Highland farm and dried for up to 45 days.

Before serving it is cooked on a custom built Parilla grill over South African hot oak charcoals to achieve the smoky rich flavours, “the only thing in the restaurant that doesn’t come from Scotland”.

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“We’re not reinventing the wheel, we’re just cooking really good food.”

A similar level of dedication has went into the specially curated drinks menu, it appears. Above the granite high-top, copper fronted bar the passionate mixologists can put together a strong list of classic cocktails as well as a few of their own creations - I especially vouch for the Cherry Old Fashioned.

The “semi-fine dining” experience, as described by manager Chris Johnson, is not limited to red meat. There is a selection of seafood as well as a grilled cauliflower steak suitable for vegan diets.

“We’re looking to give people a high-end experience that’s also comfortable”, Chris said.

“While the food is exemplary we want people to feel like they can relax for a number of hours, have a few drinks and really settle in.”

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