There’s something about The Esslemont that I’ve admired ever since my first visit to the stylish restaurant.
Is it the atmosphere? The mouth-watering food? The intriguing decor? Perhaps the hospitable service?
After returning several times to the Union Street venue and always leaving with a gleaming smile on my face, I’ve concluded that it’s certainly a combined effort from all of the above.
Situated on Union Street, the eatery is an ideal pit stop for whatever the occasion, one of those now being for food-goers during Aberdeen Restaurant Week (ARW).
Having narrowly missed out on the event last time around due to opening its doors just weeks after it took place, The Esslemont has upped the ante even further by getting involved at the first opportunity.
Despite the restaurant being one of the new kids on the block when it comes to ARW, I held nothing but sheer confidence that they would deliver.
The news on their involvement meant one thing on my part – inform my boyfriend and arrange our next outing.
This was our fourth venture to The Esslemont, and we share the same level of excitement each and every time we set foot inside.
The pair of us simultaneously feasted our eyes on the charming interiors once again, which comprise chic furnishings, dazzling decor, and quirky artefacts.
Already in awe of the packed restaurant, we gazed upon the two-course lunch menu, which is available at just £10. And for those still feeling a tad peckish, you can opt for a dessert for an additional £5.
The pair of us were looking forward to getting stuck into the array of dishes which feature on the new menu.
For the starter, I opted for houmous – a first for me.
The distinct mention of beetroot in it drew my attention to it as, in my opinion, there’s something about it that seems to just lift a dish.
As for my boyfriend, who considers himself a terrine connoisseur, opted for the pulled pork, duck and baby pear terrine.
It was apparent from the get-go that the plate was exactly what he had hoped for.
As my dining companion sunk his fork into the succulent meat, I eyed up the thin, crispy oatcakes nestled alongside it.
They were perfect for scooping up the creamy dish while a drizzle of balsamic glaze provided yet another interesting flavour. Overall, this was a real highlight.
Unsurprisingly, he had almost cleared the plate by the time I had sampled all of the delicious components on my dish.
Not only was the vibrant houmous both light and fluffy, but there were also hints of tangy lemon as well.
This packed just the right amount of punch and teamed excellently with the slices of pita bread scattered across the plate.
Just like the oatcakes, they allowed the pair of us to scoop up the remains of our starters.
The bar had been set for our second course, which just like the starters, proved very appetising.
My other half was tempted by the egg mayonnaise and grilled chicken open sandwich, while I was eager to sink my teeth into the burger option.
Teamed with corn chips and a peppery rocket salad, my boyfriend grinned from ear to ear as he made his way through his dish.
The sandwich was oozing with juicy tomatoes, crisp lettuce, bacon, sharp mayonnaise and, of course, grilled chicken.
If it weren’t for the corn chips filling a hole in his stomach, I wouldn’t have had the chance to sample the sandwich for myself.
Turning to my dish, there was plenty to go around.
I opted for the mouth-watering Scottish steak burger, and it tasted just as divine as it looked.
My knife glided through the meat, which was accompanied by a generous helping of salad and crumbly haggis.
Topped with creamy cheese that was also perfect for dipping my fluffy chips into, I couldn’t fault it.
Extremely full, the pair of us reluctantly decided to call it quits. But with the dessert options including sticky toffee pudding and salted caramel filed profiteroles, I’m unsure how we were capable of refusing.
In usual fashion, The Esslemont left my dining companion and I feeling satisfied.
It’s a gem in the middle of the city, providing a fantastic place for those in need of a refreshing tipple or memorable dining experience.
It’s clear the food is prepared with passion. As for the service, this has and continues to be second-to-none, as well.
If you’re yet to sample The Esslemont, then why not try out the Aberdeen Restaurant menu during your first trip.
One thing’s for sure, you’ll be planning your next visit in a flash.