Boozy brunching at the bobbin [ad/guest]

Boozy brunches are most definitely the flavour of the moment, and quite rightly so if you ask me, because there really is no better way to spend a Sunday – or any given day for that matter! Whether it’s a leisurely catch up with friends, or more of a necessity in order to refuel after a bit of a rowdy night out, delicious brunch treats and refreshing cocktails are always the ultimate combination.

When the Bobbin asked me to go along and try out their boozy brunch offer, sampling not just one, but EVERY SINGLE item on the menu, I had to pinch myself and check that I wasn’t still in the midst of a lazy weekend morning dream. Drafting up some recruits – i.e. a gang of hungry pals – to cover all angles, we set off on a Sunny Sunday morning to check it out. Challenge accepted! All in the name of research of course…


The rise of the boozy brunch has been a swift and steep one, with everyone from the ‘ladies that lunch’ crowd to the penny pinching student masses wanting in on the action, and the options on offer locally are expanding rapidly. In true Bobbin style, they have created not just a quirky menu that caters to any and all with a passion for breakfast goods, but also an offer that not only rivals, but stomps all over the majority of others I’ve come across so far.

For just £20 per person you’ll receive one brunch item plus up to SIX boozy or soft drinks – now how’s that for a deal?! You can choose from a range of tasty cocktails, refreshing prosecco or even a selection of cool and crisp beer or cider. It really is an absolute steal of a deal! Highlights from the no frills cocktail menu include the Aperol Spritz – a firm favourite of mine for inducing memories of sun-shiny mornings from holidays gone past, and the Raspberry cooler, which is basically summer in a glass. 

Feel like something a little fancier? Your group can choose to upgrade for £10 per person to a selection of premium cocktails such as an Espresso Martini, which will sure as hell beat your usual morning coffee.


Whether you’re a sucker for a sweet treat or if you’re all about the savoury snacks, there’s an awesome selection for everyone. Full Scottish breakfasts available in both meaty and veggie, come plated full to the brim with all of the classics. The tattie scones and crunchy hash brown bars on the veggie serve are a must for that salty carb fix.

You’ll find a welcome change from the usual pancake or waffle stacks that seem to dominate most brunch menus at the moment, in the form of tasty crumpet stacks – and who doesn’t love crumpets?! Available in a vegan friendly jackfruit, cheese and avocado, or with pulled pork, avocado, cheese and egg. The flavour combinations of these were on point, but my one wee gripe would be that if you’re going to do avo, it really needs to be fresh, unfortunately ours was brown and unappetising and so didn’t get eaten.

Personally I’d be happy to eat Brunch all day every day, and at the Bobbin, you actually can! Unlike some venues where bookings are limited to weekends, one of the greatest things about the Bobbin’s boozy brunch is that it’s available every single day from 11am to 4pm, so for those of us that like a more leisurely start to the day this is ideal.

I know that while for some, tucking in to a full brekkie at 3pm is the dream, its not everyone’s cup of tea, but this menu means that if brinner isn’t your thing, you don’t need to miss out on all of the fun.

Also available are breakfast Quessadillas and even burgers; you can pile ’em high for the meat lovers with ‘The Melt Burger’ smothered in bacon, cheese and bbq sauce or ‘Keep it simple’ with the vegan burgers in a choice of ‘no beef’ or ‘Louisiana Chick’n’. I quickly scranned my way through the ‘Chick’n’ burger which was crisp and nicely seasoned, it really hit the spot, especially thanks to the mound of skinny fries on the side.

All about the sharers….

It’s no secret that my favourite food is all the food. Seriously, the more I can fit on to a plate the better. I absolutely love digging in to a big sharer plate with the other half or with friends, there’s something about the shared experience that just makes me happy.

For just an extra £5 per person, you can upgrade to either a sweet or a savoury sharing platter.

“Crumpets topped with bacon and
maple syrup, sugar ring donuts topped
with Oreo® cookies, sweet potato fries
topped with salted caramel sauce and
marshmallows, fresh strawberries,
rainbow chocolate drops, cookie dough
bites and Lotus Biscoff® biscuits with
Nutella® hazelnut spread, Belgian
chocolate sauce and salted caramel sauce.”

“Crumpets topped with bacon and maple syrup,
Cumberland sausages, hash brown bars, ’nduja-pork-
topped nachos and marinara pork meatballs topped
with jalapeños and sweet & sour onion, with toasted
brioche bread, cheesy baked beans, guac and salsa”

I’ll start by saying that I’d be absolutely over the moon if the breakfast sharer was available in a veggie alternative (veggies like to share too!) but thankfully our meat eating pals were more than happy to oblige in putting it to the taste test on our behalf, and the verdict was a resounding success.

While meatballs and nachos may seem a little unconventional for a breakfast platter, this would make an ideal snack selection for those middle of the day meet-ups. The Marinara pork meatballs were without a doubt the winning dish of the day, with our taste testers raving about how flavoursome and delicious they were. The ‘nduja pork topping on the nachos also went down a treat, bringing a little heat to this plate full of brunch based delights.

Thankfully we were able to get fully stuck in to the sweet platter, managing to simply avoid the bacon and marshmallows and firing in to the selection of delicious donuts and array of toppings and dips. I mean bowls of salted caramel, cookie dough and chocolate sauce with sweet sugary Oreo adorned donuts? It’s a huge yes from me! Sure it was total sugar overload, but on a Sunday who the hell cares.

After working our way through as much as physically possible of this brunch banquet, and let’s face it, ending up slightly tipsy, we left having had an awesome day at the Bobbin.

The sharing platters came out on top as our number one must-try recommendation, but there’s nothing on the menu that I wouldn’t advise giving a go. This is tasty, no frills, casual dining at its best, and in terms of value for money, I guarantee that you won’t find a better deal in Aberdeen, so what are you waiting for? Grab some pals and go book your boozy brunch at the Bobbin now, good times and great eats guaranteed!

Until next time,

B x

* This meal was very kindly gifted, but as always all views are my own.


When I use the phrase ‘the most wonderful time of the year’, I really mean it. For me, there’s no time more magical than Christmas – from the fact that mulled wine and party food become a completely acceptable meal replacement on a nightly basis, to wearing a tacky Christmas jumper and getting a little too merry at the work Christmas party, I love every single moment of it.

For me though, the part that really makes it wonderful, is the giving (and let’s be honest, the receiving) of a gift that some one has put a world of thought in to, just to make someone else feel special. There’s nothing quite like seeing the sheer joy on the face of someone you love when you’ve hit the nail right on the head and chosen a gift that speaks to their soul, and that they’ll never forget.

Here’s the thing though, we’re all just SO BUSY these days, and the lure of grabbing a black Friday bargain during a quick online trawl over your meal deal on your lunch break is just far too tempting to resist for most.

Have you ever stopped to consider how much better you’d feel about gifting someone the perfect present, if that present not only came completely guilt free, but also came safe in the knowledge that you were actually benefitting people in your very own area who actually really need help, simply by buying that present?

Fortunately for you lucky things, Buy Social Scotland are here to help you shop as ethically as possible this Christmas. They’ve compiled a fabulous gift directory that focuses solely on supporting social enterprises all over Scotland.

What exactly is a social enterprise?

“Social enterprises are innovative, independent businesses that exist to deliver a specific social and/or environmental mission. Their profits are reinvested in their mission. Social enterprise is a dynamic, ethical and more sustainable way of doing business.”

Quite simply put, a social enterprise is a small business with a goal of making the world a better place, any profits they make are reinvested directly back in to their mission, and the best part is, there are a whole host of them right on your doorstep.

If the last couple of years have taught us anything, it’s the importance of supporting local, and by buying from a social enterprise, you’re not only supporting an individual business owner, you’re supporting whole communities.

With over 6000 social enterprises in Scotland alone, it can be hard knowing where to start, but thanks to the Buy Social Scotland gift directory, you have a selection of some of the most amazing vendors just a click away. To make it even easier for you, I’ve put together a few of my top picks for all of your gifting needs, so read on for all of the gift inspo you could possibly need!


Non plastic beach – Razor with blades – £19.50

Even the most hairy men in our lives are getting wise to the fact that plastic waste is a serious issue, so when it comes to shaving, there are steps that can be taken to help us all live more sustainably.

This plastic free safety razor set non only looks classy as a shaving set (which lets face it, is a classic gift for dads/hubbies/men everywhere!), but by buying this your man can look as suave as Bond without a hint of the guilty conscience that comes with purchasing disposable razors that typically end up in land fill every time. Win win!


Mara Stud Earrings by Isle Develop – £55

Is buying jewellery for women at Christmas a complete cliché? Absolutely. When the jewellery is this gorgeous do we give a damn? Absolutely not.

These absolutely stunning hand crafted fresh water pearl earrings are inspired by days of beach combing on the Scottish coast, and each pair will be unique, just like the wonderful woman in your life that you are gifting them to (cringe, I know, but true all the same).

The Social Enterprise that backs this charming producer Islewear is Isle 20, who are a directory supporting small island businesses.


The Chocolate Box by Social bite – £10.99 – £15.99.

…because which self proclaimed foodie wouldn’t want to receive a box of freshly made, gooey gorgeous brownies?! With a selection of delectable treats in flavours such as white chocolate and raspberry and chocolate orange being delivered right to your door, this is the ideal gift for, well, just about anyone really!

Born in Edinburgh, but now boasting five shops including one in our very own Aberdeen, Social Bite are a small chain of sandwich shops who’s primary aim is to break the cycle of homelessness. They provide supported job opportunities, with one in three of their employees having experienced homelessness in one way or themselves, and since March 2020 alone have provided 500,000 fresh food packs to those most in need, which if you ask me, is pretty flippin’ impressive.


Gift Vouchers for transition Extreme – £7.50 – £40.

Know someone small that spends more time on wheels than on their feet? Or that has always wanted to? Transition offer vouchers for everything from a skate park session to a one-on-one BMX coaching session. I guarantee your kid/niece/grandson will think you’re the coolest person ever with a gift like this.

Transition Extreme is an amazing youth focused charity, providing sporting activities to young people with the goal of reducing things like substance abuse and antisocial behaviour


Christmas Goodwill Spiced Gin, 50 cl – £36.99.

Gin that tastes like Christmas? I know I’m sold! This limited edition gin produced in Dingwall is not only a deliciously spiced tipple guaranteed to jazz up a cocktail at any Christmas party, but by buying this you are supporting true community spirit.

Goodwill gin, produced in Ben Wyviss in the Highlands, is the first ever 100% community owned distillery. Drinking GlenWyvis is also just about the most eco-conscious you could feel while getting a bit boozy with the distillery being entirely powered by wind, hydro, solar and biomass energy – How cool is that?!


Bambu Vegan’s Dream Gift Set – £36.99.

With everything that the planet saving, animal loving, eco warrior could need to live their best sustainable life. Featuring vegan wax food wraps, a bamboo toothbrush, and even reuseable cotton buds, this is the ideal gift for those trying to live a zero-waste existence.

The aim of Bambú is simple: to make a positive impact on the environment, healthcare and community by providing wholesome foods and eco-friendly products with less packaging.

With over 200 options on the Buy Social Scotland website alone, you really are spoiled for choice, so be sure to check it out, and buy a gift that is truly unique this Christmas. Buy a gift with purpose.

Have a fabulous festive season everybody.

Until next time,

B x

*This post was created in paid partnership with Buy Social Scotland.


Ah Restaurant week. I don’t think that it’s an exaggeration to say that bar maybe Christmas and Halloween, it’s the best time of the year. When else can go out and indulge in some unadulterated gorging almost every night for a fortnight because it’s just too good an opportunity not to?! Let’s not forget that we have some serious making up to do in terms of eating out locally after the last couple of years. Restaurant Week, along with the rest of the world, inevitably had to put many of their plans on hold, so entering in to my my third year as an ARW ambassador, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’m diving in to this one head first, and coming out several pounds heavier on the other side.

In the extremely unlikely event that you’re fresh off a rocket from the moon and have never heard of ARW, let’s get you up to speed.

Bianually, the wonderful people over at Aberdeen Inspired work their socks off to round up some of our most loved restaurants and cafes, along with a host of brand new ones and some hidden gems too, to bring you the same amazing offers for a joyous two weeks of eating until you pop. In the past the united deal on offer has always been two lunch courses for £10, and three dinner courses for £20. Pretty amazing, right?! As if that wasn’t quite incredible enough, you can now also find deals on various offers such as tasting menus, afternoon teas, cocktail classes, and lots more!

After what has been a testing couple of years to say the least for our local hospitality industry, with many of our favourite eateries even having been forced to close their doors, it’s more important now than ever that we get out there and ensure that the Aberdeen food scene continues to thrive. For a couple of weeks (and hopefully long beyond), let’s get off the sofa, ditch the takeaways and make your way to one of the incredible participating venues and show them some love.

Deliverwho? Nah, it’s Aberdeen Restaurant Week pals.

Namaste delhi…

As per all of the previous years that I have been involved, I’m here not only to bring you the scoop on where to find the best deals, but also to bring you a full and honest review of one of the restaurants taking part. This year I was delighted to have been assigned to Namaste Delhi, one of Aberdeen’s most well known Indian restaurants. Serving up traditional Indian cuisine in the unique form of either tapas style, or à la carte dishes, they boast a menu that is guaranteed to please no matter what your taste may be.

The offers available here are either the £20 menu, which includes two courses plus a rice or naan, or Cocktail classes (£50 for 2) and Cookery classes (£75 for 2). While the other options sound fabulous and would make wonderful group activities for a really different and special night out, it was always going to be the sit-down menu for me.

Arriving at the modernly decorated and atmospheric venue, we were warmly greeted by our fabulous server Tom, who it became immediately apparent was super passionate about this business. The menu was explained to us, with details such as the fact that dishes are labelled ‘dry’, ‘semi-dry’ and ‘curry’ to give a clear expectation of the sauciness of your chosen dish. In the resounding words of Tom when speaking of his travels and experience with Indian cuisine, “If you can’t eat it with a naan, it’s not a curry!”.

The cocktail menu was also pointed out, and given that one of the offers available at Namaste this ARW is a cocktail making class, we felt that it was our public duty to try a couple out and report back…

The verdict was very quickly in by the way – they were absolutely fantastic! Expertly prepared and full of flavour, it was refreshing to see a more gourmet selection of drinks on offer rather than the usual beers/wines etc. I highly recommend the ‘Love from Delhi’, made with Plymouth gin, chambord and a ‘dash of love’.

Soon we were met with some poppadums accompanied by a selection of zingy and taste-bud tantalising chutneys to nibble on while we deliberated our menu choices. I was so impressed by these alone that I could tell we were in for a real treat with the rest of our meal.

The starters…

Pictured: Delhi Chilli Paneer (dry) & Amritsari Fish Pakora (dry)

Delhi Chilli Paneer (dry) (V) (mild)

To say that we were spoiled for choice would be an understatement. Often during Restaurant Week you’ll find that an understandably more limited set menu will be on offer, but Namaste are really pushing the boat out with the extensive range still on offer – I thought I’d be there choosing all day! With a heavy focus of vegetarian and vegan dishes (but with plenty for the meat eaters too), this menu was right up my street.

Just about anything featuring paneer is good in my books, so the Dehli Chilli Paneer was a must for me, and what an excellent choice it turned out to be! When the super-sized portion arrived looking glorious with it’s gorgeous garnish, my mouth instantly began to water. Packed with flavour and bringing a beautifully warming chilli heat, the chunks of marinated paneer adorned with lots of sticky and sweet onions and peppers seriously hit the spot. I’m already planning my next trip just to order this dish again, it was THAT good.

Amritsari Fish Pakora (dry) (spicy)

For the fish lovers out there, this starter is a must try. These crisp white fish filled morsels were just deep fried chunks of heaven. Coated in a delectably spiced batter and fried to perfection, I defy anyone to eat the whole plate and still be left wanting more out of sheer gluttony alone. Served with a slice of lemon and crisp lettuce, the it was light and refreshing despite the spice. The only thing that could have improved the dish just ever so slightly for me is if it was served with a yogurt or something for dipping, but then again I’m an absolute sucker for a bit of food lube with just about anything, so maybe that’s just me! Luckily we had kepy hold of those tasty chutneys that came with the poppadums which did the job very nicely.

The mains…

Pictured: Mutter Pulao, Paneer Butter Masala (semi dry), Peshwari naan, Masala Chips, Prawn Moilee (curry)

Paneer Butter Masala (semi-dry) (V) (mild)

Paneer again? You betcha! Because if you ask me you can never have too much of a good thing. It’s been about seven years since I last ate meat, but we all have that one thing that you occasionally reminisce about, and for me it’s a really delicious butter chicken, so to see an alternative ‘butter’ style option on the menu had me jumping for joy. I may be missing something in the ‘semi-dry’ description of this one, because the juicy chunks of paneer were enveloped in lashings of rich, creamy sauce that brought the satisfying sweetness of butter; for me this was comfort food at it’s best. Three words: Yum, yum and YUM.

Prawn Moilee (curry) (mild)

As what you would technically class as pescatarians, we usually like to sample a prawn option when it comes to Asian cuisine, and consider the measure of a well executed meal to be a perfectly cooked prawn. Namaste absolutely nailed this one, with large succulent prawns swimming in an exquisite coconut milk, garlic and turmeric based curry sauce, that left the mouth watering and the belly feeling warm and satisfied. This is definitely the crowd pleaser of the menu, with it’s sweet and mild yet luscious flavour.

Our chosen accompaniments were Mutter Pulao, a spiced basmati rice garnished with peas and onions (which I would have happily eaten as a dish on it’s own!) and Peshwari naan, which was had a freshly baked crisp deliciousness, and was stuffed with sweet desiccated coconut, just divine.

Because we are absolute gluttons, and had made the mistake of spotting the ‘Masala Chips‘ while perusing the regular menu, we were unable to resist ordering these as an extra side, and boy am I glad we did. Perfectly crunchy chips coated in a fierey masala seasoning, these were just fabulous, and perfect for dipping in to your curry sauce.

Eyes bigger than our bellies? 100%. Any regrets? Absolutely none.

After this veritable feast and with bellies full of some of the finest Indian food I have come across in Aberdeen, we rolled home having experienced the most enjoyable night thanks to the epic hospitality and immaculate service at Namaste. Chatting all the way about how we couldn’t wait to return and and already discussing all of the friends and family that we would be urging to return with us, it’s safe to say that I highly recommend that you get yourself along there to try it out as soon as possible too.

To check out the full ARW menu on offer from Namaste Delhi, head to their page on the Aberdeen Inspired Website HERE.

Don’t forget to hit up the full list of participating restaurants HERE, and get booking NOW to avoid missing out, because this is guaranteed to be a busy one!

Aberdeen Restaurant Week runs from the 1st to the 14th November. Hope over to Instagram and check out out the hashtag #ARW2021 to see all of the latest goings on, and remember to always #SUPPORTLOCAL.

Until next time, happy eating!

B x


I’m genuinely quite ashamed to admit that since the opening of Koi Thai just over a year ago, it’s taken me until this week to actually pay a visit – especially given that it’s about a minute and a half’s walk from my front door.

Sure we have lockdown to take in to account, but given the buzz that has surrounded this fabulous restaurant located right in the heart of Rosemount since it made it’s debut back in September 2019, I feel like my status as a supposed foodie should officially be revoked for having somehow bypassed it until now.

With Aberdeen Restaurant Week back in full swing and with myself returning as an ARW ambassador to help spread the good word to the food lovers of Aberdeen about where to find the best eats in town, I always make a point of visiting the places that I’ve yet to frequent to try something new – I mean isn’t that the whole point? You’d better believe that Koi Thai was at the top of my list when given the option of where we fancied heading to review for you lovely lot, needing no further incentive than that they, along with loads of other partcipating venues, have three fantastic courses on offer for just £20.

Having gazed through the windows spying the swathes of content diners’ faces whenever I have passed by, it’s always been obvious that Koi Thai boasts a pretty spectacular interior, but its’s not until you actually set foot through the door that you appreciate the extent of the effort that has been put in to the design. Giving an air of true authenticity that transports you away from the bustling but grey streets of Rosemount, to what could could be the centre of a vibrant marketplace in Bangkok.

From the tin roofs with suspended lighting and the street food cart inspired bar area giving you real market place feels, to the beautiful Asian design detailing with murals of elephants and even a giant Buddha on the walls, this really is a beautiful place to enjoy a great meal.

It’s not surprising in the slightest that when the Koi Thai owners made the move from being take away only to restaurant based that they were an instant hit with their existing following based on the merit of their food offering, but with a venue like this is also easy to see why customers were flocking in from the off.

The food…

Now it’s no secret that Restaurant Week is not only a time support your local food scene, but it’s also the ultimate excuse to over-indulge, which was clearly going to be the outcome of our visit here given the extent of the delectable menu items on offer.

Welcomed to our table with complimentary prawn crackers (an instant win in my book!) and a warm greeting from our bubbly server which included a full explanation of the menu and how everything could be adapted to your preferences, we were buzzing to get stuck in. The spice lovers amongst you will be delighted to know that you can up (or lower) the spice level of any main dish depending on how brave you’re feeling.

Tod Mun Khao Poad (G,S,E)

“Deep fried sweet corn blended in red curry paste, served with sweet chilli sauce.”

It’s not an exaggeration when I say that I could eat about a hundred of these tasty little corn cakes. Differing from a classic sweetcorn fritter, these have the most more-ish crispy coating, while the filling holds on to it’s juicy sweetness. For me the dipping sauce really made this a stand-out starter; rather than sweet and sticky, it was light and fresh with just the right hit of chilli to get the tongue tingling. This is definitely a starter I’d order time and time again.

Spring Rolls (G,V)

“Handmade Thai Style Spring Rolls served with sweet chilli sauce.”

Quite possibly the tastiest spring rolls I’ve ever had? I think so! The filling was fresh, fragrant and full of classic thai aromatics and finely julienned veg that quite frankly crapped all over most of the spring rolls full of indistinguishable mystery mush that I’ve had in my time. Encased in light crisp pastry without a hint of excess oiliness, these really were a delight to eat. The same sweet chilli dipping sauce mentioned above was once again the perfect accompaniment.

Panaeng Curry (F,G) 

“The famous Thai curry cooked in Panaeng Curry paste, Kaffir lime leaves, pepper and coconut milk.”

The fab thing about all of the mains on offer at Koi Thai is that with each delicious option you get the choice of chicken, pork, tofu to customise your main. Since I had opted for the famously flavoursome Panaeng curry, I decided that veg would be the best choice to let the flavour of the sauce shine, and boy did it shine! Singing of sharp lemongrass, sweet coconut and punchy spicing (this is a two chilli rated dish), the sauce was tantalising and rich, but not overpowering. The zingy, aniseedy Thai basil garnish really finished completed the flavour profile beautifully.

With a choice of jasmine rice or noodles to accompany your dish, I had chosen noodles, which was a bit of a rooky error as the curry sauce is not a thick one and would really benefit from having some rice to soak it up, but my ingrained hatred of the scent of Jasmine held me back from making the right choice. Side-note: I tried Grant’s jasmine rice out of curiosity and it was truly tasty and not at all like that jasmine perfume that used to give me the fear. Idiot.

Anyway, this was a seriously appetising plate – my only complaint being that the portion was too big too finish!

Gaeng Massaman – Thai Massaman Curry (F,G,N) 🌶

“Mild curry cooked with potatoes and onion in creamy coconut curry sauce.”

​With a much sweeter and more subtle flavouring, the Massaman curry is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, the Korma of thai cooking if you will. Low in spice but abundant in fresh flavours, the thick creamy sauce lent itself perfectly to Grant’s tofu selection – which incidentally was also cooked to perfection. The coconut flavour was predominant but tastes of cinnamon and galangal also came through for a lovely warming flavour. As predicted following my previous tasting, the jasmine rice was the perfect addition. You live and learn, right?!

Sticky toffee pudding with ice cream

After the mighty feed that we had received with the first two courses, I knew that dessert was going to be a struggle, but when sticky toffee pudding on the menu caught my eye I knew I would give it my best shot. This might not be the most traditional Thai dessert, but it’s one of my absolute favourites so I’m hard pushed to resist one on any menu.

I don’t think anything could have prepared me for the sheer size of the gargantuan slice that was presented to me, what a whopper! Coated in sumptuous sweet sticky sauce, the pudding itself was moist and rich without being too dense and heavy, and even the luxuriously smooth vanilla ice cream was divine. I’m almost embarrassed to say that I near enough demolished the whole thing, it was just that damn tasty.

Banana Fritters with Coconut Milk

Expecting the batter covered bananas soaked in syrup that you often see in Chinese cuisine, we were pleasantly surprised to see something a little different emerge. The chef who came out to chat to us after our meal (always a lovely touch) explained that these were a special variety of Thai banana, which explained by they kept their shape and bite beautifully. The texture was satisfyingly chewy thanks to the candied outer, and the coconut sauce that surrounded them made this just a dream to eat.

We can’t thank Koi Thai enough for our amazing meal here. The combination of outstanding food and immaculate and genuinely friendly service left me sure that it won’t be long before we return again.

Don’t forget that the Restaurant Week menu is available right through until the 15th November, so I would advise booking in right away if you want to snap up a table this week. Head to the Koi Thai website or give them a call on 01224 478900 to get booked in. They are offering two lunch courses for £10 and three dinner courses for £20.

You can check out the rest of the amazing eateries also taking part in ARW, along with some fabulous reviews from my fellow blog squad members by heading to the ARW website here.

Until next time,

B x

P.s. This review was part of a partnership with Aberdeen Inspired. The meal was gifted, but all wiews as always are my own.


Ordinarily when I sit down to write a restaurant review, the first part of the process is a wee intro to the brand; a little ‘get to know you’ time, but today’s post comes from a brand that really need no introduction. Aberdeen born craft beer giant Brewdog is now one of the biggest success stories to come out of the North East since…well, I dunno, Butteries? The self sealing envelope..? Short of the queen of pop and funky hair-doos Annie Lennox, Brewdog basically takes the crown when it comes to most famous exports from around these parts.

Not only now a national treasure with over FIFTY venues in the UK alone, Brewdog is now also storming the globe with four breweries worldwide and a trail of bars from Barcelona to Tokyo. Pretty impressive stuff right?

Now known and visited just as much for their tasty food offerings as their incredible selection of tempting and rebellious craft beers, I’ve come to expect the need to be rolled home in a wheelbarrow after a foodie trip to Brewdog. On the menus you’ll find classic pub grub type offerings to pair perfectly with a nice cold beer, the likes of burgers and pizza’s, but always piled high and with a kick-ass Brewdog twist. With an extensive veggie and vegan offering, I’m never stuck for choice which is awesome. Classic ‘beer’ paired food tends to be pretty meat heavy so it’s always a boost to have so much variety in meat-free options; and for anyone that’s tasted their beyond legendary buffalo seitan wings before, you’ll agree with me when I say who the hell needs meat anyway!

Pint of Lost Lager at Brewdog Dogtap Ellen

Just a short half hour bus strip from the city centre, I was excited for a change of scenery, because let’s face it, going anywhere outwith a five mile radius of your own home is like a trip to the bloody Spanish Med at this point.

Approaching the building, the sheer aesthetic of the place blows you away before even setting foot in the building. Seriously impressive hand painted murals by artist Craig Fisher cover the walls from top to bottom in an array of neon colours, with depictions of fantastical sea creatures, it’s quite the sight to behold.

Given the current restrictions, we arrived early to be able to enjoy a few beers outside ahead of our meal, because let’s face it, it would have been a bloody travesty not to enjoy a pint or two when it’s as fresh as it gets from the on site brewery. With plenty of outdoor seating all complete with outdoor heaters, we were still able to enjoy a few beers despite the chilliness of the day. There are firepit tables for those extra chilly nights and even an ‘igloo’ type dome with seating and blankets for those who really can’t brave the elements.

Last week when I was invited to a preview day at the new and massively improved Dogtap venue in Ellon, I jumped at the chance to go check it out. Never having actually visited either the original or Overworks brewery location, I was full of anticipation to see how the newly revamped site with fresh eyes.

The beer…

In need of something crisp and refreshing after our journey, I started started with a pint of crowd-pleaser and favourite of mine, Lost Lager (4.7%). Citrusy and bright, this is one of my favourite thirst quenchers from Brewdog. Not wanting to venture in to anything too heavy with a full lunch still to take on, I finished with a Hazy Jane (5%) before heading indoors. This punchy IPA delivers zesty, fruity notes and a delicious tart aftertaste.

Interior view of Brewdog Dogtap bar in Ellon

Now with rumbling bellies and let’s be honest, feeling a little bit boozy (don’t drink beer for breakfast kids), we headed indoors to finally sample some scran. You can’t help but be struck by the stunning design of the bar and restaurant. With all of the classic industrial features found in Brewdog bars, blended with the cosiness of built in fire pits and warm lighting, and even a giant shark suspended from the ceiling, you instantly recognise the typical Brewdog quirk, but this venue really has a ‘next generation’ feel about it.

the food…

Featuring a few of the classics that we all know and love, you’ll also find a bunch of new and exclusive offerings at Dogtap, such as a full sourdough pizza menu and a selection of oak fired chicken that would tempt even the most stringent vegetarian, there’s something for all the family here – even a ‘Hoppy Meal’ option for the little ones.

With a burger craving hitting hard, I opted for the Temple of Seitan burger.

“temple of seitan fillet, crispy kale, sun-blushed tomato chutney & hummus served on a vegan beetroot brioche bun”. (Ve. £9.50)

Pimping my burger with extra cheese and completing it with a side of crisp salty fries and an order of blue cheese dip (the burger may be vegan but I am definitely not!), this was just what the doctor ordered. Forever baffled (but grateful) for how realistic the crispy coated ‘chicken’ fillet is, it’s always a go-to for me. With sweetness from the vibrant beetroot brioche and tangy chutney, and delicious crunch from the kale which magically kept it’s crispness to the last bite, this tasty burger delivered everything that I hoped it would. IT’s a 10/10 from me!

Predictably, Grant went for the Beyond Meat Burger, and why wouldn’t he, because those things are frickin’ delicious.

“beyond meat patty, vegan chipotle slaw, vegan gouda cheese, roasted red peppers, baby gem & pickles served on a vegan beetroot brioche bun” (Ve. £9.50)

Obviously stealing a bite to check it out for myself, this burger also hit a 10 on the tasty scale. How in the blue f**k Beyond Meat create these burgers to be so, well, meaty is beyond me – they’re just that damn good. With crunchy home made slaw and a slice of melty, oozy vegan gouda, and some nice acidic pickles, this provided classically served cheeseburger goodness that you just need sometimes.

Also sampled by our group were the Spicy Meaty sourdough pizza (‘nduja, pepperoni, chilli flakes, fresh red chillies, smashed napoli tomatoes, Scottish mozzarella – £11.50) and the Whole Oak Fired Chicken, (details not yet available online) for which you’re going to have to take our meat-eating pals word for on this, but the reviews were that it was pretty flippin’ tasty. Judging by the look and smell of that pizza though, you can bet your ass I’ll be ordering one from the veggie selection on my next visit, just look at that crisp crust and bubbling mozzarella…

It’s not often that you can make a day trip/family day out of a trip to the pub, but given that Dogtap is so much more than just your average a pub, that’s exactly what you can do here. The awesome building which is entirely carbon negative, features a separate beer school room, a games area with cool old school arcade games on the upper floor and a viewing platform into the packaging side of the brewery so that you can see the freshest cans of Punk IPA flying along the conveyor belt right before your eyes.

There’s even a sizeable beer museum for you hardcore craft beer nuts to get a wee bit of the Brewdog story firsthand.

Whether you’re in it for the beer, the food, or the element of being a tourist in your own city for the day, I wholeheartedly recommend a trip to Dogtap to check it out for yourself. I can’t wait for my next visit already. Dogtap in now open to the public, and you’ll find all of the awesome regular food deals such as 2-4-1 veggie/vegan Mondays too!

Have you been to visit Dogtap yet? Leave me a comment to let me know what you thought!

Until next time,

B x

*We were invited to this preview day with no obligation to post, so as always all views are my own.