AD | Small plates and a la carte dining at The Tippling House

AD FYI: The meal reviewed in this post was gifted by The Tippling House in return for review however the words and thoughts covered are all my own.

The Tippling House has been a staple of the city’s food scene for the past decade bringing witchcraft – in the form of mixology – to its home on Belmont Street. Now with the addition of a new small plates and a la carte menu, it’s even harder to resist its lure. 

Following the success of its five-course tasting menu during Aberdeen Restaurant Week, The Tippling House decided to roll out a similar dining style on a permanent basis (cue crowd cheers). I was invited down to see what Aberdeen’s late-night cocktail hideaway had in store and here’s everything you need to know.

The new menu

A contemporary selection of small plates, mid-sized plates and desserts come together to create a dining experience very fitting to The Tippling House style. 

Finding the balance between the out there and the classic, the new menu presents plenty of excitement and intrigue. There might be a lot of big words on this menu but strip that all back and delicious plates taking inspiration from world-wide cuisines await. 

You can enjoy the new and affordable menu from Tuesdays to Sundays from 5pm. If you’re dining Tuesday to Thursday between 5pm and 7pm you get a small and a mid-sized plate for £15, saving you a third of the cost.

Our order

  • Duck breast salad with cashews and pickled watermelon (small plate)
  • Burrata with roast carrots and dukkah (small plate)
  • Monkfish Cheeks with chorizo and white bean (mid-sized plate)
  • Brill with Garden pea, heirloom tomato and orecchiette (mid-sized plate)
  • Coconut panna cotta (dessert)
  • Elderflower & white chocolate tart (dessert)

The food

The Amuse-Booze – an appetiser in the form of an alcoholic drink, or ‘tot’ if you like – swiftly came to the table to start proceedings while we scanned through the menu. Ching, ching. 

I had my eye on the scallop and avocado verde for starter but, indecisive as always, I made a last minute change to the duck breast salad. A salad is usually my last choice on a menu but when there’s duck and temptings of pickled watermelon involved, I had to see what this dish was all about. 

“Too many leaves, not enough anything else” is my normal opinion on salad but when you have a generous helping of melt in the mouth duck and watermelon segments – this food hoover is catered for. 

The pickled watermelon was an inspired choice and its balsamic tang really intensified the duck. Add a rich jus-style glaze and crushed cashews into each forkful – heaven’s gates did open.

Meanwhile across the table Rach tucked into the burrata with roasted carrots and dukkah. Tears of creamy burrata sat on a dollop of pesto which garlic lovers will go crazy for and combined with the carrots and dukkah, a perfectly balanced sweet and spiced number.

Time for the mains and the brill was not only perfect in presentation but a vibing summer dish choice. The garden peas and heirloom tomato made this dish super fresh and nourishing feel – perfect for dinner al fresco I’d say. 

Quite the opposite, my order of the monkfish cheeks was hearty with a creamy bed of a chorizo, white bean and tomato arrangement. The monkfish was gorgeous and it was a welcome change having meaty cuts of monkfish served with smoky chorizo.

Before we knew it, desserts had arrived. It was the coconut panna cotta for me which didn’t go overboard on the coconut or the sweetness and left plenty of room for the zing of passion fruit and caramelised pineapple. The fruit and the creaminess pulled together to give a vibe of a Solaro. 

“This tart is SO good” was Rachael’s feedback on the elderflower and white chocolate tart. This cheesecake style tart on first look appears as hefty but it’s surprisingly light and refreshing with raspberry and lemon puree on the side. Its velvety texture was dreamy too.

Of course dessert didn’t signal the end to our meal – you can’t bypass The Tippling House cocktails. Take your pick from its crafted selection or stray away from the menu – mixology is their forte after all and the team are happy to take requests. We maybe had too much fun, see pics.

Final thoughts

“Light and bright” is the phrase that springs to mind when I think of how to describe our dining. When I say light I don’t mean in the sense that we left empty – we were definitely well fed – but on a muggy evening taking in the weekend with a few drinks, this was the perfect dinner option to set us up. 

Bright in not only bold and delicious flavour, but the brain smarts behind this menu need a big round of applause for bringing the new plates to the food scene. 

The menu is current, it’s new and it’s an evolution. Knowing what it stands for and not scrimping on sophistication, confirms once again why The Tippling house has stood the test of time in the city.
To find out more about The Tippling House, visit its website. While you’re there, check out its champagne bottomless brunch and drink tastings.

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