Stepping out your comfort zone can be a gamble, but who’s to say it won’t pay off?
Casinos often attract a rather negative reputation. Perhaps down to their long opening hours (all day and night, except Christmas Day in the Dundee Grosvenor’s case), or preconceptions of lurid lights and unsavoury characters. The casino on Dundee’s West Marketgait could not be further from the truth. Arriving just as the main gaming hall and bar were beginning to bustle, the venue was relaxed, controlled and fun. Along with the ever-popular slot machines the casino also houses standard gaming tables and a private card room where you can join weekly tournaments aimed at different levels.
Most surprising however, was the style and quality of the restaurant. The enticing menu delivered at nearly every level. We eased into it with calamari at £5.25, which was plentiful as well as beautifully crispy, only lacking slightly in punch from the sauce. I was intrigued as to how light fish and seafood, in a kiln-roasted smoked salmon and prawn Caesar salad (£5.25) would handle a strong dressing. It was light and fragrant and I wish I had trusted the chef and plumped for it as a main option. Raising the steaks was a perfectly cooked sirloin (£15.75), served with skin-on-chips and a deeply flavoursome peppercorn sauce. My ravioli (£8.50) was large and thick, rammed full of wild mushroom and pumpkin and covered in an alledgely ‘light’, tomato sauce. I could have licked the bowl clean; sprinkled with chargrilled cherry tomatoes and peppery rocket it hit nearly every tastebud, but light it was not and unfortunately it masked the earthy flavours of the main event. Onwards to the gaming area, and I was impressed all over again by the professionalism and patience of our Learn To Play guide Hayleigh, who took us through our mathematical paces during a roulette and blackjack lesson. Perfectly placed for groups wanting something different of a night, the session is brilliantly good fun. Giving guests the chance to learn the basics and even experience life as a croupier, the two hours for £15 also includes a drink and buffet. The welcome, ambience and service at the Grosvenor Dundee has changed my mind about casinos, and a good night here is definitely a sure thing.