A dreich Aberdeen “summer” evening was instantly cheered up by the warm welcome my dining companion and I received as we walked in to McGinty’s Meal an’ Ale. That set the tone for our whole evening’s experience of staff who were polite, friendly and enthusiastic – just the thing you need to beat the summer-time blues (and greys!) that can be Aberdeen in July.
Service was prompt and we soon got stuck into a Bloody Mary Prawn cocktail for me, and the vegan Crispy Cauliflower Bites for my companion, who is not vegan but who IS a chef….So, you know, occasionally hard to please! She pronounced the Cauliflower Bites “Amazing”, done to al dente perfection, in a crispy batter, with spices and texture that reminded her, somewhat, of fried chicken wings. My Prawn Cocktail held plenty of juicy prawns, in the trademark piquant Marie Rose sauce, all on a nice selection of mixed salad leaves.
My cheffy chum chose one of the Stir Fry Noodle Bowls for her main – with baked salmon fillet; but she could have had crispy chicken strips, or the veggie option, with a choice of Teriyaki or Honey Chilli Sauce. She reported that all components of this dish were beautifully cooked and presented. Beginning to feel like the “Traditional Dad” of the night, I’d plumped for the Homemade Steak Pie, which delivered lots of tender chunks of steak, in a hearty gravy, all happit under a pastry cover. With a pile of chips nae handy (as my own Dad would undoubtedly have said, meaning “lots”!) and two portions of fresh, not frozen, veg, I was almost too satisfied for the sweet menu….But we both ploughed bravely on, in the interests of thoroughly researching the delights of Aberdeen Restaurant Week’s Three Course Dinner for £20 offer. (You’re welcome!)
And we were glad we did, as we shared and sampled two affa fine options….a “Selection of Sorbets”; which simply zinged with flavour and freshness, and would undoubtedly have cleansed our palates had we not also been scarfing into “Waffles An’ Ice cream”, the Banoffee option. This was two big scoops of butterscotch ice cream, perched on a waffle, surrounded by sliced banana and doused in toffee sauce. Just delicious and The Happy Chef and I even convinced ourselves the banana delivered one of our “Five a Day”.
Through a mouthful of pud, my foodie chum declared that “If your granny ever made ice cream, this is what it would taste like!” Which, if you’ve got the right granny, actually sums up our entire evening – comfortable surroundings which are cosy but not old-fashioned; charming staff; food that is both traditional and has a modern twist. So, take your granny, take your cheffy chum, take just your beautiful self – But do get along to McGinty’s this summer.