We ate out in French the other night. Actually, we disappeared down an Aberdeen sinkhole into the most welcoming, adorable little French restaurant on Windmill Brae. This restaurant does not feel like it’s in Aberdeen. It felt, well, French, or like it was tucked away on a historic London street. It was a rabbit hole to a cosy, wonderland of culinary delights. Wooden beams crisscrossed the ceiling like hot cross buns, the fire was roaring and the candles were lit. There was a welcoming, almost European aura as soon as we walked through the doors. Having never dined here before, I was instantly impressed by the charm of Café Bohème. But what did it eat like?
We were treated to the Aberdeen Restaurant Week 5 course tasting menu, which I feel should be a permanent feature. In fact, all bistros should offer a tasting menu as it’s the perfect way to explore eats you would otherwise, not order, or perhaps avoid because you have food fear. You know what food fear is, right? Food fear is not trying something because “you don’t like it” even though you’ve either never tried it or you may have had a vague relative of it and the thought of revisiting makes you squirm.
Well, let me tell you, that after eating at restaurants all over Scotland, that the tasting menu at Café Bohème was an absolute aye-light. I ate all the things I wouldn’t have ordered and I didn’t just enjoy it, but I’ve been googling ways to recreate it at home (please keep in mind that I burn eggs). But that’s the thing about great food eh? It’s an adventure.
5 Course Tasting Menu
Café Bohème head chef Andrew Gray and Sommelier Gus Gasnarek have created this incredible 5-course tasting menu using the finest Scottish ingredients and French cooking technique. Each course is paired with a stunning wine. And I mean stunning. Whoever this Gus guy is, I like him. I’ll always remember him as the man who set me off on my red wine journey of discovery. Thanks, Gus.The amuse-bouche was apricot stuffed rabbit loin with capers and golden raisins. I mean, I would never have ordered rabbit. Not for any particular reason other than I’ve just never really fancied rabbit. Oh my days. Food is one of the most wonderful journeys. It’s permanent discovery. I always learn something when I eat out but never have I learned as much as I did at Café Bohème. It was really such a treat.The next course was hot smoked sea trout rillette with Avruga caviar and lemon and shallot chutney. Again, this was out of this world and it was paired with possibly the smoothest white wine ever, a Terret Blanc 2018, just stunning. After the sea trout came the roasted monkfish tail, pea and pancetta bonne femme with smoked pomme puree and a poached egg. Following the monkfish came roasted pork belly stuffed with Toulouse sausage, braised red cabbage, crispy skin and new potato fondant. It was garnished with pistachio crumb and served with jus.
Couples Come Wine With Me
Then came the most perfect red dessert wine I have ever tasted. It’s on my Christmas list, it’s on my November list. I will probably treat myself with it most months. It was absolutely perfect. It paired perfectly with the dark chocolate ganache torte, orange and cardamon ganache and sour cherry ice-cream. But I think it would pair well with anything in the world. It may not even need a pairing, as it was perfect.
We brought mum-in-law along for an evening of fine wine, finer food and French fancy frivolities. She’s been using Matalan and Amazon for entertainment during the lockdown, so we really needed to get her out of the house before she maxed out both home departments.
As it was a tasting menu, which she had never had before, we thought it would be a completely acceptable idea to withhold the menu from her and not tell her what anything was. This is another reason why I think tasting menus are the way to go. She wouldn’t have ordered rabbit or smoked sea trout and neither would I have. But tasting these delicate but bold dishes blew food fear out the window. Both she and I adored both the rabbit and the smoked sea trout courses. As for Scott? He eats anything and everything, like a peckish hoover, so whether he tasted the food before wolfing it down is anyone’s guess. He is a silent eater. Silent but deadly.
We love eating out in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire and are learning more about the culinary delights of our home turf every day. Follow our aye-ventures on Instagram or check back every so often to drool profusely. In the meantime, go and book your own cosy, Savoir-Vivre experience at Café Bohème.