Our restaurant reviewer hits the heights this week with a trip to 210 Bistro on the city’s Market Street.
I had seen some fabulous sunset pictures on social media from a newly opened sky bar and I just had to check it out.
210 Bistro on Market Street has opened up its top floor for dining and drinks, so we booked a window table for a late lunch, hoping to catch some nice views.
Set on three floors, there is a stylish bar on the ground floor, a restaurant on the first floor and then the sky bar is on the top.
Unfortunately it was a drizzly day when we visited, but we were warmly welcomed inside and the fairy lights twinkled around the window as we took our seats.
It was reassuring to see Covid guidelines being followed with a one-way system in place and all of the tables were set well apart so we felt safe.
Due to government restrictions there would also be no alcohol served, so there wasn’t the usual discussion as to who would be driving home.
I adored my Toblerone martini mocktail – thick and creamy with a delightful chunk of Toblerone nestled at the bottom – while my husband was surprised at how nice his non-alcoholic beer tasted.
The autumn menu certainly had lots of enticing choices, and the lovely young waiter also appeared with a chalk board of specials. Some of the dishes were included in an offer of two courses for £20 or three courses for £25, which seemed really good value (some dishes carried a small surcharge).
For starters I can never pass on scallops, while my husband went for the unusual-sounding cold Vietnamese spring roll. The scallops were delicious with a delicate charcoal flavour. On the menu it said it was served with a sweetcorn puree and sweet onion salsa. However, when the dish was presented, the scallops were blanketed in sweetcorn and I was concerned it might overpower the scallops, but all of the flavours fused perfectly to make a delightful light starter.
My husband’s opener certainly had the presentation wow factor. Served on a large black slate, the two spring rolls were wrapped in Vietnamese rice paper rolls which have a transparent appearance. You could detect the delicious shards of duck, noodles and vegetables inside and it was served with a dipping sauce and some extra spice.
He said it was fabulous, with just the right hint of heat from the pickled ginger and the dish was polished off in no time.
Light was slowly fading outside and we relaxed watching the ferry heading off to the isles, and various vessels entering the harbour. The big wheel at the beach was all lit up and we could even see the offshore wind turbines in the distance.
For my main course I chose barbecue chicken breast listed within the From the Grill section of the menu, while my husband, who is a huge venison fan, had no difficult decisions to make.
The venison arrived like a work of art on a beautiful round black serving plate. Accompanying the rich game was a venison dumpling, potato croquettes, bramble jus and a masala carrot puree. He said the venison was lean and perfectly cooked, with the fruit jus and sweet carrot providing a unique balance of textures and flavours.
My barbecue chicken was another winning dish, served with crispy onions and sweet potato fries. The moist chicken did not disappoint, smothered in a wonderful sticky glaze and packing a distinctive chargrilled flavour.
The enticing offer of three courses for £25 was too much for us so we managed to squeeze in a dessert.
The Café Gourmand (gourmand meaning a person who enjoys eating and often eats too much) was an apt title for our final course, a trio of mini desserts which also included a coffee of choice.
I went for the Bakewell tart, chocolate brownie and salted almond ice cream, while my husband chose a lemon polenta cake with the brownie and blueberry sorbet.
210 Bistro doesn’t really do “mini”, and we really could and should have shared one dessert.
The Bakewell tart took me right back to my childhood when my mum would buy them as a treat from a fantastic local bakery. The crispy buttery pastry shell was oozing with jam and that distinctive frangipane topping. My favourite course of the day!
All was quiet on the other side of the table as hubbie devoured the zingy moist polenta cake, which is very similar to his favourite lemon drizzle cake. I had to admit defeat though and wrapped the brownie up to take home to enjoy another day.
It was now almost dark but no dramatic sunsets on this occasion, but a great excuse to go back to this impressive city centre restaurant another time.
210 Market Street, Aberdeen AB11 5PQ
t: 01224 211857
Three-course special x 2 £50; scallops supplement £2.50; venison supplement £2.50; Heineken x 2 £5.80; mocktail £4.50