There are a number of things about heading out for a midweek meal nowadays that I love.
While other reasons are in amongst the mix, the main highlights for me include the cafe or restaurant of choice is rarely busy and it spares you the torment of whipping something up for yourself at home. We can do plenty of that when the wintry nights draw in.
We’re all well aware that dining al fresco is now near impossible due to the plummeting temperatures, but the city and shire still boasts a wealth of superb venues to choose from when in need of a tasty meal. After all, we made do with next to no al fresco bars and eateries before the coronavirus outbreak.
As I contemplated where to pay a visit to on my most recent outing, one restaurant in particular (that I hadn’t visited in some time) hit me like a ton of bricks. Kirk View Cafe & Bistro.
Situated on Union Terrace in Aberdeen, a stone’s throw away from His Majesty’s Theatre, the family-run restaurant is perfect for a multitude of occasions, whether it be a light lunch, afternoon tea or evening meal.
The restaurant boasts a welcoming and homely feel, which is only heightened by the team.
On entering, my mum, a fellow lover of the restaurant, and I were guided to our pre-booked table – masks and sanitiser on and all. Few tables were occupied, but given we stopped by during a weeknight I would highly recommend phoning beforehand during the weekend. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
The pair of us have tried and loved the vast majority of Kirk View’s dishes over the years, which are a unique fusion of Scottish tapas. As much as I enjoy sampling new things, sometimes all you want to tuck into is grub you know for certain will go down a treat.
For us, this is the restaurant’s bruschetta (our starters).
Where do I start when describing them? Well, there are multiple options available. From tomato, mozzarella and caramelised onion bruschetta to halloumi spinach and cranberry jam bruschetta, even hearing the flavour combinations is enough to drool over.
We decided on the sweet chilli chicken and roasted pepper bruschetta and hummus and roasted pepper bruschetta. Drooling yet?
There are two slices in every portion, so the pair of us grabbed one of each. While they were a treat to the eye, we got stuck right in.
The hummus, creamy and rich with a nutty flavour profile, married well with the red and yellow peppers, which had been sliced delicately and were roasted to perfection. They had a slight kick, too. That’s always a bonus.
On the other slice of perfectly toasted bread was the chicken. The thick, heavenly sauce was sweet yet bold in flavour, while the chicken itself was lovely and juicy. I’d go as far as to say it stands as one of the top dishes I’ve had the pleasure of eating. It never fails to wow.
We polished both off easily and were instantly looking forward to our mains. And a mere 10 minutes later, which we spent sipping away at our soft drinks, I caught a glimpse of our dishes leaving the kitchen.
Sticking with the chicken theme, I opted for the chicken and parma ham carbonara – and boy was I glad I did. It was plated beautifully, and looked like a big eat given that there were aromatic slices of garlic bread to get through too, but was finished in next to no time.
The plentiful chunks of meats were wonderfully tender, with the bacon adding a slight saltiness to the plate. The large pasta pieces, coated in a tasty cream sauce, were well cooked.
My mum went for the fish and chips option. Yes, it’s a classic, but the team at Kirk View give the dish a new lease of life.
A duvet of breadcrumbs coated the succulent pieces of fish. They were evidently fresh and flaked away with ease.
To top things off, there were also boiled garden peas and chips, which were soft and fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside, on offer.
Now onto my most recent obsession. Halloumi. Can you believe it took me 20 years to try it? Neither can I.
As soon as I spied it on the menu I knew I would be ordering it. It just so happened to be paprika halloumi fries. The cheese gave the perfect squeak when chewed and married well with the paprika, given the contrasting flavours.
Managing to polish everything off, the pair of us were agreed we had no room left for dessert and headed for home.
While Kirk View Cafe & Bistro produces uncomplicated meals, it adds a touch of magic to each and every one. You see and taste the amount of care that goes into the dishes, and I can say confidently that this is a rarity in a lot of eateries.
The food and drinks are great value for money, too. So with that said, it still remains one of my favourite places in the Granite City to stop for a bite to eat.
Address: Kirk View Cafe & Bistro, 27-29 Union Terrace, Aberdeen, AB10 1NN
T: 01224 638388
Price: £45 – two courses for two plus one side
- Food: 5/5
- Service: 5/5
- Surroundings: 4/5