I kicked off my experience of Aberdeen Restaurant Week by heading along to Atlantis Restaurant in The Mariner Hotel.
Atlantis is situated along Great Western Road, nice and central with only a short walk away from the city centre and has been a popular choice for seafood lovers for many years.
On arrival, we were greeted by Mike, the manager of Atlantis, and the waiting staff who all made us feel incredibly welcome from the moment we walked in.
My partner and I decided to try out the lunch menu which is primarily a seafood based menu. This seemed fitting within the environment of the marine styled interiors that we were amongst. All around us was the wooden decor, maritime antiques such as a diver's helmet, a ship wheel and a number of other brass artefacts. If seafood isn't your favourite, the dinner menu caters towards everyone so you can still enjoy a great evening at Atlantis.
Mike offered to let us try out the whole lunch menu (a whopping 7 dishes between two of us) so I am able to talk you through the entire lunch menu and share my thoughts.
We started by tasting the three starters of Cullen Skink, Shetland Oysters and Smoked Mackerel Pate.
I had never had Cullen Skink before, which for those that are unaware is a fish soup made with smoked haddock, potatoes, carrots and cream. This was served alongside oatcakes and was glorious. We both found the soup full of flavour and said that Cullen Skink is one of our new restaurant favourites and cannot wait to have it again.
The Shetland Oysters were served upon their shells and topped with pickled samphire, lemon and drizzled with tabasco. Oysters are certainly an acquired taste but with the all the flavours and especially the hit of tabasco sauce, they were really enjoyable. I love spice, so the more the better for me and catered towards my preference perfectly.
Hands down our favourite starter was the Smoked Mackerel Pate. I love pates so I knew this would be a firm favourite of mine even before tried it. Saying that, I'd never had a fish pate before and now I definitely want it again very soon! This was served with toasted Balmoral bread and a dressed salad. The mackerel was flavoursome, delicious and my mouth is watering thinking about it while I type.
There are 4 main courses to choose from on the lunch menu. These are Fresh Mussels Provencal, Grilled Herring in Oatmeal, Hot-smoked Salmon with Orange & Pasta Salad and certainly not least, Fried Calamari Platter.
We began our main course with the Fresh Mussels Provencal which was a hearty portion of mussels in a rich tomato sauce, with onions, garlic, capers and olives, with a serving of fresh, crusty bread. Mussels in tomato sauce is a combination of flavours that work nicely with each other and we both found it very enjoyable. Blair is a big fan of mussels and he couldn't have enough of the dish.
The Hot-smoked Salmon with Orange & Pasta Salad is served exactly as its name would suggest. I tucked into this dish not knowing what type of fish it was and thought the smokey flavour with the fresh crispy salad and pasta was delicious. When I found out it was salmon I was shocked - normally I don't like salmon but I loved this dish and would definitely have it again. Which for me, who has always avoided salmon, is a huge thing.
Next, we were brought over the Grilled Herring in Oatmeal, served with clapshot - a traditional Scottish side made of potatoes and turnip. The melt in your mouth herring paired perfectly with the clapshot and made for an appetising dish we both admired.
To finish our massive 7 course meal, we were served the final main of the Fried Calamari Platter with greek salad and tartar sauce. I am a huge fan of calamari and this did not disappoint. The calamari was fried in different ways which provided a variety of textures and tastes. Their were calamari rings which are how you would normally think of calamari being served, a type of calamari fish finger which were incredibly smooth and smaller hoops of calamari which were crispier than the larger hoops. This was a lovely course that I'd certainly choose to have again.
We both had a brilliant evening at Atlantis enjoying a wonderful selection of foods that I think you will really appreciate. The servICe was great, the food was amazing and the homely atmosphere left us feeling warm, full and excited to come back again to try out more.