With The Athenaeum being right at the bottom of Union Street it's a place that I've driven past a million times on the way into town but never really given a second thought. I suppose it's slightly out of the way when I'm through shopping because Marks & Sparks is about as far down the street as I venture before veering off in Topshop's direction. Anyway, we decided to give it a go a couple of weeks ago and I was impressed...
We were seated in a cosy little booth by the window, with the sun streaming through and it started as all good nights should - with a pornstar. (Martini, that is!) This one didn't come with the usual shot of prosecco but that's my least favourite part of the drink anyway. Bubbles should not be served in shot glasses in my opinion! It's strong, sweet taste of passionfruit made the cocktail
far too easy to drink.
Pornstar martini #1
Gordon went a little out of his comfort zone for the starter and ordered the mussels. They were served in a bowl of pear cider, garlic, bacon and cream with a couple of slices of chunky crusty bread, and were delicious! I went for the soup of the day, which turned out to be Bloody Mary. It basically tasted just like any tomato soup but I really enjoyed it. Apparently they're now serving it in a caddy "with all you need to make it as spicy and as potent as you like" - sounds intriguing!
Mussels cooked in pear cider, with smoked bacon, garlic and cream
Bloody Mary soup
The Athenaeum have an extensive cocktail list to work your way through so it would of been rude not to order another while waiting for our main courses. I recommend the Hendricks & lychee gimlet! Gordon had a burger as usual, topped with bacon and cheese, and I went for the veggie option - the polenta & goats cheese burger. You can really taste the goats cheese over anything else and I think it could of done with some sort of relish or something, but it was still really good. I'd probably go for a normal burger next time though, just because I like a good piece of meat!
Hendricks & lychee gimlet
8oz handmade burger, topped with cheese & bacon, with onion rings, 'slaw & chunky chips
Veggie burger - polenta & goats cheese, topped with mushroom, with onion rings, 'slaw & chunky chips
By this point a couple of food babies were starting to make an appearance but we still struggled through dessert. We decided not to be too greedy and just share a banana sticky toffee pudding between us. Gordon's the world's biggest sticky toffee fan and I love banana cake so what else would we of gone for!? To be honest it didn't taste of banana at all but the caramel sauce made up for it. Another pornstar martini was the perfect ending to an excellent meal.
Banana sticky toffee pudding, salted caramel sauce & vanilla ice-cream
If you want to visit The Athenaeum you'll find them at 5-9 Union Street, Aberdeen and you can book by calling 01224 595585. They serve lunch and dinner, all day breakfasts on Sundays and also do afternoon tea with either tea/coffee or teapot cocktails! The big comfy sofas look perfect to sink into with a cocktail after a hard days work.
Have you ever been to The Athenaeum? Please leave any suggestions you have for restaurants in Aberdeen/shire in a comment below! :)
UPDATE 3/1/16: The Athenaeum has changed hands and is now Brewdog, Castlegate!