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Restaurant review: Porterhouse Steakhouse and Coffee Bar in Inverurie is a good lunchtime spot

The Tomahawk steak from Porterhouse. Image: Scott Baxter/DC Thomson
The Tomahawk steak from Porterhouse. Image: Scott Baxter/DC Thomson

It doesn’t take much for me to build up an appetite. Not that a walk at Fetternear Estate near Kemnay didn’t do that, but when you write about food for a living, naturally, it’s always on my mind.

This was my boyfriend and I’s first visit to the estate so when he expressed being ravenous after, I headed straight onto Google to check out what venues were nearby.

I noticed Porterhouse Steakhouse and Coffee Bar at Thainstone, Inverurie was still open, and suggested we headed there. The prospect of steak was too much for him to resist.

January was a little early for a visit to the beer garden. Image: Scott Baxter/DC Thomson

We rocked up around 2pm at Thainstone Agricultural Centre, an hour before the kitchen was set to close. Not the most likely place you’d think for a steakhouse, but I guess its proximity to the arena where cattle is sold at market in the centre does play its part.

Porterhouse Steakhouse and Coffee Bar

A steakhouse named after the meat it specialises in serving up surely indicates that you’re going to get some real good flame-grilled beef. My preference is very much a fillet cooked medium/rare, but my boyfriend prefers his a little more pink.

While I figured steak was off the cards for me, seeing as he was already set on having one, there was plenty of great options on the menu including katsu chicken supreme and stroganoff.

Inside Porterhouse Steakhouse and Coffee Bar with the tartan and purples tones throughout. Image: Scott Baxter/DC Thomson

Pulling into the centre’s car park, you’ll find the restaurant at the far back right (follow the signs). There’s a beer garden to the right of Porterhouse’s entrance, but it was closed on the cold January afternoon we visited – which was no surprise.

Inside there’s a running theme of Porterhouse’s signature purple hue and tartan. You’ll also find plenty of unique wallpapers. One wall even features a cooked steak sitting in a field of haybales. Yes, you read that correctly.

We were shown to table one and ordered two pints of Diet Coke plus tap water.

The food

Our order, in the end after much deliberation due to a good selection available, consisted of buffalo chicken wings (£6.95), garlic king prawns (£8.95) a Tomahawk steak (£30) and the slow cooked beef short rib (£19.50).

I did flirt with the beef satay and scallops to start, but we wanted to get our order in quick not to delay the kitchen team’s finish time.

The starters arrived pretty quickly which we didn’t mind as we were hungry. Calum’s looked like a dish you’d find in a pub, whereas mine looked like something that resembled fine dining.

Buffalo chicken wings with a blue cheese mayonnaise and fresh celery. Image: Scott Baxter/DC Thomson

Four wings had been tossed in a buffalo sauce which was tangy and boasted a little spice at the end. The chicken itself was slightly overcooked but the sauce really made up for it. Blue cheese mayonnaise was stated on the menu as the dip for the celery batons and wings, but this was more like a chunky paste in consistency. However it was deliciously creamy and paired well.

You really need to ask for a wipe – or a finger bowl – with this dish as it was quite messy. There’s no way you’re using cutlery with wings, so be sure to ask so you don’t have to retreat to the bathroom to clean yourself up.

I tucked into my bowl of prawns while Red Hot Chilli Pipers and Ed Sheeran hits played away in the background.

Five small prawns were surrounded by clarified butter, spring onion and sun blushed tomato. It stated on the menu it came with warm focaccia, which it did, but of the tiniest proportions.

The garlic king prawns with the focaccia. Image: Scott Baxter/DC Thomson

The prawns were a little overcooked, but the tomato was bursting with flavour and the slithers of bread added a slight crunch.

There were a few tables in when we were dining, and it was good to see people out during the notoriously quiet month.

Mains arrived not too long after our table had been cleared and I was overjoyed with what I could see. My beef short rib looked divine, as did the mustard mash it sat on top of. It was beautifully cooked and the Cajun and barbecue smoky delight was everything I wished for.

The slow cooked short rib was a highlight of the experience. Image: Scott Baxter/DC Thomson

It had been slow cooked for four hours and melted in my mouth. The mash had the perfect balance of sharp mustard and creamy potato and the tenderstem broccoli had been grilled, which I loved. The beetroot crisps that sat in a line on top of the beef were packed with flavour. This was an excellent, and big eat.

Calum’s steak was a feast for the eyes. Served with chips and his chosen cracked black pepper and whisky sauce, it was huge. A watercress salad was served on the side of the plate, but not much was said about it.

Pouring the cracked black pepper and whisky sauce over the steak. Image: Scott Baxter/DC Thomson

The 12oz steak was well seasoned, tender and served rare as requested. The chips were triple cooked and a little “dehydrated” as described by my boyfriend. The sauce was more of a paste, again, with a layer of oil around it. It was sweet more than anything, but there was plenty of it.

Onion rings are always a must with steak and the side was an absolute winner. Delicious, golden brown and big, they were 10/10.

The Tomahawk was huge. Image: Scott Baxter/DC Thomson

I’d noticed a baked Alaska on the dessert menu and couldn’t help myself. It has been forever since I’d had one so convinced Calum to help out.

The pink meringue was a sight for sore eyes and as you’d expect, it was incredibly sweet.

Flambéed on the outside, it was crisp, but so gooey inside. The meringue had a slight artificial strawberry flavour, which it might have not been, and was served with Mackie’s strawberry ice cream. The sponge at the bottom was chewy and there was a strawberry sliced into three as garnish and it had been dusted with icing sugar.

Strawberry and cream baked Alaska. Image: Scott Baxter/DC Thomson

There was also crème brulee, chocolate fondant, sticky toffee and a selection of Scottish cheeses available.

Service had initially been very attentive, however teetered off nearer the end. It became a bit more challenging to get anyone’s attention, but we figured that was due to our later arrival. We left around two hours later bellies full and back on the road.

The meringue was a beautiful pink hue. Image: Scott Baxter/DC Thomson

The verdict

Porterhouse is a member of the Scotch Beef Club and Quality Meat Scotland which means their beef is specially selected and is Aberdeen Angus black Gold dry-aged on the bone for a minimum of 21-28 days, so you know you’re getting some good meat here.

My short rib was one of the best dishes I have had in a while, and although there were a few small niggles throughout our meal, overall we enjoyed our experience.

Porterhouse are currently working on a new lunch and evening menu that are set to launch at the end of January and they are looking to organise a Chef’s Table event in February.


Address: Thainstone Agricultural Centre, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire AB51 5XZ

T: 01467 623899


Price: £84.90 for two starters, two mains, one side, a dessert and three pints of Diet Coke


  • Food: 4/5
  • Service: 3/5
  • Surrounding: 3.5/5