Word of mouth has spread about Cafe 83 – and for all the right reasons.
This small but mighty Kemnay cafe is punching well above its weight in terms of the mouthwatering food its serving up.
From katsu chicken loaded toasties and juicy burgers to pancakes stakes and scones, there’s quite literally something to suit all tastebuds.
Headed up by director Andrew Hutcheon, who has been working in hospitality since the tender age of 12, he prides himself on making Cafe 83 somewhere people can enjoy restaurant quality food in a super relaxed environment.
Here Andrew, who works alongside his wife Kerri, tells Society why he lives and breathes Cafe 83 and why he’s lucky to have such a talented team of staff working with him.
How would you describe Cafe 83?
We describe ourselves as more than a cafe because we do evening bistro meals on a Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. So we serve restaurant quality food in a relaxed atmosphere. All of our staff are really chatty so they get on really well with the customers. We’ve created somewhere people can enjoy restaurant quality food from what feels like effectively your living room.
Can you tell us about your background Andrew?
I started off as a KP (kitchen assistant) when I was 12 in my local chip shop. That was a culture shock as my boss at the time was pretty strict. It was two hours a week and I was on £2 an hour. I’ve always wanted to make money and I’ve always worked hard so I enjoyed it. I left there when I was 14/15 and since then I’ve worked in quite a few places like The Marriott in Aberdeen, Newmachar Hotel and the Spider’s Web. The Newmachar Hotel was a massive part of my career I was there for over 10 years on and off and was latterly the manager. Cafe 83 has been open for about five years now and I became director in December last year. It’s been good and really busy. We’ve also been getting good reviews as well so it’s going in the right direction.
What is it you enjoy about your job?
For me it’s genuinely about giving customers an amazing experience. It might sound big headed but I quite like hearing people’s experiences at the cafe through a third party. So for example when someone tells their friend they’ve had a great time at the cafe and then their friend passes that on to me.
What’s on the menu at Cafe 83?
We do one of the best breakfasts in the north-east. We’ve got a reputation for it now as every Saturday and Sunday we’re really busy for our breakfasts. We use quality ingredients from the McWilliams butchery so we use their bacon and sausages etc. It’s only £8.25 for a full breakfast with two bacon, a sausage, hash brown, black pudding, toast, fried egg, beans, haggis, mushrooms and tattie scones. We also do eggs benedict which is poached eggs on sourdough bread with roast ham and sriracha hollandaise sauce. As well as that we serve eggs royale which is sourdough bread with poached eggs, hollandaise sauce with spinach and smoked salmon. Our smashed avocado on sourdough with poached eggs and chilli flakes.
We’ve also heard that your pancake stacks are popular?
Yes they are, we serve up a good variety of toppings such as Biscoff sauce and a crumbled Lotus biscuit. We’ve also got Nutella with crushed nuts and marshmallows and for those who like both sweet and savoury, we’ve got a bacon and maple syrup option.
What about lunch?
We do loaded toasties so we’ve got macaroni and bacon toasties, we’ve got chicken, black pudding and peppercorn sauce toasties, we’ve got Katsu chicken and cheese toasties – they’re awesome. We also have soup of the day and classics like our 83 burger with sriracha mayonaise, cos lettuce, beef tomato with applewood smoked cheese, crispy onions and bacon. We also have beer battered haddock goujons served with fries, lemon, tartare sauce and salad and southern fried chicken goujons served with fries, coleslaw and salad. We also do a chicken and bacon stack with parmesan mash, mushroom cream sauce and crispy onions.
What can customers expect on the evening menu?
A Wednesday night we do a burger night. We’ve recently revamped and launched the burger night so there are 16 burgers that change every two weeks. They come with fries and coleslaw and you get two for £16. The Cafe 83 burger is always the most popular but we also have the Benedict Cumberbatch burger which is like eggs benedict on a burger so it’s got the six ounce burger, the cos lettuce, tomato, poached egg, grilled ham and hollandaise sauce. We also have a burger called Tokyo suicide which is a really spicy burger with chicken and an Asian style coleslaw, chillies. We also have the Mr Bean burger which is vegetarian with smashed avocado, cheese, salsa, onion marmalade. All the burgers are pretty cool. We also have the normal evening menu with a range of fish, chicken and beef dishes and fajitas that can be done in four different ways as well as king prawns and steak so there are choices there for everyone.
Are there any sweet treats on the menu?
Yes we’ve got a new supplier now called Sweet Toots Cakery so they supply us with brownies and cupcakes etc. But we do make our own scones, that’s one thing we’ll never take away because we’ve got a reputation for them as well. Our chef also makes a passion fruit panna cotta with carmelised banana which is pretty special. We also stock Simpsons ice-cream from Buckie. We got them to blend us a blue wicked sorbet so we put that with our salted caramel brownie.
Cafe 83 is also a big part of the community isn’t it?
Yes, during lockdown, we were probably one of the first places to start doing deliveries and takeaways. We also helped people affected by storm Arwin recently. In Kemnay there was no power so we decided to set up a barbecue so we were giving out free food to all the community and we also helped out in Torphins.
Have you got any plans for the future?
Our head chef Matthew Stewart came on board not long ago. We worked together years ago, went our separate paths and came back together for the cafe. We’ve brought him in with the premise that we’re going to look to expand and take on another cafe or bistro and the eventual plan is to have a chain of cafes. We’ve also got an award nomination through for the Best Cafe at the Scottish Business Awards which is exciting.