Thursday, 30 April 2015

Breakout Games & Dinner at Maggie's Grill, Aberdeen

Maggie's Grill in Aberdeen has been on my to do list for sooo long! On Sunday I finally got to go there with a bunch of friends, but first we had to race against the clock to escape from a locked room...

Breakout Games is just a 2 minute walk from Union Square, in one of the arches round the corner. We were separated into 2 groups, locked in 2 separate rooms and given one hour to break out by solving puzzles, cracking codes and finding the keys to freedom. I don't want to give too  much away because it was super fun and I highly recommend you try it yourself! 

From the outside Maggie's Grill doesn't look like much. It looks like more of a greasy cafe than a cool soul food restaurant - never judge a book by it's cover! They can only do tables for up to 8 people so we had to book 2 separate tables of 6. My table pretty much ordered the entire menu between the 6 of us... they're my favourite kind of people.

BBQ pulled pork crispy taco bowls.

Maggie's popcorn chicken.

10oz New York strip, served with house pickles, salad, hush puppies and a side of your choice.

Howlin Wolf Chilli with rice, sour cream and cornbread.

Hush puppies.

Crispy onion rings.

Our eyes were bigger than our bellies. I'm not going to bore you with a description of every single item, but basically... everything was epic, go there! Make sure you order the popcorn chicken, chilli (cornbread, yum!) and a side of hush puppies. Don't bother with the onion rings, and go for sweet potato over regular fries. If you like to set your mouth on fire then you'll love the bucket-o-wings with Louisiana hot sauce. The hush puppies seemed to be a bit of a marmite thing, but I loved them! 

 Mars bar brownie.

Pecan pie.

Do NOT skip dessert. I had the pecan pie off the normal menu which was so good! They had a couple of special puddings too - the mars bar brownie and oreo cheesecake. I've seen creme egg cheesecake on their facebook page in the past too!! We tried our best to get a picture of the cheesecake at the next table, but the selfie stick didn't stay still enough....haha. The staff seemed a little overstretched this particular night but couldn't of been nicer! Super food, cocktails and service - well worth the wait!

Maggie's Grill is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday - Sunday at 242 Holburn Street, Aberdeen.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Lunch at Formartines

I can't believe Easter was 2 weeks ago already. On the Monday I met up with my brother and his family for lunch at Formartine's - a restaurant and shop in the countryside, surrounded by trees in the Haddo estate. You can go for walks in the woods and there's a big play park for the kids. The building has no carbon footprint at all thanks to their renewable energy and heat recycling system which is pretty cool. As it was a beautiful day we sat outside in the sun and enjoyed lunch...

BBQ beef brisket in a sourdough bun.

Beef burger.

Scotch egg.


I was actually surprised by the quality of the food! To be honest I was expecting really average cafe food... standard soups and sandwiches... but the menu is much more exciting than that! They had everything from venison burgers, to butternut squash curries and fancy flatbread pizzas. The daily specials sounded amazing. I changed my mind about 5 times in the queue and panic ordered the brisket, which turned out to be epic!

Brewdog Alice Porter cake.

Raspberry & coconut slice.

If you're in the area then Formartine's is definitely worth a visit this summer! They do breakfast, brunch, lunch, and afternoon tea, 7 days a week. And it's only a short drive from Ellon and/or Inverurie - just follow signs for Tarves or Haddo House :)

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Brunch at The Tippling House

Happy belated Easter! I hope you enjoyed the long weekend. Mine was spent eating, shopping and spending time with my faves! On Sunday Gordon and I were in Aberdeen so we booked The Tippling House for lunch. I had a voucher from my sister and their new brunch menu sounded good!

The Tippling House describes themselves as a subterranean late-night tavern, but they've just started opening up over lunch time at the weekends. Every Saturday and Sunday they're serving up boozy brunches and tasting flights, with Oliver Richards providing some live acoustic music on Sundays. He played everything from The Kooks to Lorde! 

I told myself I wouldn't drink in the weeks leading up to my wedding dress shopping (which is Saturday btw!) but it'd be rude not to at The Tippling House. 10 Dollar Shake are doing the bar at our wedding, so technically it was official wedding research. Bloody Mary's aren't my cup of tea but if you're a fan you can build your own! I'd quite liked to see some mimosa or bellini type drinks included on the brunch menu. Anyway, after browsing the winter cocktail list I ended up with a "dance of the sugar plum fairy". (Obviously.) It was worth the extra calories. (Obviously.)

Gordon had a red meat sub which was made up of rib-eye steak, amazing crispy onions, cheese and pickles, served with home cooked nachos. I can never resist pulled pork so had the cuban spiced pulled pork burrito. It was packed with meat, rice, beans and sweetcorn and served with salad and chips. I felt like Amy Winehouse on Nevermind the Buzzcocks... I never want it to end!!

(Total waste of an analogy if you've never watched that episode. You should really watch it.)

If you fancy a chilled out brunch or even just a hair of the dog, get your ass to The Tippling House this weekend. Brunch is served 1-4pm and you can book online. Cheers for the birthday pressie Laura!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Clean Chicken Nuggets

Can you tell this was a high carb day?

One of the best ways to stay on track with a clean eating lifestyle is to make healthy, nutritious versions of your favourite junk food. Nobody likes to feel deprived so recreating dishes is a good way to satisfy a craving! I like to make my own curries, Chinese dishes and pita bread pizzas but one of my favourites just now is these clean chicken nuggets! They're so easy that even Gordon makes them, ready for me getting home from kettlebells... 

To serve 2 people...

400g chicken breast (we buy it already diced so it's even easier!)
1 egg
wholemeal flour
dessicated coconut

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Lay out 3 dishes - fill one with the flour, one with coconut and crack the egg into another. Start by coating the chicken in flour, dip it in the egg and then roll it in the dessicated coconut so that it covers the chicken. Place your chicken nuggets onto a baking tray and pop them in the oven for about half an hour (turning half way) until the coconut starts to turn golden brown and deliciously crispy! Serve with healthy baked sweet potato fries :)

You could even mix spices through the flour to add a different flavour!

Who needs KFC?
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