Spring has sprung at Ferryhill House Hotel | AD

FYI: The following post is part of a paid partnership with Ferryhill House Hotel. The meal reviewed was gifted in return for review however all opinions expressed are my own.

Aberdeen Restaurant Week continues and now in its second (and final) week, I pulled up a chair at Restaurant Week veteran, Ferryhill House Hotel

It’s been part of Restaurant Week since the very start and the food scene much longer, yet this was my first ever meal at the venue. Shocking, I know. It’s always been on my food hitlist but just never seemed to get ticked off – now was the time.

And if my inaugural dine and the Aberdeen Restaurant Week menu didn’t make it special enough, its new spring menu promised a trifecta of delights.

A bit about Ferryhill House Hotel

If the name didn’t give it away, Ferryhill House Hotel is of course located in the Ferryhill suburb of the city. Home to Duthie Park, history and beautiful homes, it’s quite the place to pass the time. 

Formerly Ferryhill House, this grand villa dates back to the 1830s and would have been one of the notable Georgian manners in the area. Now a favoured place to drink, dine and roost, Ferryhill House Hotel is favoured by locals as a place to switch off and relax.

When the days get warmer and longer, its garden patio is a popular spot for dining alfresco and sipping in the sun. Set within its own private gardens, you’d have to double check that you’re in the city with tranquil surroundings. As the chills of autumn and winter descend, cosy up in its charming bar and find comfort in its restaurant.

The old meets the new

Loved over the years for its ‘pub grub’ classics, time came for a refresh when Dave Amos took up head chef role. Continuing service of some loved favourite, bold and inventive flavours take setting on the new menu.

In a recent interview with Trend Magazine, Dave said: “Ferryhill House Hotel always had a good reputation for food and as I live locally, I always thought it would fill me and my family with pride if I could say, ‘I work there’. I wanted to work somewhere that would allow me to utilise my skills using fresh, locally sourced produce and McGinty’s Group is perfect for that.

“I love big bold flavours, fresh and fragrant. From Mexican cuisine to campfire cooking and big hearty family feasts, I like looking at global dishes and putting a Scottish twist on them…

“I enjoy unusual combinations and trying new ideas. Something that makes our guests say, ‘I’ve not tried that before, but I really want to!’ For example, my new favourite dish is Prosciutto Wrapped Monkfish  with Cannellini bean salsa, potato gratin & lemon oil.’

The old and the new is a perfect way to describe the menu, maintaining service of old menu items and adding a twist for the new. The apple strudel sundae is a prime example. Deconstructed from its traditional form, this pretty plateful with pastry shards, slow-cooked apples and dusted with pralines and toffee drizzle.

The food

Luckily for me, the Aberdeen Restaurant Week menu gives a taste of the new menu, teasing some of the highlights. Take it easy with two courses for £20 or three for £25 – you can guess which I opted for… 

I’m not normally one for haggis bon bons but the rhubarb and redcurrant vinaigrette had me intrigued to order it for starter. Three sturdy golf ball sized bon bons arrived encasing smooth haggis filling. As expected, the vinaigrette was delicious with its fruit sorbet style taste and when combined with bon bon and sour cream, each bite was a taste sensation. 

Rach went for the trio of broccoli with goats cheese, pear and quince – what a plate. Refreshing and delicate in taste, if spring was a menu item, it would be this. This was not only a treat on the taste buds but the eyes too. 

Dining on a Sunday, it had to be a take on a roast dinner to end the week. My eyes were locked on the duo of lamb but sadly for me, I narrowly missed out following a busy Sunday service. Luckily the daube of beef was still available to come in as understudy. Lathered in a healthy splash of meaty Bordelaise sauce, this hefty portion was full of flavour with the help of fragrant wild mushrooms and sweet rainbow carrots. 

Flying the flag for the pescatarians, Rach ordered the monkfish minus the prosciutto. The colourful scattering of cannellini bean salsa, lemon segments and lemon oil added plenty of citrus zest to accompany the succulent monkfish. “That potato gratin is to die for” was the breaking news headline from Rachael.

I’ve said in the past that the best sticky toffee pudding in Aberdeen was at Howies but since its recent closure, the hunt started again. Ferryhill’s take sounded like a contender. Rach was going to skip pudding and a spoon of mine, and I’m so glad she caved – it was perfection toffee-fied.

To my surprise, this square of pudding was pretty light and airy meaning each available pocket soaked up every ounce of toffee sauce. The sauce had a burnt caramel come bourbon taste to it and with plenty of it, every pudding scooped got a healthy share. Each gliding spoonful of pudding with the salted caramel ice cream and biscoff crumb was absolutely hypnotic. 

If there was a sticky toffee championship in Aberdeen, this one would be right at the top.

Days later, I’m still dreaming of that sticky toffee. But pudding aside, the new Ferryhill menu definitely brings a revived freshness to the eatery. Bringing style and elegance to its menu, if you think it’s just pub grub here, you’d be far wrong. 

Just getting a glimpse of the new menu, I’ll most certainly be back. I can’t promise that I’ll choose a different dessert over the sticky toffee though. 

Stay safe and eat well,

The Food Hoover.

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