Glo London – Reading
As an ex-Reading London Commuter and Resident, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at Glo London’s restaurant and wine bar since it is part of the Reading that didn’t exist when I last lived there and commuted into London. I arranged to eat there yesterday lunchtime and was pleasantly surprised at what I found. The restaurant is in the main shopping centre along a stretch of road that has other popular eateries like La Tasca and it’s also a stone’s throw from the River.
We were greeted by an extremely friendly waiter who took us to our table and (rather embarrassingly) provided me with a cushion so that I could sit comfortably at the table but stay on the very comfy but very squashy bench! Oh well, our fellow diners were mostly families with young children so at least I had some company.
The restaurant is nicely decorated with just a few hints of wear at the edges round the cocktail tables. There are nice touches, low salt soy sauce on the tables, crisp white cloth napkins and a choice of standard cutlery or chopsticks. And, it was pleasantly cool, even on a hot August day. We still ordered cocktails…mine a refreshing non-alcoholic watermelon and cranberry juice, my companion a Cuban style Mojito. Both were very beautifully presented…and I tasted the Mojito, just to check that it had a satisfying kick (which it did).
The menu is an interesting mix of Asian fusion dishes. There are ‘Asian Pizzas’, Thai Curries and Sechzuan Pork with Chili Chips. I ordered a starter of Hoisin Duck Pancakes, while my companion chose Thai Calamari. Both dishes arrived quickly and elegantly served. The pancakes were, for me, a bit disappointing. There was nothing at all offensive about them other than, perhaps, the bright green one in the middle, but it seemed like experimentation for no good reason. As you can see, they were light, puffy and slightly doughy creations. Now, I know that various Asian cuisines DO make puffy dough pancakes (Chinese Scallion Pancakes for instance) but they tend to be cooked with the ‘filling’ mixed into the dough. Even our very helpful waiter couldn’t explain how I was supposed to fill them. Having said that, the duck was lovely and the sauce fragrant and not too gooey. And my companion’s Thai Calamari was succulent and perfectly cooked, not at all rubbery.
With our main courses we ordered a bottle of Keuntz Pinot Blanc, an excellent light but tangy white wine for a hot day. My Szechuan Pork Grill was a truly daunting prospect. Two large pork steaks served with a side salad and chili chips. Everything very tasty, the Pork Grill pleasantly tender and very well seasoned but such a large quantity that I think I ate less than half of the total plate.
Now, while I despise mean portions this was really plenty for two! I would have been happier had the menu offered a ‘small’ portion option for say £3 less. My companion’s Penang Beef Curry was much enjoyed and although he was offered a similar size plate of food, he happily ate the lot and went on to enjoy the Ice-Cream Money Bags for dessert.
While we were there we checked the cocktail menu and found that there was a tapas style food option there which looked interesting and had I realised it was available might have given me the opportunity to try a couple of dishes without feeling a little overwhelmed by the quantity of food. There were also some excellent value set meals, including a family meal for four priced at just under £25 including drinks for the children and a lunch dish of the day for £6.45.
All in, this seems an excellent venue for families, for group nights out and for a substantial but reasonably priced meal. There was no compromise in the quality of the food and the large ‘group’ tables looked as if they would be excellent for parties. Service was fast and helpful and the other guests all appeared happy and well cared for. For me, I would have liked a menu that clearly offered ‘normal’ sized portions. But, since it made my companion very content, perhaps I shouldn’t complain!
I ate at Glo in Reading at the invitation of Glo London
62/63 St Mary Butt, Reading