There are countless food and drink gems tucked away in the not-so-main streets of Aberdeen, a lot of which I am yet to sample.
The issue for me – and something I have always struggled with – is my shaming lack of navigational skills, often ending up miles and miles away from my desired destination.
But when I planned on stopping by Richmond Street Deli the other week, luckily, it was just doors down from one of my brother’s flats. Although even for me, I do think I would have been able to spy it nevertheless – it is still fairly central after all.
He, for one, adores the deli on Richmond Street and has told me about it on a number of occasions.
I asked for a few recommendations from him, along with several others, ahead of making a booking as there are far too many tempting dishes to choose from on their menu.
Yes, there is a line-up of breakfast rolls available, as well as sandwiches and baked potatoes, but I steered away from them and opted for items you wouldn’t find on a lot of menus elsewhere. Well, on menus that I’ve come across anyway.
Keen to tuck into our dishes on a Saturday, I made an order for collection the day before. I would urge others to do the same given that a number of their slots had already been filled by the time I phoned in.
The pair of us rocked up bang on our pick-up time, 11.15am. You’re met with a collection counter when you reach Richmond Street Deli, so all you have to do is ring the bell, make a payment and you’ll receive your food. It couldn’t be more straightforward.
Our takeaway bag was heavier than I anticipated when handed over to me, which I thought could only mean one thing – there was plenty of food to go around.
Once I unboxed the items, this was an understatement.
For me, it was The Katsu that caught my eye, while my boyfriend was sold on The Crispy Garlic.
Inside my box, the first item I spotted was what appeared to be a tortilla wrap. Having clearly not read all the ingredients included in the dish on the menu when placing our order (due to my excitement), you can understand that I was puzzled. No, really, I felt devastated thinking I had been given the wrong item.
However, my lunch partner came to my rescue (as per usual) and opened up the flatbread. All joy had been restored, for a whole load of deliciousness was tucked away underneath.
There were thick strips of crispy chicken, broccoli, and a cashew and cranberry salad, all of which had been lathered in a thick katsu curry sauce. Not messing around, I dived right in.
The meat was juicy, perfectly cooked and tender, a texture that contrasted well when consumed with the broccoli – this may have been considered a little on the hard side for some, but that’s exactly how I like it.
The chicken was also complemented by the cashew and cranberry salad, which added a nice sweetness to the dish, satisfying my tastebuds.
However, once I sampled that thick sauce, there was no doubt in my mind that this was my favourite element, so much so that if they sold it in pots or tubs, you would be right in thinking I’d be ordering them weekly. It was a real triumph.
I’ve never been a huge fan of spice, but it added the perfect amount of kick and tasted divine with everything in the box. It also boasted a slight fruity flavour, too.
Moving onto The Crispy Garlic, the brioche bun that held the ingredients looked tempting, to say the least. Inside, there was battered chicken, mature cheddar, aioli, sriracha and mixed leaves.
Again, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of chicken sandwiched between the two buns. It was crispy and filling, and the cheese had melted over the top with its tasty, gooey texture.
The aioli and sriracha rounded the burger off well. The aioli, not too pungent, provided a lovely creamy texture, while the sriracha added a nice tanginess. Both failed to overpower the other ingredients, which was something the pair of us were anxious about.
Alongside our main dishes, we decided to order a portion of the dirty fries. One dish from the deli is certainly more than enough, but we couldn’t help ourselves.
It was a colourful sight to see with cheddar cheese sauce, crispy bacon, cherry tomatoes, sriracha mayo, jalapenos, crispy onion, fresh herbs and spring onion. Quite a mouthful, in more ways than one.
The chips were a tad on the soggy side by the time we tried them, but each component had something different to offer. The crunch of the bacon, acidity of the tomatoes, warming spice of the jalapenos, slight saltiness of the cheese – need I go on?
As you can imagine, we failed to polish everything off – I’d be fairly impressed if someone could.
If you love hefty portions and comfort food that doesn’t fall short on the flavour front, then you won’t regret placing an order at Richmond Street Deli.
The booking process was straightforward and there were a number of ingredients that the pair of us adored, particularly that katsu curry sauce. Boy, I hope the team release the recipe one day…
Address: 65 Richmond Street, Aberdeen, AB25 2TS