It’s that time of year that every foodie who knows the score has been waiting for; Restaurant week is finally here and it’s going to be a great one.
In case you still aren’t sure, you can read all about it in my ARW 2019 blog post which explains it all.
As a Restaurant Week ambassador in partnership with Aberdeen Inspired, I basically have the best job in the world in that I get to go try out delicious food at participating venues and report back to you lovely lot all about it… It’s a hard life, I know!
This time I was lucky enough to visit the lovely Cafe Harmony, a cosy Mediterranean trattoria located in the heart of the city centre on Bon Accord Terrace, just a minutes walk from Union Street.
Stepping in to Cafe Harmony, it was warm and inviting, a welcome retreat from the icy cold outside and the friendly greeting from staff set the tone for the night. With an eclectic decor and unique details everywhere you look, it feels homely yet authentic.
The dairy bucket lamps were a particular highlight for a home decor obsessive such as myself.
I’ve actually been dying to try this restaurant for some time now, but have failed to get a booking a couple of times – surely a testament to the popularity of this eatery, so get your ARW booking in quickly! The lure has always been with the boasts of fresh local produce and extensive vegetarian options.
Here’s a wee peek at the Restaurant week menu…
For me it’s so important that any business I support has a moral stance of some sort, and Cafe Harmony embodies this perfectly. Here’s what they have to say about their values :
“Our ethos is simple…
At Cafe Harmony we are dedicated to and passionate about showcasing the incredible artisan food and drinks producers in the North East of Scotland. We strive to source as much of our produce from as close to the restaurant as possible, not only to reduce the negative impact on the environment, but also to support our local economy, which we care so dearly about.”
You really can’t ask for much more than that.
After viewing the menu I was positively salivating at the thought of getting some fresh, tasty Italian food in my belly, and we were thankful for the prompt arrival of the starters.
It was a tough choice as I was super tempted by the hummus, (I mean how often do you get more than one decent veggie option for a starter? Not often I can tell you!) but I opted for the bruschetta and the other half went for the Calamari.
Concasse Tomato Bruschetta
The Bruschetta was fresh and fragrant, with bold garlic and olive oil flavours bursting through. The thing I loved most about this was the healthy feel created by the plethora of different chopped veg piled high on to each little toast. The portion was large, but Grant benefited from this by taking care of anything that I couldn’t manage; it really is fabulous value for money.
As for the Calamari, Grant deemed it light and perfectly cooked, and loved the twist of the giant nacho that the calamari was stacked upon. The homemade tartar sauce was the perfect accompaniment, sharp and citrusy.
With clear plates all round, the starter was a definite success.
Once again it was great to have more than one vegetarian option to choose from here. To satisfy my carb craving I went for the Tagliatelle and Grant went for the veggie lasagne.
Tagliatelle alla Norma
I rarely order anything but pasta from an Italian, there’s just something about fresh pasta that tastes so much better, and the tagliatelle did not disappoint. This dish had a really unique twist in that the top layer of pasta was wrapped in soft aubergine, concealing a generous layer of tangy ricotta, which I absolutely loved! The ricotta was lovely and melty, and the flavourful sauce was packed with sun dried tomatoes and other fresh veg, all topped with a decent whack of fresh basil which gave the whole dish a beautiful fresh taste. This is a dish that I would definitely order again.
Obviously I had to sample Grant’s lasagne too, and I’m going to make a very bold statement about what I thought of it here…This is not only the best veggie lasagne I’ve ever tasted, but the best lasagne I’ve had FULL STOP.
I know, it’s quite the statement to make, but believe me, I’ve eaten more lasagne than Garfield in my time, and this genuinely does rank the highest.
The moment you bite in to a chunk of this little beauty, you are met with layers of gooey mozzarella, aromatic rocket pesto, and super rich sun dried tomato and aubergine sauce.
Not gonna lie, despite thoroughly enjoying my own main, I was pretty envious of the fact that Grant got to devour the majority of this one. This dish really is a triumph, and one that I would return for time and time again.
I was fairly full by this point but it would have been rude not to have sampled the desserts, especially given that you’re getting all three courses for an incredible £20. Feeling like a light option, I selected the sorbet and Grant went for the Tiramisu.
Mango and Sicilian lemon sorbets
These no fuss desserts really hit the spot and finished off the meal perfectly. The simple presentation let the flavours really shine through, and the icy blast of the mouthwateringly citrusy lemon sorbet was exactly what I needed to cleanse my pallet of all of the rich flavours that we’d previously enjoyed.
Not being a coffee fan, I didn’t try the Tiramisu, but I’ll take Grant’s word for it that it was creamy, heady and satisfying.
With bellies full of hearty and authentic Mediterranean food and wine, we left Cafe Harmony already talking of our inevitable return visit for another helping of THAT lasagne.
Make sure to check out Cafe Harmony along with all of the other incredible restaurants involved with restaurant over at the Aberdeen Restaurant Week website. Don’t forget that Restaurant week is running from the 4th to the 10th of February, so get those bookings in ASAP to avoid missing out.
P.s. This post is an AD, but as always all views are genuine!