The ritual of Sunday lunch is generally one most tend to indulge in a cosy setting with a big heap of gravy, mountains of skirlie and a mouth-watering roast as the centrepiece.
My idea of it last weekend was calling up one of my girlfriends the night before to plan a dip in the River Dee and book a wholesome lunch to warm up over after dunking ourselves in freezing cold water.
The choice of restaurant was Cognito on the Corner. It had been years since I was last there for lunch and having admired the menu online ahead of our dook, I was happy to build up an appetite.
After a successful late morning dip we did a quick turn around and headed along to the venue on Midstocket Road. To clarify, we had nipped home for a shower and were looking presentable – we didn’t just rock up post swim.
When we arrived we were asked to use the Track and Trace app and were taken to our seats and handed two paper menus.
The first thing I noticed was the size of this menu in comparison to the one I’d flirted with online. “Excuse me, is this the lunch menu?” I timidly asked. Our server clarified that this was in fact the Sunday menu as on Sundays the venue runs a limited offering.
Sadly for us my go-to fisherman’s platter I’d eyed up was no longer to be seen and either was Megan’s pork medallions. Back to the drawing board, or the paper menu to be more specific.
Our server checked in to take a drinks order and seeing as we were celebrating a successful first dook together we decided to order a mocktail each. Megan ordered the summer berry cooler while I opted for the spiced spritz.
They took no time at all to make up and the theatrics of making them at the bar really let us appreciate how stunning this venue is, pulling our eyes across the venue. Touches of marble, jewel tones, velvet and greenery everywhere elegantly decorated made Cognito a lush lunch location.
As our mocktails arrived we placed our food order. The drinks were priced at £6 which we both agreed was expensive. With the alcoholic drinks priced at £9 each, the non-boozy version left us feeling a bit cheated, however they were utterly delicious.
Mine was packed with ginger ale and the elderflower cordial lifted the sweetness in the drink, with the lemon just beautifully balancing it out. Megan’s berry extravaganza was made with strawberry puree, cranberry juice, raspberry syrup, lemon and was topped with soda.
Shortly after our scran arrived. I’d picked the special – king prawns and grilled langoustine tails with garlic and herb butter (£9), which is usually on the other menu as a starter and Megan opted for the Caprese salad (£6.50), adding the Parma ham and balsamic for an extra pound.
The seafood was incredibly juicy and cooked very well. The shell of the tails pulled away easily while my knife glided through the garlicky prawns.
Beside me, Megan was salivating over the flavours of her salad with the seasoned beef tomatoes, thick slices of mozzarella and the basil and oil singing in harmony with the additions.
I tried hers and it was glorious. Who knew something so simple could taste so wonderful. We both nearly licked her plate.
For mains I hadn’t been adventurous at all given my first choice was nowhere to be seen on the Sunday offering. I stuck to fish and committed to the battered haddock goujons with chips, garden peas and tartar sauce (£15).
It was the club sandwich which piqued Megan’s interest.
My fish flaked away as soon as I cut into the crispy battered goujons and the peas were incredibly sweet – just how I like them. I squirted the juice of the lemon over the plate which was kitted out with a decorative greaseproof paper.
The thick cut chips weren’t up to much in the sense of flavour but the tartar sauce was packed with it and was scrummy to dip them into.
As for the club (£12), I thought it looked absolutely spot on, however, my dinner date isn’t a fan of mayonnaise and she suggested there was too much of it as it completely overpowered the other flavours.
The triple decker sandwich wasn’t entirely what she had envisioned with a dab of mayonnaise on a bed of cooked chicken, salad, tomato, bacon and hard boiled egg.
Instead she described it as more like a high quality sandwich filler. Everything seemed to have mayonnaise all over it which resulted in her not eating half of her meal. The skinny fries were cooked well and she enjoyed tucking into those.
I was ready to give up until Megan queried the likelihood of having any of the vanilla cheesecake with fruit compote (£6.50) leftover as it too wasn’t on the Sunday menu, but had been in Megan’s mind all day.
Our server came back with positive news and as a result I ended up ordering the chocolate brownie stack (£6.50).
No later than 10 minutes on and there they were in all of their glory.
I was struggling to see how I would finish this plateful, but I gave it my best shot. The warm brownie had come served with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, fresh raspberries and was drizzled with chocolate sauce.
The brownie was gooey and screamed to be devoured. So I did. Every last morsel, ensuring I scooped up those fresh berries which complemented the chocolate so well.
Megan’s baked cheesecake came with a compote made of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries with a squirt of whipped cream on the side.
There was minimal chat at the table as we both tucked in. She loved the dessert and said the balance of the rich, creamy cheesecake with the more tart compote was exactly what she needed to end her meal on a high.
Cognito on the Corner is a fabulous wee haunt to enjoy a coffee, lunch with mocktails or dinner with a gin flight.
The food is lovely and cooked well, although I would recommend potentially heading on a different day rather than the Sunday as the menu is much smaller.
The mocktails and one or two dishes seemed a little overpriced in comparison to other venues I have visited recently, but all in all it was a marvellous place for a lunch date.
*Please note: The venue is changing its opening times as of this weekend and will be closing on Sundays and open Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 2.3opm and 5.30-10.30pm, and open noon to 10pm Friday and Saturday.
Address: 1 Mid Stocket Road, Aberdeen AB15 5NE
T: 01224 977896
The meal was three courses for two people plus two mocktails.
Price: £73.25 (plus 10% service charge of £7.32 totalling £80.57)
- Food: 4/5
- Service: 4.5
- Surrounding: 4/5