Have you ever thrown an axe at a wooden board, or played crazy pool just before tucking into an array of food and drink?
In the name of research my colleague Karla Sinclair and I did just that recently at The Beach Bar in Aberdeen.
Opening its doors just a week ago, we headed down to the venue which occupies the space upstairs from the inflatable theme park, Innoflate, at Queen’s Links Leisure Park, Beach Boulevard.
It is no word of a lie that this new sports bar meets entertainment venue is a feast for the eyes. There’s e-darts, ping pong, shuffleboard, beer pong and skee-ball to add to the already growing list of things to do here.
But with so much attention on its décor and its offering, would the food and drink hold up and be just as impressive?
What you can expect on the menu is a mix of starters, mains and desserts. It is pretty average in terms of what’s listed with scampi, nachos, salads, wraps, fish and chips, macaroni and cheese and that sort of thing featuring. That’s not forgetting the loaded fries, too.
We thought the starter menu looked the most adventurous and opted for three to try.
I was intrigued to try the whisky prawn cocktail, however with Karla sheepishly declaring her detest for the classic Christmas favourite, we decided to avoid it this time.
*Some mocktails are priced form £4 to £5.
So what did we make of the dishes and the cocktails and mocktails at The Beach Bar in Aberdeen?
The three brie wedges came served with a cranberry jelly and salad. Karla wasn’t overly impressed that some of the cheese within the wedges hadn’t melted which left her feeling like it wasn’t cooked enough.
I didn’t think there was enough cheese hidden within the wedges, but I loved the deep-fried breadcrumb casing which was perfectly crisp.
Karla noted there wasn’t much flavour coming from the cheese, however it was the incredibly sweet cranberry jelly that won’t be forgotten anytime soon. But, it worked well with the fried cheese bites.
Up next was the haggis fritters of which there were four of. We noticed that one in particular didn’t have much batter on it, so the haggis was poking out.
Karla noted that the haggis had a “subtle” flavour, while I thought it lacked completely. I love a peppery haggis and there was minimal, if any, spice in my opinion.
However I will say the haggis was soft and moist and melted in your mouth.
The tempura casing was lightly battered and the mustard mayonnaise was lovely and creamy which we both enjoyed. It too was served with salad.
I’d asked the bar staff to recommend a cocktail to me and this came out on top.
It was refreshing and included Midori, Koko Kanu, Bols Crème de Banane, pineapple juice and lemon juice.
I should have known seeing the banana liqueur that it would have been heavy on the banana, but I was hopeful it was more melon due to the Midori. It wasn’t.
I’m not the biggest fan of bananas, however it was a well-rounded drink and very refreshing. Apart from the banana flavour, I was a fan!
Candy Floss Martini mocktail
Seeing as Karla was driving later she opted for a mocktail.
While the venue hadn’t actually released a mocktail menu by the time we visited, they did their best in accommodating us to ensure she got the same experience – without the booze of course.
Up first was the Candy Floss Martini mocktail. It was a deep pink colour and was very sweet.
It tasted like the fun fair favourite and also had a bubblegum flavour to it. Karla really enjoyed the concoction, which she mentioned several times, however said she could probably only have one.
Garlic mushroom ciabatta
Karla loves mushrooms so she had high expectations and loved this one.
The sautéed mushrooms were in a creamy garlic sauce which we both continued to tuck into after filming. This was the one dish we kept coming back for more from.
The crispy ciabatta was nice and fluffy in the middle and although it wasn’t outlined on the menu, the mountain of rocket that topped it added a delicious pepperiness to the dish and balanced out the creamy, thinly sliced mushrooms.
This dessert cocktail didn’t hit the mark for me.
It was creamy, as expected, but the initial taste was pretty unappealing, although when the Disaronno taste appeared, it did become more palatable.
It looked the part, but the vanilla-based vodka drink with cherry brandy, apple juice and egg white didn’t do it for me.
I’ll stick to the refreshing ones next time.
Pornstar Martini mocktail
Karla’s non-alcoholic version of one of Aberdeen’s most popular cocktails was “sour” and needed a sweet ingredient to balance it out.
It also didn’t have much flavour to it other than an excessive citrus passionfruit taste, which is sour at the best of times on its own.
I think it’s safe to say that she will be opting for the alcoholic version during her next visit.
The dish we would recommend you try at The Beach Bar out of the ones we tried is the garlic mushroom ciabatta.
I’d also recommend the June Bug and Karla would do the same for the mocktail version of the Candy Floss Martini.
Can you think of any local venues or dishes you would like the Drive-Thru Diners to try?
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