From hot smoked salmon bruschetta to a Kansas hot dog, you might expect to find such culinary delights on a sophisticated menu in Edinburgh.
Foodies in search of the ultimate bottomless brunch need not trek so far however, you simply need to hop on a bus to Turriff.
This Aberdeenshire town may boast a proud rural community, but that does not mean to say there is only call for mince and tatties.
Farmer’s daughter, Carol Angus, knows only too well the importance of tradition, and she has trod a fine line in dreaming up classics versus more cosmopolitan dishes.
Her determination has clearly paid off, and the phone does not stop ringing during our interview at The Rustic Grill, which can be found on Balmellie Street.
From lighting made out up upcycled fruit buckets, to reclaimed wood and tables brought on Gumtree, The Rustic Grill is incredibly stylish – without appearing to try too hard.
The overhead fairylights add a cosy feel, while the gas stove makes you feel right at home, which is probably why the bookings never stop.
“Sorry, we’re closed today,” explains Carol, to an eager would-be diner.
The popular eatery is closed on a Monday and Tuesday, to allow the hard working team to catch their breath and prepare for a busy week ahead.
Carol took some time out and explained why she’s putting Turriff on the map, with the bottomless brunch to save all brunches.
How long has The Rustic Grill been open?
Since December 2018. But prior to that, I had a cafe called The Square Diner for about five years.
The food was similar, but we were open seven days a week and the premises was rented.
It was quite small but we were always busy. It got to the stage where there wasn’t a way to progress.
I could either close or find somewhere else. This place was an electrical store, and one of the directors approached me about it.
I just knew that this was the right place for us. There was so much speculation as to where we might be going.
The difference is unbelievable, where did you get your inspiration from?
My sister always says that I have champagne eyes and coca-cola pockets.”
I always wanted this place to feel homely.
I’m married to a joiner, and there’s a lot of reclaimed wood in here. Our big family tables came from Gumtree, I just want people to feel like the space is giving them a wee hug.
We used local tradesmen for everything, and we discovered so many things, like hidden windows, when we started knocking through.
What was the vision with your menu?
I wanted the food to feel fun and wholesome, and defintately not like you’re on a diet.”
It has that personal touch, as all the staff contribute ideas as well.
I also get inspiration from Pinterest, and when I’m out and about. My daughter went to Australia, and her little sister went out to visit her.
She still hasn’t come home, and she works at a bakery where she’s learning from a pastry chef.
The Australian culture is just amazing, there’s so much colour in food and everything is always fresh.
We offer more than mince and tatties. I had a Scottish farm upbringing, and I always thought that the food can be a bit like our weather.
All the same colour!
Have you always wanted to run your own eatery?
Well I started out at the chipper in Fyvie, then I worked at The Towie Tavern.
That is where I learnt everything. I always say that it is your first job which makes you.
Tell me about your bottomless brunch, it’s crazy popular!
It’s an amazing feeling, the sheer number of people who entered our competition for bottomless brunch! There were hundreds.
We wanted to introduce something where the kitchen staff weren’t under so much pressure, but you’re still getting a dish of lovely food.
It’s £28 per person and your booking lasts for 90 minutes. There’s a variety of dishes to choose from, and staff will ensure you get plenty of rounds in. We have always been very clear about responsible drinking though.
Staff will take your drinks order from your arrival. I think we offer what I term as proper cocktails, so you never feel short changed either.”
There’s gie it welly, which is served in a glass welly and includes gin. French 76 is prosecco based, then we have classics such as a mimosa or mango daiquiri.
Our customers come from all over. They sometimes get the bus from Aberdeen, or they come from Buckie, Keith, from everywhere.
What made you decide to offer it in the first place?
Our menu has developed over time. Originally I wasn’t sure if Turriff was ready for what we are offering now.
When Covid hit and we started doing takeaways, we took a big risk . But our takeaways proved so popular, and that’s when we really looked at our menu.”
In a small community, people can become used to certain things.
We started doing small plates and tapas, because we actually had the time to perfect things.
Do you serve non alcoholic options as well?
Of course, we actually stock none alcoholic spirits from an Australian company called Lyre’s.
There’s quite a range and the none alcoholic menu is really popular here. Each drink is made exactly like a cocktail.
Is social media important to how you run your business?
Massively, we’ve got Tik Tok recently, and we also have Facebook and Instagram. People see with their eyes, so it’s important to us to post pictures of our food.
And finally, what’s your favourite item on the menu?
I couldn’t possibly choose, but when I go out I tend to always order a burger.
For more information, head to @therusticgrillturriff on Facebook or call 01888 567187.