Last week I was invited along to the opening party for another new restaurant – lucky me! This time it wasn’t the opening of a new outpost of a national chain in a large shopping centre, but an independent, local seafood restaurant situated on Union Terrace, in the centre of Aberdeen. Now I bloody love seafood so I had to go check it out.
Rather than the other week’s Carluccio’s opening this was a smaller affair with a steady stream of tasting portions from the menu arriving from the kitchen instead of a never-ending canapés. So we got to try lots of the food that will actually be served day-to-day, which is a much better idea for an opening night if you ask me.
Big bowls of mussels, plates of oysters, piles of fried whitebait, Arbroath smokie fishcakes, beer battered haddock and creamy fish pies were all carried out to the hungry guests. The whitebait was like crack, incredibly addictive. I kept grabbing handfuls like they were peanuts. Aside from the fishy nibbles my standout favourite was the fishcakes. They were just beautiful. Sadly by the time some steamed lemon sole appeared we were so stuffed we could barely eat it.
Now I know my Carluccio’s post ended up being a long article about big chains vs local restaurants and I don’t want to stress these points too much, but Carluccio’s will do OK. It’s a big chain, in a busy centre serving decent food. Every time I’ve walked past it’s been busy. Don’t worry about it.
Rock & Oyster, and other local restaurants like it, deserve us making a bit of effort to get along and check it out. Show a bit of support. You won’t get handfuls of ace local whitebait in Union Square.