Wednesday, 3 February 2016

A wee shindig at Howies

Situated at 50 Chapel Street is one of Aberdeen's finest hidden gems, Howies. A sister restaurant to two others which are situated in Edinburgh, Howies Aberdeen is a much anticipated, and well-loved establishment, holding many abirthday, graduation and anniversary celebration over the years.

After celebrating its relaunch last week which marked one year since its refurbishment, I made my way along to the relaunch event t, eager to get see what this inciting tavern would hold...and even more so, delighted to get the chance to visit the restaurant for the first time. 

As my mother once told me, looks can be deceiving...stepping inside what seemed to me a small, nestled away eatery, the size of the establishment once stepping inside truly surprised me. With enough space to seat a small army or two, I was off to investigate this wonderland, excited to get behind every nook and cranny.

Venturing into the Scottish restaurant for the first time, I was unfamiliar with how the original Howies restaurant looked. But within minutes, I could tell this refurbishment was well thought out and had some great Scottish influences too. With beautiful exposed stone walls, a well-lit entrance hallway with Scottish gins galore on show, the eatery had already impressed me, and I hadn't even sampled the food yet.

Opting for a glass of house prosecco with a splash of elderflower liqueur, I knew the evening was going to be a joyous one. A good prosecco goes a long way in my books, as does a good gin, so it was great to see that high quality produce, as well as the authentic dining experience, was at the heart of this business.

As the room filled, canap├ęs began to fly out of the kitchen. With food on our minds and now in our eye line, it was time to go in for the kill. With an array of Scottish salmon, wild pigeon, deep fried cheesy cauliflower balls, a selection of artisan cheeses with beetroot and apple, as well as haggis, neeps and tatty bon bons to start, the food offering definitely lived up to the whispers I had heard around the room. As the waiters elegantly made their way, meandering through the guests, smoked haddock, as well as salmon sticks followed. Showcasing some of the restaurants local producers Devenick Dairy Farm and Six Degrees North offered numerous cheese and beer samples to nestle in our tummies, ahead of the dessert being served.

Consisting of a number of wee delights including banoffee pie, cheesecakes, chocolate brownie, sticky toffee pudding and all the other ones I simply just can't remember, dessert alongside the wild pigeon served on homemade soda bread were definitely my showstoppers of the evening.

Eating and shopping local is an important practice to me. Giving back to the local community and supporting businesses who use Scottish suppliers is a great aspect to any eatery's offering, especially when it specialises in Scottish cuisine. It was great to see, according to the map below, how many local producers Howies uses (bearing in mind they are based in Aberdeen and Edinburgh) and with a healthy selection of Scottish craft beers and gins, this makes me very happy.

All in all, my short, yet sweet time exploring the wonderland of Howies last week was exceptionally splendid. With a huge dining and bar area, two separate function rooms which would be ideal for parties or intimate celebratory anniversaries, Howies really is one of the city's well kept secrets, desperately seeking its next Alice to make her way through the doors to wonderland to explore its offering...

  For Now...

Just Julia

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