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Restaurant review: Bieldside Inn offers a delicious taste of ‘tradition with a twist’ in Aberdeen

The nicely presented carrot cake. Images: Scott Baxter/DC Thomson.
The nicely presented carrot cake. Images: Scott Baxter/DC Thomson.

They say Pele’s favourite meal was a Brazilian-style chicken and crayfish curry called Xinxim.

I read it on a foodie website, so it stands a good chance of being true.

But if it was anything like the Brazilian curry on offer at the Bieldside Inn in Aberdeen, I can see why he loved it.

On the face of it, any connection between Bieldside and the Brazil football legend, who died in December, seemed unlikely.

But here it was, tucked away on the menu between prawn cocktails and sticky toffee puddings.

The Bieldside Inn.

It wasn’t what we expected to find on the route to Royal Deeside.

But, like a few things around here, looks were deceptive.

Their variation of Brazilian spicy curry, with chicken and coconut, was delicious.

It had a thick, luscious sauce to die for – fruity and savoury all at the same time, with deep layers of flavour.

It was so good that, when I ran out of rice, I used my side dish of Parmesan-flaked fries to mop up the sauce by dipping them in the dish.

I couldn’t resist; I was hooked on it – and I was tempted to ask them to make another dish of it to take home.

The Brazilian spicy curry was a huge hit.

The ironic thing was that I never intended to order it in the first place.

I arrived with my heart set on the “catch of the day” which was listed on the menu without any specific fish in mind.

It was whatever they snapped up at the market, I suppose.

But it was not to be, I am afraid.

When I asked the waitress to tell me more about the catch of the day – eagerly anticipating her answer – she replied: “Sorry, we haven’t got one today.”

She was apologetic, of course, but it was disappointing nonetheless.

You’d think that if something catastrophic had occurred – like the chef’s car had broken down or a flood in the kitchen – she would have explained the situation straight away without a second thought.

This would have been reasonable and understandable, but it sounded more like: “We’re not bothering today, sorry.”

The thing is, in my book, if it’s on the menu you’ve got to deliver day in day out.

Details like this matter whether they are part of the food or menu presentation.

But triumph often springs from the depths of despair.

As I discovered when I fell under the spell of BSC (Brazilian spicy curry) as my second choice – and never looked back.

The airy modern conservatory is home to the restaurant.

The Bieldside Inn

So brief disappointment had turned to delight with my curry.

The other thing which was deceptive about this place was that driving by you might think it’s just another little bar.

But this is where the Tardis effect from Dr Who kicks in.

The bar at the front opens out into a large, airy modern conservatory at the back which is home to the restaurant.

Bieldside Inn. Image: by Scott Baxter/DC Thomson

I reckon this could cater for around 80 diners on a busy night.

On the midweek lunchtime we arrived, sunlight was streaming through the windows which made the surroundings even more pleasant.

In the distance, we could see the rolling Deeside country landscape from the conservatory.

Only a couple of tables were occupied at the time, so we virtually had the place to ourselves, but it enabled the staff to lavish all their attention on us.

The food

Despite the sunshine, it was a chilly day and hot warming soup was top of my preferred list as a starter.

My favourite Cullen Skink sat in a lofty position near the top of the menu, as befits its status, but I resisted the temptation and ordered soup of the day instead.

Luckily, I found it hadn’t met the same fate as “catch of the day” so I ordered the Scotch broth on offer.

I had a bad experience with an unseasoned soup recently so I was a little wary, but I need not have worried.

Cullen skink is always a favourite.

The broth was fully seasoned and the depth of flavour from the mixture of barley and vegetables was excellent; there was also a generous serving in the bowl.

The bread and butter which came with it was also striking in as much as the slices were so thick and delicious.

I asked one of the waitresses about the bread and she said it was baked here in the kitchen.

“The loaves are really big,” she added, and to emphasise the point she made a shape with her arms in front of her tummy like a very large balloon.

The prawn cocktail was an attractive starter.

Meanwhile, my wife was enjoying juicy plump prawns in her prawn cocktail starter, laid out attractively on a narrow plate with Marie Rose sauce.

She followed up with a nice-looking Caesar salad, with crispy bacon and croutons, but found the chargrilled chicken a little too dry.

The Bieldside Inn’s Caesar salad.

We rounded off with a pair of classics – sticky toffee pudding and carrot cake.

We noticed that the Bieldside Inn leans towards “tradition with a twist”, so a range of burgers on the menu seemed to show the importance of the family market, especially at weekends I would imagine.

The verdict

Finally, I have to add another quirky twist – it was the first time I had encountered floor-to-ceiling wallpaper in a gents pub loo.

Even though it was the gents, I sensed a female hand in this choice of decor. I was impressed.

All in all, we enjoyed a really nice lunch at Bieldside Inn with good food and pleasant staff.

It does what it says on the tin: it offers some lovely traditional dishes, with an exotic twist to surprise you here and there.

Classic sticky toffee pudding.


Address: 37 North Deeside Road, Bieldside, Aberdeen AB15 9DB

T: 01224 867891


Price: £70.40 for two starters, two mains, two sides, two desserts and two coffees


  • Food: 4/5
  • Service: 4/5
  • Surroundings: 4/5