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First look: New era for Aberdeen’s Kirk View as it sets up shop in new city centre location

Rob Milne.
Rob Milne.

Formerly situated on Aberdeen’s Union Terrace, Kirk View has opened the doors of its new premises on Belmont Street.

After receiving the keys to the building just four months ago, owner Rob Milne and his team have worked tirelessly to bring the former Pizza Express eatery a new lease of life.

The new premises comprises two floors, with the ground housing the main restaurant and the top level housing a trendy cocktail lounge, named Caberstone Lounge.

It has a maximum capacity of 100, a huge step up from its former home which could seat 35. However, Rob plans to mainly keep this at 70 covers.

Caberstone Lounge.
A selection of gins on offer.

Open-plan kitchen

A unique set up in the city, diners will be able to watch chefs at work in the open plan kitchen area.

Rob, who currently resides in Danestone and has worked in restaurants his whole career, says this will allow the kitchen team “to be on show”.

“This adds such a fantastic vibe to the place,” he added. “It also means our chefs can hear the compliments our guests leave, rather than the waiter passing it on.”

The venue boasts the same colour scheme and decor as the former premises, which opened its doors in March 2017.

The team has since grown from six staff members to 10 to keep up with demand and have the building working to its full potential.

What will the menu look like?

There is more great news for Kirk View regulars – the food and drink offering is not changing.

Guests can still enjoy the selection of tasty tapas dishes the business has become well-known for, as well as its non-traditional afternoon tea, in the main restaurant.

Caberstone Lounge will only be serving drinks and snacks.

Rob said: “The food concept and drinks menu has not changed at all.

A Scottish Bramble.
An espresso martini.

“We are still a Scottish fresh food tapas restaurant serving afternoon tea and a pre-theatre set menu.

“We are super proud to be from Aberdeen so are having fun with the amazing ingredients on our doorstep. Our seabass and Balmoral chicken are our most popular tapas dishes.”

Other tapas dishes to expect include:

  • Haggis and black pudding croquettes
  • Buffalo chicken wings
  • Paprika halloumi fries
  • Roast pepper fajita risotto
  • Garlic and chilli king prawn skewers
  • Breaded haddock strips

There are also desserts, from sticky toffee pudding and a triple chocolate brownie to homemade profiteroles and baked lemon cheesecake.

The main restaurant.
Diners can watch the chefs prepare their dishes.

Dish prices vary from £5.50-12.

Guests can opt for a classic afternoon tea for £17 per person or a prosecco afternoon tea for £22 per person.

They feature a selection of bruschettas and a trio of homemade desserts.

Belmont Street

In terms of what pushed Rob to relocate, he said: “My ambition has always been to have my own large-scale operation.

“The cafe we have left behind was just too small for us. It was a very noisy building when the cocktails were flowing.

“I saw an opportunity arise on Belmont Street when I noticed Pizza Express had left an amazing building behind. I contacted the agency dealing with the lease and was able to convince the landlord to back a family-run operation.

Rob inside the new restaurant.
Outside Kirk View’s new premises on Belmont Street.

“Here we are nearly one year later with a refurbed restaurant, ready to create our own piece of history on Belmont Street.”

The restaurant owner hopes the move will give the team a much bigger footfall, and has already taken several larger bookings for later this year.

“We have been operating the last two years with Union Terrace Gardens being regenerated. It has been really hard with a building site directly across from us, footfall has just not been there.

“I am so excited to be operating in the area, with big plans for Belmont Street. It is an exciting time to be here.”

Kirk View is open from 11.30am to 11pm daily.

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