Who would have thought going out to a restaurant would cause such great excitement? But in these unprecedented times we don’t take these little treats for granted anymore.
We hadn’t visited the Garlogie Inn, just outside Westhill in Aberdeenshire, for years. Nonetheless, I still remember its fabulous home cooking and traditional decor and was keen to see if much had changed.
One major difference was the time it took to get there on a pleasant late Sunday afternoon via the Aberdeen bypass.
Sticking to the Covid regulations, we sanitised our hands, scanned the track and trace app and took our seats.
Since the pandemic I have noticed some establishments appear rather cold and stark as tables are more spread out, however, despite these measures in place, the Garlogie still felt relaxed and cosy. The place was busy with families and couples all enjoying their Sunday dinners.
The menu had some really interesting dishes – raising the bar with more than just the normal pub grub.
It was also good to see vegetarian options on the menu, including a vegan tagine with couscous. There was also a specials board offering even more options such as some enticing Sunday roasts.
Jumping out at me though, was one of my favourite desserts – rhubarb and ginger crumble, so that was my pudding sorted!
Despite it being early summer, outside it was still quite chilly so my mum warmed up with a chicken and rice broth while my husband went for the unusual-sounding leek and prawn pancakes.
I am so glad I didn’t order a starter as mum’s bowl of soup was a hefty portion and she confirmed it was certainly homemade and just what she desired.
I managed to pinch a slice of the accompanying bread which would have been a fantastic starter by itself.
I enquired as to the bread’s flavourings and the waitress, having checked with the kitchen, said it contained cranberry and cashew nuts – I would return just for another slice of it.
My husband’s pancakes were served on a rectangular wooden board. The delicate pancakes were interspersed with prawns decorated with ribbons of pickled carrot and courgette.
On the side was a small pot of soy dipping sauce – a perfect infusion of flavours and the plate was cleared in no time. It was a lovely, light, refreshing starter.
By this time I was ravenous and delighted when my “Garlogie Inn famous parmos” arrived.
Fresh flaky breadcrumbed haddock topped with bechamel sauce and mixed cheeses and finished under the grill was pure comfort food at its best and I tucked in with gusto.
My mum had ordered the chicken parmos, and the butterflied chicken breast took up much of the plate – no small portions in the country for sure. The sides of vegetables and chips were piping hot and cooked just right.
My husband’s Scottish venison medallions achieved the “wow factor” for presentation and the rich pink meat was nestled on a bed of buttery mash and his favourite vegetable, braised red cabbage. All of this was then blanketed with a blackberry jus.
He said the venison was cooked medium rare as it should be and simply melted in his mouth.
As I mentioned earlier, crumble is my favourite dessert so there was no need for me to check the menu again.
However the Garlogie also had some other tasty sweet treats such as a raspberry and lemon meringue jar and a banoffee waffle tower that sounded rather inviting too, but they will have to wait for another visit.
The crumble was served in its own ramekin dish with a side of ice cream.
I must admit, I was a little disappointed as the rhubarb was more like a coulis and too runny, making it quite difficult to eat as it kept falling off the spoon, however the crumble did add a nice crunch to the dish.
With a bill of just over £70 for the three of us we felt it was excellent value for money and the food was as good as I remembered, if not better than from previous visits.
We felt Covid-safe throughout our visit and are already planning a return.
You never know, with the weather improving, we might make use of their outside tables for refreshments in the sunshine.
t: 01224 743 212
Total bill: £71.60