The Filling Station launches their Christmas menu today! I'd eaten in an Edinburgh branch of this classic American restaurant but never ventured into the Aberdeen one until recently. Last Tuesday I skipped my usual kettlebell class to go along to a preview of the seasonal food and drink they have to offer. Gordon came along as my plus one (he does have to drive me through after all!) and we arrived to a (literally) warm welcome of mulled cider cocktails.
Delicious! My first and favourite cocktail.
The evening kicked off with a bit of a cocktail masterclass from award-winning mixologist Andy Pearson. He was charmingly funny and spoke passionately about his Christmas creations, sharing the ideas and family traditions that inspired the cocktails, which are exclusive to the Filling Station.
Andy invited a few bloggers behind the bar to teach them the tricks of the trade. First up was the Mimosa - or bucks fizz, American style. A brunch favourite that is enjoyed by many on a cold Christmas morning!
Joelle from February Girl shaking her stuff!
Next up was Egg Nog... I tried egg nog for the first time in a Santa-filled beer hall in the west village of New York last Christmas, so the memories it brought back to me were very fitting to the occasion. Andy's version contains gingerbread syrup and is topped with rum-infused raisins -yum!
The chocolate orange martini was up next and Laura was a pro! It's not Terry's...
Laura from Liparazzi
After all the booze tasting it was time to line our stomachs for round 2. Andy Hamilton, the Filling Station's Assistant Exec Chef introduced himself, and talked us through the dishes we'd be sampling and how they came together.
Our first course was actually a taste of a vegetarian main dish - the creamy mushroom risotto - and goat cheese bruschetta bites. Both were full of flavour and I'd definitely have them again.
Russian Spring Punch
For the next course we were served a mini version of 2 main dishes that I think will be very popular. The Maple Bacon Burger was my favourite by a mile - it's the first thing my eyes were drawn to on the menu and definitely lived up to the chef's hype! The sweet and savoury mix is perfect. You get a strong but not too sweet or owerpowering taste of the maple syrup and we even used the chips to mop it up!
Red Berry Cheesecake
Of course it wouldn't be Christmas without the traditional turkey and trimmings - my first one of the festive season and it was a good one! You can't really go wrong with it to be fair. I was pleased to see pigs in blankets on the plate as there would of been absolute devastation from Gordon without them! Roast potatoes are my fave but the pork and sage stuffing was a highlight, and I really enjoyed the cranberry sauce too. It ticked all the boxes anyway!
It was starting to feel a little too much like Christmas with our stuffed bellys, so it was time for a break...
Being the only man at the event, it was only a matter of time til Gordon was picked on. Andy invited him up to tackle the final cocktail of the night - The Snowman! It's a little too creamy for my taste but is probably the cutest drink I've ever seen...
Last but not least, was dessert. We were treated to the Cookie Cheesecake. This double layered oreo slice of heaven is made specially for the Filling Station so you won't find it anywhere else. It's 100% worth the visit just for this!
It was great to see some familiar faces as well as meeting new people and we had a fun night. Thanks to Hannah and Lauren (and friends) for the good company, and a huge thank you to The Filling Station, especially Lauren, Andy & Andy, for having us! We left feeling festive and suitably full. I'd definitely recommend a trip to The Filling Station on Union Street or you can find the Christmas menu at their other branches in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and Inverness. At £22.95 for 3 courses, what's your excuse?