My love for Aberdeen's foodie scene was sparked by this little old blog. After trying somewhere new to eat way back in 2013 I was inspired to share the experience and encourage folk to get out of the usual chain restaurants and see what gems our grey city streets are sheltering. My first restaurant "review" was posted and they've been coming thick and fast ever since, and not just from the Granite City. I've shared dinner stories from across the globe over the years - from burgers in New York to an unforgettable New Year's Day dinner in the Eiffel Tower!
In this post, I'm going to tell you about a weekend in December, where we literally ate our way around town. I hope it shows you just how much there is for your taste buds to discover in Aberdeen!
It started with some Christmas shopping around the west end. I picked up some photo frames from Nova before we decided to grab lunch at Melt. Gordon's first taste of grilled cheese heaven was the Melt Classic. An excellent place to start! I opted for the deliciously festive Christmas special of sausage meat, cheese (obvs) and pear chutney.
A few hours whizzing round town and our Christmas shopping was complete. We freshened up back at our hotel room - we stayed in the stylish Park Inn by Radisson which is perfectly located on Justice Mill Lane - and then ducked off to meet some friends at the winter village. Gordon spun his way around the ice rink, showing off while the rest of us clung on to the sides for dear life!
All that skating must of worked up an appetite. Just a hop, skip and a jump away was our foodie destination of the night - the recently opened, flamboyantly fabulous Filthy Gorgeous. I was gutted to miss their blogger brunch so when we planned our double date, I jumped at the chance and tempted our pals along with the promise of burgers and beers!
The menu at Filthy Gorgeous is a little... different, shall we say. With cheerios, frazzles and bourbon biscuits as just some of the quirky toppings, you can't help but let curiosity get the better of you. I was sucked in by the chicken katsu curry otherwise known as Wasabi Wan Kenobi - a must for any Star Wars or Wagamama fan! I can confirm it was both filthy and gorgeous.
I tried to convince Gordon to go for the Beer Belly, but our fun and friendly waitress informed us they didn't actually have any sparklers to top it with! Boring... In that case you can have what you want Gordon. Ha. Instead he opted for the Billionaires Bacon with its beer cheese sauce, pretzels, maple syrup and a shot of bacon laced Jack. Literally just a nip of Jack Daniels with what I can only describe as bacon floaters - adds nothing to the dish!
Our companions tucked into a Dirty South buttermilk chicken burger with chipotle mayo and honey nut cheerios, and the aptly named Cheat Day. A stack of two beef burgers, fried chicken, pretzels and bacon shrapnel - surprisingly wolfed down faster than the rest!
They love their bacon at FG and it doesn't stop at the burgers. We shared two lots of fries along with our bangin' burgers - one with baconnaise and bacon shrapnel, and my personal favourite the sweet potato fries topped with gooey toasted marshmallows and yet more bacon shrapnel. Yes, marshmallows. Trust me, it works!
For a casual, dirty bite to eat you'll find Filthy Gorgeous at Netherkirkgate. Check out the batched cocktails while you're at it - I can recommend the Courtesan but the Trashy Margarita will be my tipple next time. Along with the bacon glazed donuts for dessert!
Up next on our mini bar tour of Aberdeen was Six Degrees North. As a non beer drinker, I've avoided the well known watering hole but not wanting to be a total party pooper, I agreed to go along. Turns out they cater for all! With a huge selection of beers on tap, there is something for everyone. I actually started a conversation with the bartender with the words "So, I don't like beer..." - he asked how I feel about sugar candy and peach, and a few samples later I was chuffed to bits with my peachy keen Lindemans Pecheresse!
Our final destination was one of the Granite City's best cocktail bars. At Orchid we found ourselves sipping on Fierce beers, Long Island iced teas, refreshingly sweet strawberry daiquiris and the infamous staple Pink Orchid cocktail. The sound of Blair McLeod and his acoustic guitar was literally music to my ears, and I settled down comfortably, cocktail in hand, for the rest of the night.
Breakfast was my top priority the following morning. It's something that many Aberdeen restaurants are actually lacking, with only Cup or Rye & Soda coming up trumps with a decent fry up and a reasonable Sunday morning opening time! The Rye traditional breakfast was a hit with Gordon and I demolished the tasty grain porridge with my favourite toppings - banana and peanut butter!
A browse round the Old Togs New Tricks vintage market at Underdog brought us to Brewdog's buzzing Castlegate bar. Tucking ourselves away in a quiet corner we enjoyed the patriot and jackpot burgers, while my sister tucked into a Yoda melt - veggie haggis for the win! A side of crack fries - black pepper coating and a cheesy dip - just about finished us off... but not quite.
We waddled over to Mad Penguin. Another new addition to Netherkirkgate, the gelateria and coffee house offers authentic gelato made freshly with local ingredients. I was disappointed to find a small selection of flavours - a fraction of the huge array I've seen across social media! The chocolate hazelnut was tasty but not my first choice, and a bit sickly, sweet by the end. Not a great first visit but I'm all for giving Mad Penguin another go.
Where would you go if you had 24 hours to eat your way around Aberdeen?!