Foodies in the north-east are in for a treat over the next two weeks as Aberdeen Restaurant Week officially gets under way.
The week-long event has been extended to run for a fortnight and sees more than 30 eateries from across the city take part.
Having opened up the opportunity to take part to businesses outside of the BID area, organisers Aberdeen Inspired are delighted to see venues signing up to take part for the first time.
Running until Sunday November 15, the public will have the opportunity to try out a fixed price £10 or £20 breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner experiences across participating venues. There is also a range of tasting menus, afternoon tea offerings available, too.
More than 30 eateries including Koi Thai, The Braided Fig, Mackies 19.2, Kirk View Cafe & Bistro, Da Vinci’s Italian Restaurant, 210 Bistro, Cafe Boheme have already signed up.
The autumn event, which supports the hospitality sector and is in collaboration and partnership with VisitAberdeenshire and Aberdeen Journals, will take place at a time when the industry needs help in encouraging diners to come out and dine safely.
The industry has struggled over the past seven months as restrictions aimed at reducing the spread of coronavirus continue to take their toll.
Aimee Reid, director of the Pinehurst Lodge in Dyce is delighted to get the chance to showcase her business as part of the event.
Based outside the BID area and the immediate city centre, Aimee says the opportunity will hopefully entice new customers to the hotel which boasts a restaurant and whisky bar.
She said: “We’ve not been able to get involved before so it is great to be able to get involved, especially after everything that has happened this year. We’ll have lunch and dinner available, but we’ve also added brunch. We haven’t really done brunch before, but we decided to open right through.
“Hopefully we’ll see some new faces, as well as regular customers coming through the door. It will also help keep the staff busy and motivated. We took part in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme during October for a few days before local lockdown and it was great to be busy so we’re hoping we will be busy across the next two weeks, too.”
The latest Scottish Government restrictions, which are in place from today (Monday November 2), see a new five-tier system come into place, with Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire placed in Level 2.
As a result venues can now operate inside until 8pm and outside until 10.30pm. Alcohol can be served outside, but can only be served inside with a main meal.
In the city centre, Adrian Gomes, owner of cocktail bar The Tippling House, is looking forward to welcoming diners back into his venue to enjoy quality drinks having been unable to serve them recently due to Scottish Government restrictions.
He said: “We are delighted to welcome back Aberdeen Restaurant Week, this time a fortnight-long celebration of the city’s food and drinks culture.
“Our chef Ian has put together a delicious five-course tasting menu, which starts off with a gift from the bartenders, what we like to call an ‘amuse booze’. In addition, we have a two-night kitchen takeover by local catering firm Platter on Wednesday November 4 and 11, and our weekly date night on Tuesdays with The Sushi Box restarts this week and will take place every Tuesday after that.”
The McGinty’s Group has been involved the event, which aims to shine a light on the wide variety of food establishments in the city, since it first launched in 2018.
Jillian Miller, sales and marketing director, said: “The McGinty’s Group has participated in Aberdeen Restaurant Week since its inception and we have always found it to be very successful for our venues. This time we have four venues taking part with £10 and £20 menus on offer so people can enjoy delicious food at a great price and in a safe environment.
“At this challenging time, local eateries need the support more than ever so we would really encourage people to come out with their loved ones to try out the special menus as it really will help to support our industry and hard-working staff.”
Shona Byrne, Aberdeen Inspired project manager, added: “With almost 40 city restaurants and cafes to geared up to take part in Aberdeen Restaurant Week, the festival looks set to be as popular as ever with north-east diners.
“It’s really rewarding to see so many restaurants and cafes involved, they have had so much to deal with over the past few months, we really applaud their ability to adapt and change and keep customers happy.
“Operating safely and within the restrictions has been front and centre for all those involved and it’s a real testament to those businesses and their staff that they have put together offers which allow people to meet and eat safely at a time when opportunities to do so are restricted.
“From afternoon teas to tasting menus we hope that the public will show their support and get out and about and enjoy all that the two weeks have to offer.”
For more information and the full line up of participating restaurants to date visit www.aberdeenrestaurantweek.com