Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Melt: A cheesy affair

There's something quite admirable about someone who decides to take on the world and start their own business. Ambitious, well driven and personable are all key traits I think any good innovative business person will boast. So when I got chatting to the owner of Aberdeen's latest start-up and first ever grilled cheese takeaway, Melt, I knew straight away she was going to prove a huge success.

Born out of the idea of following her dreams, Mechelle Clark brought the takeaway concept to Aberdeen after seeing a rise in this type of offering in London and the US. The grilled cheese takeaway which is located on 58 Holburn Street in the city centre, is any grilled cheese sandwich lovers fantasy. Offering up a tasty selection of cheesy delights, Melt dissolves those lunch or dinner time hunger pangs, leaving you fully satisfied on so many levels.

Walking into the takeaway you'd immediately feel like you were stepping into your granny's kitchen back in the 70's. Unfamiliar with the era - seen as I'm a 90's kid - the traditional orange and brown interiors represents exactly what every house would have looked like at the time. A little psychedelic, and very retro, the eatery is definitely bringing something unique to the city. With the 70's style wallpaper and pictures hanging on the wall, to the cabinet full of granny's finest teapots and ornaments, Melt really does take you out of Aberdeen and transport you somewhere which feels strangely familiar.
Aberdeen is screaming for new, interesting business' which bring a whole new character to the city, and with Melt catering to vegans (coming soon), vegetarians and those looking for gluten-free options, there's something for everyone at Melt.

The melt's, which take about three minutes to grill (providing the grills are at optimum temperature), are all prepared fresh. Created with sourdough bread, which has been locally sourced by The Bread Maker - the only producer of sourdough bread in the North-east, there is nothing quite like these massive melts, ready to fill the bellies of hungry Aberdonian's.

Last week I was invited along to an exclusive event at the eatery, and of course I was going to accept. Rocking up a tad early Mechelle and her friendly staff welcomed us out of the cold and into the shop where we did ALOT of chatting. You can tell straight off this woman is fabulously passionate about everything she does, and she really knows her stuff, which I admire. I felt straight at home in the eatery and I partly think that was because of Mechelle's all round fantastic nature. A grand host, she welcomed everyone accordingly, said her piece and encouraged us to dig into the samples she had cooked up for us to indulge in. And indulge we did...

Six or seven, or maybe eight pieces of grilled cheese sandwich later, I was well and truly stuffed. A personal favourtie, and one I would definitely recommend would be the Haggis Grilled Melt. Haggis, bacon, peppery rocket and gruyere cheese on sourdough bread, its safe to say there is such a thing as cheese heaven.

A massive fan of all things sweet I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious the Choc & Cheese tasted. I'm not going to lie, initially I was pretty certain I would not enjoy the melt, however, if you like the taste of smores, but can imagine them tasting even better than you remember, that's what the Choc & Cheese tasted like. Yes, yes, yes.

The grilled cheese sandwiches themselves are pretty large in size, and very filling. I'd recommend the Choc & Cheese as a more of a dessert or a treat, rather than something you'd get stuck into for lunch. 

The refreshments offering at melt is also pretty awesome too. With Lemony lemonade, Gingerella ginger ale, Karma cola, and a number of fresh fruit juices to quench customers' thirst, the eatery has a lot to offer. With weekly specials going to be introduced into the core melt offering, with over 100 different specials choices that have already been designed to be implemented into the menu, Melt really is going to be one-to-watch in the coming year.

I caught up with Mechelle, owner of Melt, at the launch and got chatting cheese, cheese and more cheese. Highlighting her top five favourite grilled cheese sandwiches, I just had to share them!

  1. CLASSIC GRILLED CHEESE: Gruyere and strong cheddar cheese, sourdough bread (buttered on the outside), and a layer of b├ęchame sauce inside to keep it oozing.
  2. MAC AND CHEESE MELT: Homemade macaroni cheese made with Marshall’s Scottish macaroni, smothered in melted gruyere and served on sourdough bread.
  3. HAGGIS GRILLED CHEESE: Pan-fried, good-quality haggis served with smoked bacon, peppery rocket and Gruyere cheese on sourdough bread. (A Just Julia savoury favourite)
  4. SWEET GRILLED CHEESE: Mascarpone cheese, Nutella and a sprinkle of Fleur De Sel salt served on buttery brioche bread. (A Just Julia sweet favourite)
  5. RAGU GRILLED CHEESE: Home-made beef ragu with a generous amount of gruyere and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, served on sourdough bread.
Us Scots always seem a little hesitant in welcoming new, innovative businesses to the market, and our 'just because it works in London, doesn't mean it's going to work here' attitude really does need to stop. Look around and embrace what's to come, change is good and our city needs to change. Bring on all the foodies because hell yes I'm all about that! With very reasonable prices for impressively large toasties, there's no excuse not to try one of these fancy melts! I've already been back  to visit lasting one day without the gorgeously good gooeyness.

So if you're looking for a grate feed (pardon the pun) on-the-go in Aberdeen, then Melt is definitely the place for you to visit. Brie there or be square!
For Now...

Just Julia


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