The foodie favourite event has been extended to run over two weeks, and the public are eating it up.
An event dedicated to celebrating the Aberdeen hospitality industry has seen huge success in its first week with many of the participating venues getting booked up well in advance.
Aberdeen Restaurant Week, which is organised by Aberdeen Inspired, has proven extremely popular with north-east residents with numerous venues left with little availability left for the rest of the final week.
Extended to run over two weeks to support the industry which has experienced a tough seven months during of the coronavirus pandemic, the event will end on the evening of Sunday November 15.
Exclusive Restaurant Week menus have given diners the opportunity to enjoy a fixed price £10 or £20 breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner experience across participating venues. There has also been a range of tasting menus and afternoon tea offerings available.
Getting involved for the first time, catering firm Platter has collaborated with city centre cocktail bar The Tippling House selling out both of its takeover events.
Ashleigh Forbes, owner of Platter, has enjoyed getting her teeth into the event which has seen her step into a commercial kitchen for a pop-up for the first time.
She said: “We were really nervous about our kitchen takeover because this was new territory for us. Running a catering business is completely different from working in a commercial kitchen, and we really didn’t want to let anyone down.
“It was so important to us that we maintain our standards, offering our customers something that both looks and tastes amazing. Doing this under time pressure and in an alien environment was a real challenge, but we enjoyed the rush and it was an experience we won’t forget.
One of Ashleigh’s grazing boards she has previously created.”My mum and brother were in the kitchen alongside me and we worked well together – each playing to our strengths. It meant a lot to have them there with me and although our first takeover wasn’t perfect, I think we did pretty well considering this was unchartered territory.
“Having the event sell out on both nights has been incredible – it’s just another show of support that we’re so grateful for. We really didn’t expect there to be so much interest in it and we’re so grateful to The Tippling House for giving us the experience. Once we get through the madness of Christmas we’ll definitely be thinking of future opportunities to showcase what we can do and are as always, looking to collaborate with other great companies.”
Other venues also fully booked on certain evenings and weekends include The Esslemont, The Braided Fig, Cafe Ahoy and Cafe Boheme to name only a few, and more than 40 eateries including The Sushi Box, The Globe Inn, Chaophraya, Namaste Delhi, Jojo’s Coffee Shop, Cup Tea Salon and Cafe 52 are taking part.
Martin McAualey, owner of Watermelon Catering, has hailed the event a success for his business.Aberdeen Restaurant Week newcomers Cafe Ahoy and Corner Tree Cafe are part of the Watermelon Catering hospitality group, and owner Martin McAuley is delighted his businesses have been involved in the initiative having received positive feedback about his inclusion.
He said: “It has been really good being involved. Corner Tree Cafe has basically been fully booked from Fridays to Sundays and has been fairly busy during the week. Cafe Ahoy has similarly been very popular at the weekend and has been steady during the week.
“I would say it has definitely been a great success for us and the extra week it has been running has certainly benefited us. I’m really glad we took part.”
The autumn event is in collaboration and partnership with VisitAberdeenshire and Aberdeen Journals and takes place at a time when the industry needs help in encouraging diners to come out and dine safely.
Shona Byrne, project manager at Aberdeen Inspired, said: “Aberdeen Restaurant Week has got off to a flying start with most of the restaurants telling us their tables are filling up fast. The extension to make the promotion run over two weeks is delivering real benefits to them as opening hours have been extended a little and people can again enjoy a glass of wine, beer or cocktail with their meal, but still be home safely by the early evening.
“Our city’s restaurants and cafes have worked tirelessly to create safe and welcoming spaces for people from across the city and wider north east to be able to meet and eat. It is really rewarding for them to see people coming back through their doors appreciating what they have done to adapt and showing support to the business and their staff.
“There is still availability and of course we encourage the public to get behind the city centre and show their support for this Aberdeen Restaurant Week and beyond. Our great city has much to offer but it needs the support of its people to thrive.”
For more information and the full line up of participating restaurants to date visit www.aberdeenrestaurantweek.com.