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Review: Was Burns Night menu from Michelin star chef Glynn Purnell worth the £195 price tag?

The fillet of Aberdeenshire beef was the first dish Glynn Purnell kicked off with for his three dishes of the night. Image: Julia Bryce/DC Thomson
The fillet of Aberdeenshire beef was the first dish Glynn Purnell kicked off with for his three dishes of the night. Image: Julia Bryce/DC Thomson

Burns glorious Burns. That’s exactly what I was left reciting after a night of incredible food and drink at Aberdeen’s Amuse by Kevin Dalgleish.

The respected north-east chef who opened his own restaurant last May welcomed his friend, and fellow chef, Glynn Purnell.

The Brummie Burns menu nodded to Glynn’s Birmingham roots where he opened his one Michelin star venue Purnell’s Restaurant while tying in Kevin’s Scottish heritage.

Glynn’s nickname is the “Yummy Brummie” and what I can say about this menu, which had a price tag of £195, is that is certainly was yummy.

The menu which boasted a caricature of both chefs. Image: Julia Bryce/DC Thomson

Welcomed by music from local piper Craig Cuthbertson, who was nestled along from the stairwell of the basement restaurant, guests were treated to a glass of Champagne or a Bobby Burns cocktail.

Made with Glenfiddich’s Project XX liquid, plus sweet vermouth and Drambuie, the cocktail was boozy and whisky forward while being incredibly sweet.

My partner was driving so I also got his Champagne, which I wasn’t complaining about. Crisp and refreshing, it was just lovely.

The Bobby Burns cocktail was a boozy number. Image: Julia Bryce/DC Thomson

The food

The six-course menu was paired with wines and whiskies, and as the reception area was filling up, guests were immediately shown to their table on entry to enjoy their drinks.

We were seated near the rear of the venue and were welcomed with three canapes. The first was a twist on haggis, neeps and tatties, which was quickly followed by a cheese puff with a molten centre and smoked salmon mousse.

The trio of canapes guests were treated to. Image: Julia Bryce/DC Thomson

More guests filled the room and we were then presented with warm sourdough from Bandit Bakery and Edinburgh Butter Co.’s delicious product.

Glenfiddich ambassador Mark Thomson was the compere for the evening, introducing each of the whiskies many of the dishes had been paired with during the course of the evening.

The sourdough bread from Bandit Bakery was a treat. Image: Julia Bryce/DC Thomson

A pianist started to play as the first course rolled out, again, adding eloquent ambiance throughout the duration.

Kevin was responsible for course one to three while Glynn would pick up at the rear with the final three courses.

The barbecued West Coast langoustine. Image: Julia Bryce/DC Thomson

Barbecue West Coast langoustine with stuffed razor clam and sauce American was up first. It was paired with an Italian frizzante rose and Glenfiddich 15. The earthier whisky paired excellently with the grilled shellfish which had a gorgeous smokiness to it. The razor clam, which sat on a roasted red pepper, was the most ingenious element of the dish.

Before the second dish was served, Mark receipted the Address to a Haggis which was followed by a round of applause.

The glazed lamb sweetbread with risotto of spelt, mushroom stock and haggis crumb were a match made in heaven.

Glazed lamb sweetbreads for course two. Image: Julia Bryce/DC Thomson

It was served with a light Hungarian red. My dining partner adored the sweetbreads and the risotto was perfectly cooked. I loved the almost caramelised flavour the glaze provided and it was exceptional.

Course three was another cracker. Seared Orkney scallop “cock a leekie” saw three scallops, confit chicken wing, potato puff, prune and leek combine to create a mouthful that was what I can only describe as stunning.

Three scallops made up the ‘cock a leeckie’ dish. Image: Julia Bryce/DC Thomson

A crisp South African chardonnay was paired with this, however it was the 23-year-old Glenfiddich Grand Cru that stood out the most. Buttery on the palate, it fared well with the seafood.

My favourite course of the night, and Glynn’s first of three dishes, had to be the roast fillet of Aberdeenshire beef.

I’ve never eaten beef so soft, so succulent and so moreish. The portion was generous, and I was glad as it was outstanding. The smoked bone marrow was soft and sat on top of the fillet covered in a bordelaise sauce. Pickled shallot and parsley balanced the richness, and the layered potato terrine was crisp and flaked apart.

There was a substantial portion of fillet of Aberdeenshire beef. Image: Julia Bryce/DC Thomson

It was served with a French red and Glenfiddich’s 26-year-old Grande Couronne.

Glynn then released his burnt Scottish egg surprise on us, a dish he served on TV show Great British Menu in 2008 and received the perfect score of all 10’s from the judges.

He has had this dish on his menu for more than a decade, and there’s good reason. Served in an egg shell, a gorgeous, light but rich and creamy creme brulee boasted a hidden caramelised apple sauce underneath.

Course five was served in an egg shell and is one of Glynn’s signature dishes. Image: Julia Bryce/DC Thomson

Accompanied by a white dessert wine from France and a 21-year-old Glenfiddich Gran Reserva Rum cask finish dram, I didn’t want it to end.

That was until I tried the final dish, our second dessert.

Glynn is well known for his mint choccy chip dish, which comes with a little theatre to say the least. A bowl of dry ice with fresh mint was first placed in front of us, then the dishes that held the choccy delight. Glynn closely followed with jugs of water which he then poured over the ice, forming an incredible cloud over the table.

The dessert was phenomenal. I could have licked the bowl of chocolate mousse, chocolate crumb and mint chocolate chip ice cream clean.

There was some theatre to the final dish, the mint choccy chip dish. Image: Julia Bryce/DC Thomson

It was served with a red dessert wine from France that worked well with it, but I was so totally besotted by the dessert I forgot it was there.

Both Glynn and Kevin finally stepped out of the kitchen and said their thanks to guests. It was amazing to experience this duo’s work  – and the creativity, organisation and passion behind this event was incredibly impressive.

The verdict

The meal in itself was one of the best I have enjoyed in Aberdeen city centre. Unique dishes and pristine plating made for the most enjoyable meal, and the attentiveness of the staff and their professionalism has to be applauded, too.

At the end, guests got the opportunity to mingle with Glynn and Kevin and I loved getting to catch up with Glynn about the fantastic lunch he and his sous chef had enjoyed at Moonfish Cafe earlier that day. They also paid a visit to The Stag which he also complimented.

I caught up with Glynn Purnell after service to chat all things Aberdeen. Image: Julia Bryce/DC Thomson

Seeing events like this and the Signature fine dining festival taking shape in the city has certainly raised the bar for dining experiences.

As expensive as the meal was, with the amount of food and alcohol provided, I do think it was value for money. The addition of the whiskies further secured that, and, it also saved me a trip to Birmingham to see the chef.


Address: Amuse by Kevin Dalgleish,  1 Queen’s Terrace, Aberdeen AB10 1XL

T: 01224 611909


Price: £195 per head