A few weeks back now I had the privilege of being invited along to a little blogger's tasting event at Aberdeen's Adelphi Kitchen. Famed for their "dirty" cooking style and unique events, AK is a popular foodie destination in the city and one that I have had dined at many times since their opening two years ago. I've enjoyed their very first menu, the Sunday AKarvery and even had the pleasure of being a chef for the day in their kitchen! I guess you could say I'm a bit of a fan - Eat Beetroot are even catering at our wedding! - so my expectations for the 2016 Spring/Summer menu were pretty high.
We were greeted with friendly faces and a house punch (booze free for me!) on arrival before being introduced to owner Chris, who fondly reminisced about the beginnings of the Adelphi and the good old days of La Stella. Chris has pretty much left AK in the trusted hands of head chef Murray, who creates wonderfully unique and mouthwatering dishes which continually please the Aberdeen masses. The menu is changed seasonally and this particular season has taken the Adelphi back to it's La Stella roots, with a more fine dining theme throughout.
Mussels La Stella 2011
Beef Rib Mac n Cheese
New Season Lamb
Sugar Cured & Smoked Beef Fillet
Special: Scallop, Black Pudding Bon Bon, Cauliflower Rosti
We were literally spoiled for choice with starters. At first I thought we'd be sampling a couple of the most popular menu options, but plate after plate of beautiful food just kept arriving at the table! I can only assume that, like me, they struggled to pick a favourite. The mussels I could eat all day, and the lamb, though not so aesthetically pleasing, was a deliciously homely dish. I felt that the beef carpaccio lacked flavour but would recommend every other dish on the starter menu! I've finally wittled my favourites down to the beef short rib mac n cheese and salt cod, but the black pudding bon bons were definitely something special!
Cheese & Mustard Puff Pastry Roll
What does a vegetarian eat at a meat and seafood restaurant you ask? My veggie companions enjoyed a starter of AK original mac n cheese and shallots, which had a real mustardy taste to it, followed by the cheese & mustard (sensing a theme here?) puff pastry roll served with cauliflower three ways, sprouting broccoli and sweet potato. While both of these were excellent dishes, it would have been nice to see a little bit of variety in the flavours. I was really intrigued by the "mushroom hash" option on the veggie menu and was a little disappointed that it remained a mystery. Perhaps this is a good excuse to return?!
North Sea Halibut // Crispy Sea Bass Fillet
Just when I thought I couldn't possibly eat anything else, we moved onto the main courses. A combination of two seafood dishes was presented to us to enjoy between two. The tikka flavoured north sea halibut was the star of the show on this plate, with it's crispy langoustine tempura and even more of those infamous mussels! However, the sea bass was full of flavour and I really enjoyed the dressed white crab that accompanied it.
Charcoal Cooked Aged Ribeye // Salt & Pepper Beef Short Rib
Another combination of two dishes was presented to us, this time with a taste of the meatier options. The charcoal cooked aged ribeye is what the AK is all about - dirty charcoal cooking gives the steak so much flavour. My absolute winner from the entire menu was the salt and pepper beef rib, with chargrilled artichoke, triple cooked chips, spinach and a honey and lemon glaze. Too good to keep to myself - I had to take some home to Gordon so he could share my enjoyment! The meat literally fell off the bone and was just so juicy and tender. I can't even tell you how good it is. And those chunky triple cooked chips, wow. I swear they get better every time.
Popcorn Pannacotta // Lemon Meringue Pie // Chocolate Mousse Cake
In all honesty, I wasn't all that intrigued by the dessert menu. None of the three dishes sounded any more appealing than the other, but as they say, you should never judge a book by it's cover! A trio of puddings arrived at the table and I made my way around each one. The lemon meringue pie looks almost like a cheesecake, it's not too bitter and just sweet enough. The pannacotta was a delight and the chocolate mousse hit the spot. All of them were outshined however, by the side of homemade rhubarb aero! Chris brought a plateful to the table and if it hadn't been for the present company, I would have licked that plate clean!
Yep, the new menu at the Adelphi Kitchen definitely did not disappoint! Armed with beef ribs for Gordon and a cute little gift of chocolate fudge, I rolled out the door feeling content after an afternoon of excellent food with my blogger buddies. I can't thank Chris, Murray, Lauren and the rest of the AK team enough for their kind hospitality and as always, a big thank you goes to Julia for the invitation! If you'd like to do your own little taste test of the Spring Summer menu, you can book a table or for those who'd rather dine in their PJs, check out Deliveroo! Netflix and ribs, anyone?
*I was invited to the AKmeatup in exchange for an honest review. As always all views are my own and 100% genuine.