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Restaurant review: Wild Ginger in Aberdeen offers diners more than your average curry house

The pessmeshali special.
The pessmeshali special.

January and February really are the months that we Scots tend to hibernate. So if you are anything like us, Saturday nights are for staying in with our favourite carry-out and without doubt ours is a curry.

Our local takeaway knows my husband by name and pretty much knows our order too, creatures of habit that we are!

After a full week of working from home though, we were keen to escape our house and booked a table at Wild Ginger on Union Street in Aberdeen. It felt good to get out of our leisure wear and drive into town after work on a Friday.

Wild Ginger, on Union Street.

As we walked down Union Street, pulling our jackets tight around us, we remarked how quiet the once bustling city centre street was. Before Covid, I remember a Friday teatime on Union Street would be busy with lots of workers spilling out of various office blocks kicking off their weekend with a cocktail or a meal before heading home.

It felt quite sad to see it so quiet, but all of this was about to change as we walked down Wild Ginger’s stairs into the basement restaurant.

The surroundings

Now we know why Union Street was deserted, everyone was in here! The volume from all the chatter hit us immediately and we were glad we had reserved a table. We passed a large bar and some seating for takeaway customers before being shown to a booth which was thankfully a bit quieter and more private.

Lots of big groups of diners were already tucking into the mountains of food arriving in trolleys being pushed around the spacious restaurant by the smart servers.

Inside the restaurant.

The décor is ultra-modern with turquoise blue leather chairs and some exposed stone walls, while shiny gold bars are cleverly used for screening between tables. I love that the tables are dressed with crisp white tablecloths and napkins giving the dining experience more of a luxury feel.

The food

Our server offered us some poppadoms as we ordered drinks, and we nibbled on them as we took in the vast array of food on offer on the menu.

For starters I went for the onion bhajis while my husband, always the more adventurous, went for the moglai kebab.

My Indian fritters were delicious, light and crispy as they should be. They were served with a small side salad and a creamy garlic sauce.

Moglia kebab.

Across the table the chicken fillets, marinated in yoghurt, cardamom seeds and cheese and delicately grilled in a clay oven, topped with roasted onions and peppers, were going down a treat. The chicken was extremely tender and flavoursome with just the right amount of spice.

We waited quite a while before our main course but we were thankful for this as we were in no hurry and enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere.

The menu has all the usual curries – karachi, balti and biryani as well as a section for the braver diner, a “spicy” section. However, Wild Ginger has taken things further adding their own exotic twist to many of the dishes.

Onion bhajis.

My choice was from the “Fish and seafood” specialities section, Goan tiger prawn takari. The curry was served in a delightful large bowl and smelled divine.

The prawns had been marinated in olive oil, lime juice, garam masala, garlic and ginger paste, then cooked with grated coconut, coconut milk, lemongrass and curry leaves. All of the spices married perfectly together to produce the delicious mild but spicy flavour.

My husband chose the Wild Ginger passmeshali special from the “Fusion speciality” section.

The homemade sauce was served with chicken, lamb, prawn and mushrooms then sprinkled with coriander.

Pessmeshali special.

This is the first time he has seen a dish like this on a menu that included all the different meats and he was intrigued to try it. It certainly got the nod of approval and he thoroughly enjoyed the various textures and flavours of the dish while the rich, tender lamb was the stand-out for him.

He also loved the thick dark tomato-based sauce which had flavours similar to a bhuna.

One of my favourite side dishes in an Indian is a peshwari naan and it always seems to taste better in a restaurant rather than a takeaway. Wild Ginger’s version was heavenly – filled with coconut and almonds and drizzled with sweet honey – just perfect for mopping up all of those delicious sauces.

Goan Tiger prawn takari, left, and peshwari naan.

Not surprisingly for us we managed to pretty much clear our plates. We did notice that Wild Ginger will box up any leftovers so you can enjoy the next day for lunch – not a bad idea especially if you tend to over order, which is easy to do in an Indian restaurant.

So it was back to a quiet, cold Union Street as we made our way back to the car. We passed a few people moving between bars and we are hopeful that normality may be returning once again and a Friday night in Union Street will be back to the thriving city centre it once was.

The verdict

Wild Ginger is firmly established in the heart of Aberdeen, offering diners a little bit more than your average curry house. It would be perfect for a big birthday celebration and I would recommend requesting a cosy booth for date night.

With dishes to suit everyone, including old favourites and new fresh and creative dishes, you will not be disappointed.


Address: 367 Union Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1AB

T: Phone 01224 581000


Price: £56 for two starters, two curries, rice, naan bread and soft drinks


  • Food: 4/5
  • Service: 4/5
  • Surroundings: 4/5

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