I had a lovely invite from Simpson’s Hotel and Restaurant in Queens Road, Aberdeen. The request was to review a three course meal for two at an evening sitting. It’s been a long time since the man and I have been out together, so we decided to accept and happily trotted down to the hotel last week for our meal.
The restaurant is big and airy, and boasts an impressive entrance hall from above, with a decorative set of stairs to walk down to the dining area.
There is a side entrance that would suit anyone who needs wheelchair access. The side entrance is also pleasantly done, and not simply an after thought to meet legislation.
We were sat up at the back in a quiet corner, and I have to hold my hand up to burning the menu. It was a very large single sheet menu and I laid it down on the table while I got my phone out of my bag.
Mr Scottish smelled the burning first, and whipped the menu up off the tealight before it went on fire. I didn’t trust myself after that and I put the candle on a table beside us.
Bread and drinks were quickly offered, but we declined the bottle of white and settled on some soft drinks and a couple of pints for Mr Scottish during the evening.
Staff were very attentive and we were looked after for most of the night by the Restaurant Manager on duty, Elliot Virdee.
We were there to try the à la carte menu and we were spoiled for choice. I’m not a heavy shellfish fan, so I chose the soup of the day which was Asparagus and Chestnut. I am a bit of a soup fanatic as I make many varieties, so the combination was intriguing and surprisingly creamy.
There were exotics like Tempura Salt and Pepper Squid, Marinated Orkney Salmon, Shellfish Cocktail and Lobster. Mr Scottish opted for the 4 Creel caught Langoustines, Grilled with Garlic & Lime Butter, but it was a hard decision to make between that and the Lobster. He has decided he is going back, just to try it.
Meals are made to order, and the wait is gratefully received to let each course go down.
I almost played it safe to order the Classic Chicken Caesar Salad which sounded lovely, with Bacon, Anchovies and Quails Eggs, although I would have omitted the Anchovies.
The Caesar Salad is one of the dishes that can be ordered as both a main dish or a starter, so on a future visit, I’d be tempted to try it.
I decided to be a little more adventurous and order the Roast Corn Fed Chicken, with Pancetta, Cranberries, Fondant Potato, Sprout Leaves and Roasting Juice. I was thoroughly pleased with my choice as it was delicious. I hadn’t counted on the sweet taste of the Cranberries complementing the Chicken so well.
Mr Scottish had the 400g Aberdeen Angus T-Bone Steak which is served with Watercress, Shallot Onion Rings and Matchstick Fries. He chose the Wild Mushroom sauce to go with his steak but he could have also picked from Peppercorn or Béarnaise.
After our main courses, we were both quite full. Some fries and green salad made up the whole meal.
Contrary to our previous à la carte experiences, the portion sizes were very good.
Historically, I have always related à la carte to mean tiny portions for a fortune, but that is certainly not what Simpson’s hotel provides. The portion sizes were just right and we had to debate whether we were going to manage a Dessert at all.
Elliot arrived with the Dessert menu just as Mr Scottish mentioned that he fancied something caramelised. The first Dessert on the menu was Caramelised Lemontart with Blackberries, Caramelised Pumpkin Seeds and Blackberry Sorbet, so that’s what he had.
I tried a piece of the Lemontart and can’t help wishing I’d ordered that for myself.
I’d spotted the Hot Chocolate Fondant with Chocolate Sauce and Sour Cherry Ice Cream.
The menu said it takes 20 minutes to prepare, so I had to try it for the factor of simply being unusual. It was lovely and the Sour Cherry Ice Cream was gorgeous.
I couldn’t finish it as it was a bit too much chocolate for me with the fondant and the sauce, but the ice cream was quickly eaten.
We had a lovely evening. The staff were attentive and pleasant, without being obtrusive.
Most of the evening clientele when we were in was situated around hotel occupants, and I would imagine mostly oil industry related people.
I can’t help thinking Aberdeen and our diverse population is missing a trick here.
Midweek couples would do well to have a meal in nice surroundings, be treated well AND have fabulous food at the same time as being able to park easily in a good area of town.
I found prices on the menu very reasonable for the surroundings, service and quality.
For a starter, my gorgeous soup was £5, while Mr Scottish had the Langoustines at £12.
For main meals, options start at £12 with good priced salads and vegetarian choices, with the most expensive at £42 for an Aberdeen Angus Rib on the Bone to share.
Within 10 minutes of being home, Mr Scottish was on the phone to a friend to say his meal was “outstanding” and that he’d be back. That’s a result for my usually very fussy Mr.
Thank you Simpsons for the lovely meal.
We look forward to seeing you again soon.
If you want to treat that someone special in your life, try out Simpson’s for yourself and make a reservation Online, by Telephone, (0)1224 327777, or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.