To think a president of the United States of America owns a hotel near Aberdeen is a little hard to digest at times.
The US President has set roots in the north-east and has invested plenty of time and money into creating a resort that has attracted thousands of people to the area since its inception.
I have to admit that the opportunity to dine in a restaurant he’d been involved in creating – and has probably eaten in – is rather exciting.
Driving out to Balmedie and down the winding yet smooth Menie Estate road at Trump Aberdeen, we passed Macleod House and the newly-opened outdoor activities facilities, and eventually rounded off at the bottom where the golf clubhouse lies.
Within, you will find The Dunes Bar and Restaurant.
It’s a bright, tweed-inspired space which nods to the country. Tartan carpets line the way to the restaurant where we were greeted by a friendly supervisor.
I managed to bag the seat with a view overlooking the golf course and beach dunes – and what a view it was.
Scanning the menu, a number of dishes stood out. Peterhead langoustine tail, Toulouse sausage and mash and the Aberdeenshire Wagyu beef burger were strong contenders for lunch. Consulting my friend who had joined me on the outing, she advised I try the Scotdog.
Intrigued as to how or why a hot dog could cost £17.50, we awaited its arrival.
Some time had passed since ordering. Staring on as other tables – who were in before us – were served, we eagerly eyed up the dishes. Not long afterwards our meals arrived.
The speciality foot-long pork hot dog was massive – much bigger than I’d anticipated.
Topped with Scottish haggis and turnip chutney, the sausage itself was wrapped in a toasted bun. The haggis was delicious and had a beautiful crisp spice to it. The tiny cubes of turnip chutney pieces brought small vibrant pockets of yellow into the dish and melted in your mouth.
The bun was sliced perfectly in half, but the sheer size of the hot dog made it a little difficult to consume with my hands. Opting instead to cut up the hot dog with my cutlery, I tucked into the dish, prioritising everything but the bun.
Served with thin crispy French fries and a mixed salad with vinaigrette drizzled on top, the fries were exactly what I needed to subdue my ravenous cravings. Was the hot dog worth the price tag? It certainly left me feeling full anyway.
My friend ordered the goat’s cheese and pesto sandwich which came served with homemade coleslaw and a side of fries too.
The full sandwich had so much going on in it. Every flavour erupted in her mouth. The goat’s cheese and the sweet onion complemented each other well, and the thick sliced onion made for a lot of chewing – that paired with the starchy, thick toasted slices of bread.
Melting down her fingers, the goat’s cheese engulfed all the other ingredients inside, making it super gooey and delicious – a meal she’d definitely recommend.
Eager to try something sweet, we were presented with the dessert offering. Something chocolatey and sweet was on the cards.
Awaiting the arrival of our desserts, we spotted two deer prancing across the dunes. It was a wonderful sight on a gloomy day, and to experience it right from the comfort of my chair – and in the warmth of the restaurant – was sublime.
My attention was abruptly diverted to our desserts which arrived just as our four-legged friends disappeared over the hill.
Ordering a deluxe hot chocolate each – one with mint and one with vanilla flavouring – the drinks came topped with layers of whipped cream and marshmallows which had started to melt just above the surface of the hot drink. The shot of mint in my drink resonated with the flavours of a box of After Eight chocolates which are usually consumed on Christmas Day. It was perfect. My friend’s vanilla shot was also very tasty with its creamy, smooth flavour.
Upon their arrival, the desserts looked fantastic, although my chocolate ganache looked a little on the small side in comparison to my friend’s hearty original Udny sticky toffee pudding.
A crunchy tuille sat on top of the round chocolate ganache. It wasn’t soft, as I’d envisioned, but was creamy in texture and the milk chocolate flavour danced around my mouth. The salted caramel ice cream paired well with it and, again, added another sweet tasting texture to the dish.
The sticky toffee pudding was lathered in a rich toffee sauce which was incredibly sweet. The sponge itself was moist and chewy and the dollop of vanilla ice cream on the side made every mouthful even tastier. But after a hearty sandwich, my friend was struggling despite the pudding being one of the best she’s tasted.
Unable to finish either of our desserts, we sat full and defeated.
Trump Aberdeen is a picturesque venue, and the views from The Dunes Bar and Restaurant alone are breathtaking. The food at the restaurant is well thought out and executed to the highest standard, and although the venue has this precedence about it, families with children of all ages would be welcome and, more importantly, comfortable. Having never visited for food before, I was excited by the menu and the quality of produce used. It’s clear the Trump team have worked closely together to bring the luxurious and comfortable setting of the restaurant into the kitchen and then on to customers’ plates.
If you’ve never been before, it’s definitely worth the visit.
Address: Trump Aberdeen, Menie Estate, Balmedie
What we had:
- Speciality hot dog – Scotdog
- Goat’s cheese and pesto sandwich
- Sticky toffee pudding
- Chocolate ganache
- 2 x Deluxe hot chocolate – one mint one vanilla