Our restaurant reviewer recently visited The Fourmile in Aberdeen.
Going out for dinner was a regular occurrence for the majority of us, however this changed when the country was plunged into lockdown back in March. Suddenly we all had to cook for ourselves, or if you were lucky, enjoyed the odd carry-out delivered to your home.
We all took so much for granted and, as a social butterfly, I certainly missed eating out with friends and chatting over a few glasses of wine.
Therefore, during the government’s Eat out to Help Out scheme, we planned a Monday for our first meal out in months.
On arrival at the Fourmile in Kingswells, near Aberdeen, things did look rather different – half of the car park was now taken up with a large marquee for socially distanced drinks.
It was reassuring to see signs outside with guidelines to ensure all customers and staff are safe and protected at all times.
We were warmly greeted at the front door and asked if we had any Covid-19 symptoms or had been with someone who had, and also confirmed how many households were in our party.
Passing the test, we were escorted to the dining area. This had also changed, with fewer tables, and they were set with simple disposable tablecloths and no cutlery or glassware.
The room did look rather sparse and felt cold rather than the cosy dining area I remembered, but that’s par for the course now as restaurants have strict guidelines to follow. For a Monday it was fairly busy, but Aberdonians do like a bargain, so the £10 discount scheme might have been the incentive!
Just soft drinks for us for a Monday, and it was lovely to see my friends for real, and not on a Zoom call.
The menu was perhaps smaller than normal but there was still ample choice.
A salad section, a burger section, hot sandwiches and mains consisting of a chilli bowl, macaroni and ranchers’ chicken made a quick choice almost impossible. One thing we all seemed to crave was chips, something you don’t normally cook at home. So it was a scampi, haddock and chicken goujons – and no skimping on the chips!
Before long our friendly waitress (kudos to them wearing a mask all shift) brought us plates brimming with food. My fish was a whopper. Drenched in a delightful crunchy batter and served with garden peas and the obligatory chips, I couldn’t wait to tuck in. My only criticism was the batter looked rather pale, but the fresh, flaky fish inside was perfectly cooked and went down a treat.
The pub classic scampi was a generous portion and shared the plate with a mound of chips and peas, and got a thumbs up from my friend. My other friend’s “big portion”, as described on the menu, of battered chicken goujons with salad, chips and coleslaw, gave us all food envy. The accompanying sweet chilli dipping sauce gave it a lovely kick and her plate was cleared in no time.
As we don’t eat out nearly as much as usual, a dessert was an absolute must. Just four desserts on the menu, however sticky toffee pudding and a brownie were two of them, so not a problem.
The large serving of moist sponge cake topped with the sweet toffee sauce and served with cooling ice cream was sheer perfection.
The chocolate and pecan brownie was perfectly squidgy in the middle and the pecans gave it a delicate nutty flavour. Clean plates all round and we all felt a bit too full up.
Despite a lack of atmosphere due to the table spacing, etc, we all agreed that we had a lovely evening and it was great to escape our own kitchens, even for a few hours.
I was very impressed with the hotel’s safety guidelines that were strictly followed by staff and fellow diners.
I have visited the Fourmile a number of times and the food has always been excellent – proper home-cooking using the freshest, top-quality ingredients – and this occasion was no exception.
Old Skene Road, Kingswells, Aberdeen AB15 8QA
t: 01224 740318
- Haddock £13.45
- Scampi £12.95
- Chicken goujons £13.45
- Sticky toffee pudding x 2 £11.50
- Brownie £5.75
- Soft drinks £6.60