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Restaurant Review: Society Lunch Club sinks their teeth into All Bar One

Food to make the mouth water: The chicken katsu curry hit the right spot. Photo by Wullie Marr
Food to make the mouth water: The chicken katsu curry hit the right spot. Photo by Wullie Marr

Food envy spread through the office like wild fire when team Society swapped their usual rolls and crisps for their latest takeaway lunch.

Feeling rather hangry – described by the Oxford English Dictionary as “bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger” -myself and fellow Society writers Jamie and Ellie were on the hunt for fast, budget-friendly and tasty desk top cuisine to devour.

After drooling through their extensive online menu, we eventually settled on All Bar One, speedily submitting our order and preferred order collection time.

Located in Marischal Square, downstairs from Society HQ, collecting the order couldn’t have been easier.

Disclaimer: the following is likely to cause serious food envy and belly rumbles.


The Venue

Sophisticated, stylish and 100% Instagrammable – think exposed brick, decadent decor and bottles of Moet on display – it’s safe to say that All Bar One was the poshest place I’ve ever waited on my takeaway order.

Greeted at the door by a friendly staff member, who said the order would be out in a few minutes, I started to dream about the weekend as I eyed up the colourful mix of bottles on display in their very impressive floor to ceiling bar.

Appearing with a large brown paper bag, I quickly thanked the waiter and hot footed it back to the office.

With delicious smells wafting through the paper bag – yes that was me holding the bag up against my nose – I couldn’t get out of the lift and back into the office fast enough.

The Food

Delicious aromas filling the newsroom, it wasn’t long before a small army of our colleagues suddenly appeared out of nowhere to enquire about our fancy lunch order.

Subtly batting away the vying crowd, we wasted no time in getting fired into the food.

“Oh that’s gorgeous, ” said Ellie as she took her first forkful of her chicken quesadilla.

Describing it as crepe-like in texture, Ellie said she would happily eat the chargrilled tortilla on its own.

Chargrilled to perfection: The quesadilla was packed full of tender chicken, fire-roasted peppers, smoky tomato sauce, cheese and sour cream. Picture by Wullie Marr DC Thomson.

That was until the filling hit her tastebuds.

Packed full of tender pulled chicken breast, fire-roasted peppers, smoky tomato sauce, mature cheddar cheese and sour cream, the quesadilla definitely threw Ellie’s usual packed lunch into the shade.

“The chicken was cooked so tenderly and it wasn’t overly spicy which was lovely,” said Ellie.

“I loved the mix of the chillies, peppers, onions, herbs and the fact that the portion size was perfect.”

Posh lunchtime nosh: All Bar One served up the goods. Picture by Wullie Marr, DC Thomson

The accompanying sour cream and lime – which was a tad under-ripe – also added to the flavour.

Ellie’s only slight gripe was that the menu didn’t say that the quesadilla was served with salad otherwise she wouldn’t have ordered the side salad.

Across the office table, Jamie was also in a food-like trance as he savoured every mouthful of his pad thai.

The vegetarian dish was a sea of rice noodles, free-range egg, pak choi, baby corn, broccoli, sugar snap peas, beansprouts, sweet chilli and pine nuts, served with soy sauce.

Flavour explosion: Jamie loved the mix of textures including the crispy vegetables, soft noodles and crunchy pine nuts. Picture by Wullie Marr, DC Thomson

“The mix of textures was lovely with the soft noodles, crispy vegetables and crunchy pine nuts,” said Jamie.

“The spice was well balanced, it wasn’t overpowering.”

The flavoursome cracker, an added extra with the dish, was also a winner with Jamie.

Prawn cracker-like in appearance with just the right amount of grease, Jamie enjoyed using it to scoop up the noodles.

Abandoning my sandwich in the office fridge, I pushed the lunchtime boat out by ordering a chicken katsu curry.

Oh my word, what a dish.

Not a fan of overly spicy food, the coconut curry sauce was just the right level of heat for me – not too hot and not too mild – and paired with the firecracker chicken breast, it was heaven in a box.

That sticky rice though: The katsu curry filled up Rosemary until tea time. Picture by Wullie Marr, DC Thomson.

And I haven’t even mentioned the steamed sticky jasmine rice which was so good I could eat it on its own.

“How can I make this in the house,” I asked the others as I wolfed it down in lightning speed.

With an extensive “Build My Own” tapas option on the lunch menu, we decided to do a “when in Rome” by ordering the karaage sticky chicken.

Sticky chicken: The kaarage sticky chicken was finger-licking good. Picture by Wullie Marr, DC Thomson.

“Mmmmmmm” we collectively mouthed as the chicken with toasted sesame seeds, chilli, spring onion and chipotle jam hit our palettes.

The Verdict

It’s safe to say we all loved our takeaway lunch from All Bar One.

Coming in at £41.50 it wasn’t the cheapest lunch Society Lunch Club has enjoyed but if you or your colleagues are looking for great takeaway food in the heart of Aberdeen, then this is the place.

To us, it was worth every penny.

Cost: £41.50 for a chicken quesadilla with a cracker, chicken katsu curry, pad thai, side salad and karaage sticky chicken.

Address: 5, Marischal Square, Broad St, Aberdeen

P: 01224 451020

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