The knowledge: Aberdeen Food Blog’s eating out guide

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Published by a married couple – and self-confessed “serial diners” – the Aberdeen Food Blog is a reliable source of restaurant reviews and a font of foodie knowledge for those in the Granite City.

We asked Kirstie to share her favourite places to eat out, from the best restaurants in Aberdeen to the hidden gems.

Aberdeen

The most memorable dish I’ve been served in Aberdeen…

It’s got to be the Coq au Vin at La Bonne. There are no words but I’ll try.  It was just out of this world!  The most perfectly seasoned and balanced Coq au Vin I’ve ever had.  Herbs whole, lardons just the right size, chicken falling off the bone, sauce that packs a real flavour punch but isn’t too much.  All accompanied with a large quenelle of mashed potato – not champ, not mashed anything else, not too creamy, just perfect.  There’s a certain earthiness to the potatoes that makes me wonder if there’s a tiny hint of saffron or something going on, well who cares – it’s delish!

The place I keep going back to…

Rustico – consistent, beautiful Sicilian food with efficient and well informed staff who seem to genuinely care about what they’re doing and understand the food they’re serving. Make sure you ALWAYS check out the specials, their fish pasta specials are always a hit! You can expect such treats as creamy hot smoked salmon on pasta, lobster ravioli etc etc. Wonderful!

Favourite place for veggie food…

Have to admit I’m somewhat of a carnivore so don’t tend to go on the hunt for veggie food specifically. However, if I have vegetarian guests I’d be keen to take them to Rishi’s on George Street. It’s a gorgeous South Indian restaurant that we started going to a couple of years back on the recommendation of a Northern Irish colleague! We’ve seen been with our good friend Vaas who is a vegetarian from Kerala, South-West India, and he gives us the thumbs up that it’s the real deal!

Moonfish Café
[Moonfish Café]

Best place for seafood…

Again, I don’t tend to go out actively searching for seafood (other than when I go to my mother’s house and demand some of her lobster risotto!), largely due to having a non fish-eating husband and a scallop allergy myself, so I tend to like having certain places on my hit list that often have lovely fish specials so that I can have the odd fish surprise!

Malmaison in Aberdeen frequently has some really fresh, simple and lovely fish dishes that I enjoy – per above Rustico is pretty hard to beat and I’ve also had some really delicious fish meals at Moonfish.

However, if we’re getting right down to it, I’d say that haddock and chips from the fish and chip shop in Balmedie is pretty tough to beat! I always remember the night we moved into our Balmedie home I nipped out and grabbed a few fish suppers for us and our helpers and we revelled in them amongst cardboard boxes and chaos – what a tasty treat. A good haddock supper is pretty hard to beat, lets face it!

Café 52
[Café 52]

Best place for a quick, no-fuss bite to eat…

Most conveniently, just around the corner from my office I enjoy the cheapo lunch menu at Cafe 52 – particulary the Cullen Skink! Also, on the Cullen Skink subject – The City probably has some of the best in town, if not THE best. It’s not always on though, so worth phoning ahead if you’re counting on it. Their fondant fancies are pretty awesome also. All very quick, no fuss and great value.

New restaurants which have impressed me recently…

That would need to be a ‘not really’ – you always get an honest answer from me! Despite being a bit of a chain-restaurant snob (ridiculous I know but hey ho) – I was still very keen to check out Jamie’s Italian when it opened. The first visit was fabulous, I mean really fabulous and required some pride swallowing on my part! Particularly the squid starter – shockingly delicious. However, just a week later, I took my mum there as she was also intrigued about this celeb driven bit of Aberdeen excitement – but it was really disappointing. Overly salty risotto, hot spots throughout several dishes and just not good enough. So that was a new restaurant that (briefly) impressed me. Yet to decide whether there will be a round three….

A local chef who has caught my attention…

Again, would need to be honest and say ‘not really’ on this one – I’m ready to have my attention caught though!

Patisserie-Francaise
[Macaroons on display at Patisserie Francaise]

My perfect foodie day/night in Aberdeen…

It would start with a visit to Patisserie Francaise on Thistle Street to get some delicious and decadent treats to take home for a late breakfast with a nespresso.

Then it would be off to Rustico for a lovely lunch (I’m thinking bruschetta, lamb agnello – a rustic and lovely lamb ragu pasta dish then a tiramisu – trying not to eat three loaves of ciabatta during all of this).

After all of this I think an afternoon stroll then a little nap might be in order. THEN, if I have room, it would be off to Manchurian for a light dinner of won ton soup and a few steamed dim sum. Delightful!

Read more from Kirstie at the www.aberdeenfoodblog.com and follow her on Twitter.

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Nick is an Edinburgh-based writer and editor, covering music, pop culture and comedy.

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