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Taste test: Does a rowie belong in The Spiritualist’s new boozy brunch package?

Fans of booze and butteries rejoice, for The Spiritualist’s boozy brunch experience has returned with a special new addition.

Yes, diners are still treated to one brunch dish and three cocktails when opting for the package at the trendy cocktail bar. But now customers can tuck into a rowie, too.

Based on Lagnstane Place in Aberdeen, The Spiritualist recently relaunched its boozy brunch for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak – to the delight of brunch fans across the north-east.

And while planning to reintroduce it to their food and drink offering, the team decided to add a rowie into the mix in true Aberdonian style.

Interest immediately piqued, I called upon new food and drink team member, Andy Morton, to join me on a trip to sample the brunch for ourselves.

As Andy has never tried a rowie before, I knew the trip would be interesting…

The order:


The results

Did Andy and I leave The Spiritualist smiling from ear to ear, or did the experience fall as flat as a rowie?

Not a Mimosa

Everyone sampling the boozy brunch deal at The Spiritualist is treated to a welcome drink, the ‘Not a Mimosa’ cocktail.

It’s a simple yet elegant-looking tipple that’s both light and refreshing, giving off hints of lemon.

It doesn’t overwhelm the palate, so Andy and I thought it was a great way to kickstart our meal.

You can opt for a plain glass of Prosecco instead, but I’d say this drink offers more on the flavour front…

Not a Mimosa.

Presentation

Andy: 3/5

Karla: 3/5

Taste

Andy: 4/5

Karla: 3.5/5


Toasted rowie

Going from one extreme to the other, our light drink was quickly followed up by our heavy JG Ross rowies.

This was Andy’s first-time trying the local delicacy, and he had mixed reviews on the experience.

Having tucked into many a JG Ross rowie in the past, I knew what was to come and that I would enjoy it.

The pastry boasted a slight saltiness which contrasted well with the coating of butter and jam.

Andy’s view: It’s a shocking oversight that I’ve never had a buttery before – like a music reviewer that’s not heard of The Beatles.

But it does give me a completely unbiased view of the north-east speciality and I have to say… I’m not a fan.

This has to be the densest food I have ever eaten. Like someone put a croissant in a car crusher and stuck a bit of butter on it.

It didn’t help that Karla laughed at me for buttering the wrong side, but at that moment ridicule was the least of my worries.

My buttery journey may well start and stop right here.

Toasted JG Ross butteries served with jam and butter.

Presentation

Andy: 3/5

Karla: 3.5/5

Taste

Andy: 2/5

Karla: 4/5


Wonder Boy – sampled by Andy

Wow. What an experience.

It’s as if the scientists in charge of the Large Hadron Collider had one too many at the office Christmas party and tried to find out what alcohol and Haribo tasted like if smashed together at sub-light speeds.

That’s not to say I didn’t like it. Sweet like the confectionary aisle and with a satisfying kick, this was very moreish.

Wonder Boy.

Presentation

Andy: 4/5

Taste

Andy: 4/5


Hollaback Girl – sampled by Karla

You can’t come to The Spiritualist and not order their flagship cocktail, the Hollaback Girl.

It’s Instagrammable, sweet and full of fruity flavours – everything that I look for in a concoction.

I wasn’t quite getting that punch of kiwi that I usually do, with the raspberry dominating, but it was still delicious nevertheless.

Hollaback Girl.

Presentation

Karla: 4.5/5

Taste

Karla: 4/5


Buttermilk fried chicken waffles – sampled by Andy

I couldn’t wait to tuck into this.

Mixing pancake sweetness with fried chicken savoury is my idea of heaven. And I was not disappointed.

The Spiritualist even goes the extra yard by throwing in a fried egg, with a runny yolk that perfectly balances out the comparatively drier chicken and waffle.

All in all, the highlight of the day.

Buttermilk fried chicken waffles.

Presentation

Andy: 3/5

Taste

Andy: 5/5


Breakfast burrito – sampled by Karla

Who knew a cocktail bar could make a burrito look so appealing?

It’s fair to say I couldn’t wait to cut through our second dish of choice, which comprised a tortilla wrap coated in cheese, encompassing diced potato, sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs and tomato salsa.

I didn’t manage to find any salsa upon digging, but each element had been cooked to perfection, with the diced potato being a real standout.

Breakfast burrito.

Presentation

Karla: 4/5

Taste

Karla: 4/5


Cappuccino Martini – sampled by Andy

If the Wonder Boy was sweet, then this was the height of indulgence.

Ice-cream flavours take precedence but the coffee keeps this firmly grounded.

It might also give you a much-needed brunch energy boost that will set you up for the day.

Perhaps not a cocktail you should have every day, but one to definitely savour as a special treat.

Cappuccino Martini.

Presentation

Andy: 4/5

Taste

Andy: 5/5


Virgin Raspberry No-jito – sampled by Karla

I’m always apprehensive about trying mocktails, purely because they taste like watered-down diluted juice on occasion.

But The Spiritualist’s take on a raspberry mojito hits it out of the park. If I didn’t know it was a mocktail, I would have thought it was the real thing.

There were hints of lime, apple, raspberry and, of course, mint. I enjoyed it so much that I couldn’t leave without finishing it off.

Virgin Raspberry No-jito.

Presentation

Karla: 5/5

Taste

Karla: 5/5


The verdict

Does a buttery really belong with a boozy brunch? Maybe not in most places, but for me, it certainly works in Aberdeen.

I found the concept fun and different, and I’m actually surprised The Spiritualist is the first and only place in the city to have offered it.

Yes, you’ll be left fulling full to the brim (and on the boozy side), but that’s what it’s all about.


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