DON’T be fooled by the name – The Cock & Bull restaurant is every bit the real deal.
We headed out to the beautifully-restored 19th century coaching inn for Sunday dinner with our four-year-old son Elliot and 10-month-old son Adam.
A winner of Grampian Chef of the Year in 2004 and 2009 and Grampian Seafood Chef of the year 2011, the restaurant is also the recipient of an AA rosette.
It’s a restaurant my family is familiar with, having enjoyed many a lunch and dinner over the years.
Boasting cosy nooks and low-beamed ceilings, the Cock & Bull provides an authentic, rustic experience a few minutes out of Aberdeen and just off the A90, past Balmedie.
We settled down into the warm restaurant and began perusing the generously-stocked menu.
For simplicity’s sake, we overlooked the specials and opted for the carvery’s fixed-price set menu at £19.95 per head.
Elliot’s booming announcement that Adam is “much cuter than THAT baby”, with an accusing fork pointed at the innocent youngster on the other side of the restaurant, drew a polite smile from the waitress as she took our order.
I started with the chicken liver parfait which was thick and creamy, accompanied by a homemade crusty oatcake and tangy chutney.
Karen picked the Greek salad with juicy black olives, crumbly feta cheese and sweet tomato.
Both dishes were larger than you would expect for a starter but we weren’t complaining.
From the carvery, I chose the honey roast gammon – thick, really juicy and tasty, with a near-football-sized Yorkshire pudding, gravy-soaked skirlie, crisp roast potatoes and extra crunchy vegetables.
My eyes were definitely bigger than my stomach but I gave it my best!
From the kitchen came Karen’s deep-filled Mediterranean vegetable quiche, side salad, mashed potato and remoulade (a bit like mayo).
She gave it a thumbs-up but felt it was a tad on the bland side – serves her right for being vegetarian.
While baby Adam gobbled forkfuls of Karen’s mash, Elliot crunched his way through a cheese and tomato ciabatta pizza which was more than generous, given it was from the kids’ menu. He rarely finishes a meal but managed the majority of the thickly-topped pizza, which can only be a good sign.
And he still had room for some chocolate ice cream afterwards.
It was another thoroughly enjoyable experience which we will repeat in the near future.
And for the record, Adam WAS much cuter than the other baby ...