AD FYI: This post has been created as part of a brand collaboration with Aberdeen Inspired where the meal was gifted in return for the following review.
It’s mental to think that I’ve been working from home since March and as much as I love my flat, a change of scenery is always favoured. So when the clock turned 5pm last Tuesday, I bolted out the door to escape for a night at the stylish 210 Bistro to taste its Aberdeen Restaurant Week (ARW) offering.
ARW returned for its autumn edit last week and continues through this week (ending on Sunday 14 November) bringing together restaurants across the city to plate up a gastronomical line up of food delights for a steal of a price. Offering diners the perfect opportunity to explore the foodie delights on their doorstep, ARW firmly plants the seed of places to add to your eat list and this year 210 Bistro was right at the top of mine.
210 Bistro has been serving up traditional and contemporary dishes for many years but despite hearing great things, I’d never been inside. Walking in the front door (after sanitising my hands of course), I was warmly welcomed by Adele who directed me to my table on the third floor where my dining companion, and fellow ARW ambassador, Nikki Eats The World was busy inspecting the ARW options in store for the night.
Pulling up a chair at our table overlooking the city’s lively harbour, the setting was calm and atmospheric with the reflection of the moon and ship lights dancing in its rippling waters. And inside, the surroundings of twinkling lights around the restaurant created a warm glow and charming setting for the evening.
Scanning the menu (and acting like I’d not decided what I was already having), the menu had variety with each option completely different from the last and teasing what to expect from its regular menu.
Ahead of the starters arriving, we were kindly gifted a serving of scallops with black pudding in a clam shell and coated in a creamy hollandaise. The dish isn’t available during ARW but you can order it from its usual menu, and I urge you to! The scallops were delicate and when combined with the rich meaty taste of black pudding and buttery hollandaise, it was an irresistible eat.
Now onto the actual starters, seafood was on the mind with the harbour setting so I opted for the Cullen Skink which acted as the perfect warm-up after a chilly walk to the restaurant. Packed to the brim with mussels, smoked haddock and potatoes, this was hearty bowl that would keep the hungriest of diners afloat until the main.
Nikki went for the haggis bon bons which I’m tempted to say may just be the biggest in Aberdeen. The three bon bons were sitting on top of a caramelised onion puree with pickled beetroot and rocket. With two sizeable starters to our name, we knew that we wouldn’t be leaving with empty bellies.
For main, I kept to the nautical theme and went for the grilled salmon with katsu sauce which filled me with much intrigue. I would never think to pair katsu with salmon but this is why I love dining out, chefs dare to go where not even my winging it style takes me – in summary, it worked. The katsu gave a honied taste to the salmon with the perfect amount of heat that even my embarrassing spice tolerance could take. Placed above tenderstem broccoli and with a side of crushed new potatoes, it was an elegant plate for sure and offered the perfect light main to follow a hearty starter.
With plates cleared away, the only thing left was dessert. The MnM waffle hooked me in straight away leaving Nikki chuffed to not battle for her choice, the bramble crumble cheesecake.
Starting with the plate-sized waffle, it was devishly delightful with MnMs running through its fluffy structure and giving each bite a chocolatey crunch to bask in. It came topped with a strawberry ripple ice cream and pot of hot chocolate sauce on the side which I used ever morsel to lather on and fabricate a chocolatey melted marvel.
Nikki’s cheesecake was a light take on a cheesecake with an airy texture infused with berries and layered on top of a firm, buttery biscuit base *cue Greg Wallace remix* and served with a fresh bramble compote.
Just minutes around the corner from Union Square, 210 Bistro makes a perfect location following a day at the shops offering somewhere to take a load off for lunch, dinner or a quick cuppa.
Special shout out to the team too who were attentive who didn’t break a sweat even when up against the tight curfew time in place, so you can be sure that what ever the occasion the service won’t let you down.
What about after ARW?
If you can’t make it out for ARW, fear not, 210 Bistro has plenty going on to give you reason to visit. Across its four floors there’s the cafe bar to grab a coffee and a spot of lunch along with a business centre serving local businesses for conferences, meetings as well as special events.
In addition to the ARW menu, the full autumn menu is still on offer for lunch and dinner at 210 Bistro featuring the scallop and black pudding medley mentioned earlier along with Vietnamese cold spring rolls, katsu jackfruit sliders, venison loin dumplings, a loaded mac and cheese burger and a chocolate, coffee and peanut mousse layer cake which I’ve penciled for my order when I return.
And if you’re not quite ready to be eating out, 210 Bistro has you covered with its take-away menu and heat at home packages. There’s even its afternoon tea and picnic box offering loaded with a collection of sweet and savoury indulgences with the option to add a French Martini or Raspberry Collins into the mix.
If you’re in need of a change of scenery for your working from home set up, 210 Bistro has a solution for you with its Work From 210 concept. Escape the home office and set up for the morning or afternoon with a three hour package on offer giving you free wifi, tea and coffee with accompanying homemade brownie, soup and sandwich lunch and access to free parking nearby and all for £15.
That takes us to the end of my 201 Bistro review and for more on ARW, get up to speed with what to expect from this year’s event with my previous blog post and make sure you don’t miss out.
Stay safe and eat well.