I hadn’t heard of Howies until recently when it was recommended by a friend.
So on my search for some homely grub it seemed like a sensible choice mid-week.
Turning up at the restaurant on a week night I wasn’t confident we’d get a table walking in due to how busy it was.
Luckily for us, and our stomachs, there was one table for two by the window – which some Chinese tourist later mistook for a door – that was free.
Presented with the menus we were both quite quick to make our choices – there’s not a huge choice but there is a good selection to suit pretty much any taste or mood.
Food ordered and drinks – BrewDog Kingpin (£4.25) for my friend and a BrewDog Nanny State (£4) for myself – delivered to the table by our attentive waitress we settled into the restaurant.
It’s comfortable with a homely but modern feel and it was busy enough that the atmosphere was very inviting with chatter and laughter filling the air.
Along with our beers we tried bread with oil and balsamic (£2), which isn’t something either of us bother with when we go out for food – but given our level of hunger we deviated from the norm on this occasion.
We ended up being glad we did, the bread was delicious and moist and was devoured quite quickly.
Not five minutes later our starters arrived.
Being in an eatery that advertises itself as Scottish I had to try the haggis, neeps and tatties (£5.95).
My friend, who seems to have has some suppressed desire to belong to the aristocracy, went for the pan-fried wood pigeon (£5.75).
Thankfully it met with the standards she is obviously used to at home and it was declared “perfectly cooked with a nice smokiness to it”.
As for my haggis, neeps and tatties it was excellent – my only disappointment was it wasn’t available as a main meal.
Speaking of the main meals, our smiley waitress was soon back clearing up the table and presenting us with those.
Both were excellently presented, however, we were both left slightly underwhelmed after having our expectations raised by the starters.
I opted for the battered North Sea haddock (£13.95), which was served with chips and mashed peas, while my mate went for the burger (£13.95).
The burger in particular looked mouthwatering on the plate served with Granite City cheddar, back bacon, french fries and house relish.
Maybe I’ve become particularly picky with my fish over the years from growing up in the Broch, and although it was perfectly fine, I just expected something a bit more than average for the cash.
The burger was met with a similar verdict and was “slightly overcooked”.
However, next came our desserts.
We both opted for the chocolate brownie (£5.95) which came with blood orange sorbet and was absolutely exceptional.
The brownie was one of the best I’ve ever tasted – moist, chocolately and perfectly cooked.
However, I’d happily have given it up just to have a bowl of the sorbet which was just incredibly good and needs to be tried to be believed.
We’ll 100% be back – but might just opt for a starter and dessert next time.