Simpson’s Hotel, Queen’s Road, Aberdeen
I’LL admit that I have a soft spot for Simpson’s.
Good, frequently great cooking, not afraid to do something a bit different.
So when stuck out in the west end, I took it upon myself to try the bar meals.
And thankfully, the quality hasn’t changed.
The missus and I slumped into a comfy sofa in the relaxed, very brown surroundings and started to do the “order at the bar or wait for table service” dance – a modern gastropub minefield.
But a cheery and talkative waiter came before we looked too foolish.
My girlfriend’s scampi, chips and coleslaw (£9.95) was about as good as it comes. Plump, sweet scampi in breadcrumbs that actually – shock horror – had a taste and were utterly bone-dry. The same went for the excellent chips. It was a huge portion, but probably a bit pricey at a tenner. I decided to test my “a bit different” theory with confit duck penne pasta (£9.95). The strong duck meat ran through the creamy sauce, with just a touch of wholegrain mustard. Mushrooms added an earthy note, but the richness was cut through by a lot of spicy, fresh rocket. Worth every penny.
The only issue I had was that the side of garlic bread (£2.50) was a little light on the garlic. At £32.40 after a couple of drinks, it’s certainly at the more expensive end of things, but in many Aberdeen pubs, I’ve paid a lot more for a lot less.