Delve into delicious dishes with the return of the biggest-ever Aberdeen Restaurant Week to banish the January blues.
The massively popular foodie fortnight returns from Monday, 22nd January, to Sunday, 4th February and this time more city centre restaurants, bars and cafes across the city will be taking part than ever before – a record-breaking 75 in total.
Aberdeen Inspired, which runs the festival of the finest food, has been able to expand the event thanks to a £5,000 grant from the Scottish Government’s Regional Food Fund, announced today in Aberdeen by Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon.
Aberdeen Restaurant Week will offer a globe-trotting range of cuisines – and, of course, the best in homegrown Scottish fayre – with special menus starting at a very tasty £10 in a rich array of breakfast, lunch and dinner deals, as well as a range of tasting menus.
Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said discerning diners would be delighted to see the return of an expanded Aberdeen Restaurant Week.
“I’m sure fans of the foodie fortnight will be delighted to see more choice than ever in this latest outing for the hugely popular Aberdeen Restaurant Week,” he said.
“We are delighted this grant from the Regional Food Fund has allowed us to build on the success of Aberdeen Restaurant Week, which we first launched in 2018, and offer a real feast of so many venues taking part later this month.”
Adrian said the return of Aberdeen Restaurant Week in January was a perfect pick-me-up for food fans and a major boost for all the venues taking part, all while attracting people into the city centre, to enjoy other attractions and even make a night of it with an overnight hotel stay.
“After the fun of the festive season, everyone needs something to get them through the grind of winter – and what could be better than some of the best food in the finest restaurants in Aberdeen at great prices?
“Aberdeen Restaurant Week is the perfect way to visit favourite places to eat and to find new hidden gems that you will want to return to again and again.
“For the venues themselves, the foodie fortnight is a welcome way of boosting business in what is traditionally a very quiet time of the year for the hospitality industry. And now, with so many new restaurants taking part, there is a real feast of fine food for everyone to enjoy. Tuck in.”
In the West End of the city, there is a great mix of returning favourites and new spots to try. Italian lovers can choose from the likes of Da Vinci, Amore, Alfresco and Amarone, there’s South African and Caribbean-inspired dining at Gidi Grill, hearty portions of Scottish-inspired dining at the Braided Fig and The Atrium and tasty pub grub on offer at McGinty’s Meal An’ Ale.
Mixed into the West End scene is a host of new spots to try which include Mara Wine Bar on Thistle Street, the first city centre venture for chef-owner Ross Cochrane, formerly of The Rothesay Rooms in Ballater.
Ross said: “As a new entrant to the city centre we are delighted to be able to participate in the popular Aberdeen Restaurant Week promotion which we know has a great following among food lovers.
“We are offering a selection of small plates and wines at set prices to tempt people into our new spot. We look forward to welcoming everyone into Mara over the foodie fortnight and beyond.”
Others making their Aberdeen Restaurant Week debut include The Albyn, on Albyn Place, who are offering three courses for £30 from their menu that combines local ingredients, heritage and modern tastes in perfect balance.
Also joining is authentic Thai restaurant Madame Mews, who relocated to Summer Street when the Aberdeen Market closed down, who are offering a cracking two-course menu for a bargain price of £15.
Closer to the middle of the city centre you’ll find the new home for Second Home Studio + Café on Gaelic Lane, a not-for-profit café that also focuses on making art more accessible. Debuting as part of Aberdeen Restaurant Week they are offering any of their open toasts with any hot drink and a Brownie for £10.
For those wanting to explore their creative side you can have the same menu with the addition of a mystery art project for £15 (booking required for this option so they can secure the art materials for reservations).
Close by you’ll also find the very popular and oh-so-cool Tippling House who have a mouthwatering menu which features hake, sea trout, pork belly and celeriac risotto with two courses for £20 and three for £25.
Returning restaurant week favourites include the always-popular All Bar One at Marischal Square.
All Bar One General manager Roy Morrison knows the benefits of being involved in the foodie fortnight having taken part last year.
He said: “We took part in Aberdeen Restaurant Week for the first time in August last year and it was a fantastic result for us. We saw a huge number of brand-new guests visiting our site for the very first time, many of whom have now become returning guests!
“We can’t wait for the January edition of the promotion it’s definitely a boost for hospitality businesses at this time of the year.”
Also coming back for Aberdeen Restaurant Week is the popular Nepalese and Indian restaurant, offering a five-course tasting menu (with a vegetarian option also available) for just £25. Sure to be a popular deal you’d best be quick to secure a table.
Other restaurants back with great offers include Olive Alexanders and the Globe in the Golden Square area, Chaophraya, Mac’s Pizzeria, Revolucion De Cuba, Chop Bar and Grill in the Sandman Hotel and the ever-popular Pigs Wings.
There are also some special events as part Aberdeen Restaurant Week with both The Esslemont and The Albyn hosting a Burns Supper – and Namaste Delhi are offering 30-minute ‘taster’ cooking classes which must be booked in advance.
If you are looking for a cuppa and a piece of cake or light bite then you can find a host of cafes taking part, including Milk Jug, Mackies 19.2, Cup, Common Sense, Books and Beans, Tucan and Suma Café to name just a few.
Aberdeen Restaurant Week will see venues offering menus priced at £10, £15, £20, £25 or £30 or a tasting menu with the price set by the restaurant.
You can find the full list of places taking part in Aberdeen Inspired’s Aberdeen Restaurant Week here.