Dining Out in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire & the North East of Scotland 

Fennel Dining Booths

     Fennel Downstairs Dining Booths

I regularly dine out in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and other areas throughout Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom. Therefore, it was a very difficult decision for me to decide where to begin with on my first ‘Come Dine With Me‘ blog.

I have been out to so many superb hotels and top restaurants in Aberdeen and North East of Scotland  to wine and dine. I felt compelled to provide you with feedback about my most recent dining experiences.

I hope I don’t put my foot in it again because I recently said Aberdeen has an abundance of fantastic Indian Restaurants and we are spoilt in the North East of Scotland. This was then followed by four successive bad experiences at 8848 Restaurant, AberdeenEcht Tandoori, Echt;  The Light of Bengal, Aberdeen;  & Rishie’s, Aberdeen. I am now apprehensive about going out for another Indian meal in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, albeit I’ve narrowed this down to Nazma Tandoori, Aberdeen; Shabaaz, Aberdeen; and Shahi Darbar, Inverurie. Wish me luck!

I digress, now back to my very positive and recent experiences of recently dining out in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. It’s a case of “decision, decisions”, in relation to which restaurant I should start with. I narrowed this down to The Newburgh Inn, Newburgh; Cafe Andaluz, Aberdeen; Number 10 Bar and Restaurant, Aberdeen; The Fourmile House, Kingswell; Broadstraik Inn, Westhill; Yans Restaurant, Westhill; The Fennel,  Inverurie; Prezzo, Aberdeen; and Thaikhun, Aberdeen.  

As you can see from the aforesaid, I have been giving this a fair bit of careful thought and I’ve decided to start with The Fennel,  Inverurie, as the previous four visits have always delivered fantastic food and service. Albeit, Cafe Andaluz, Aberdeen and No 10s Aberdeen are very close on the horizon for next sharing my dining out in Aberdeen experiences.

Friendly Ambiance of The Fennel, Inverurie

Normally,when I visit The Fennel, Inverurie, it is always very busy but the very friendly staff always seem to fit me in and are always welcoming.

Sometimes I prefer to have a drink waiting near the entrance whilst I get a table downstairs as I prefer the ambiance and comfortable atmosphere of the lower level, whereas upstairs is great for larger parties (birthdays, business meeting and launches etc) where more open space is normally required.

Food, High Quality Local Produce & The Fennel Menu

The Fennel, Inverurie has firmly established an enviable reputation lead by Head Chef Gordon Reynolds. The Fennel team specialise in creating dishes from carefully selected, locally sourced produce.

Fennel Home Made Baurgers

    Fennel Home Made Burgers

Their steaks, meats and game come from premium butcher Donald Russell (Royal Warrant holder and Britain’s leading mail order meat supplier), seafood from Sutherlands of Portsoy, cheeses from Devenick Dairy.

The Fennel Menu is seasonally revised and there are daily specials on offer, to include fresh home made soupBreakfast, from bacon rolls to full Scottish, omelettes & French toast, are available Saturday and Sunday 10am-12 noon.

Lunch, is served from 12 noon to 4pm. Tuesday to Sunday the Fennel lunch menus have everything from snacks to salads, hot sandwiches and  innovative main meals.

There is a Burger night at The Fennel, every Wednesday between 5pm and 6:45pm. On offer is a range of homemade burgers, real chips, relish, brioche bun, all homemade, all for only £9.95.

The Fennel Steak Night, is every Sunday between 5pm and 7pm. Donald Russell Rib-eye steaks are offered at £15 with real chips, grilled mushroom & tomato, pepper sauce.

Younger diners can try smaller portions of the other menus if they prefer and a kids menu and activity pack is available at any time, lunch or dinner time. The kids menu normally offers fish, sausages, chicken goujons, salads, and burgers etc. A two course kids meal including a fruit pot or ice cream for only £5.95.

Beverages

The Fennel has a wide selection of beverages to cater for most needs – coffee, tea, soft drinks,

Fennel Coffee

          Fennel Coffee

cocktails, Prosecco, or wine with your meal. The caber coffee comes with delicious tablets of fudge.

The local products do not just extend to food, The Fennel also offer Porter’s Gin, Glen Garioch single malt, Deeside craft beers and Dark Matter rum.

The wine list includes the red and white ‘usual suspects’ – pinot grigio, chardonnay, savignon blanc, shiraz, merlot etc. There also a good selection of blended and malt whisky (to include a range of 10-16 year malts); bottle beers; liqueurs; and spirits.

Cocktails on offer include mojitos, daiquiris, martinis, bellinis etc. In addition, there is a selection of delicious non-alcoholic Mocktails to choose from, if you wish not to consume any alcohol or are perhaps driving.

Value for Money, Presentation of Food & Portion Sizes

The Fennel provides high quality fine dining. The presentation of the food is top notch, to include plates, cutlery and the way the delicious food is appetisingly served to diners.

This can sometimes be a head turning experience to admire the huge fresh fish and chips being served out to others, and saying, “I’ll have that next time”, for example.

The Fennel Menu offers a wide range of starters to include the likes of soup, smoked salmon, prawns, scallops, pate, duck etc for lunch or dinner. At lunchtime they offer a soup & sandwich deal or freshly made cold or hot sandwiches in brioche buns, for example.

The Fennel also offers sharing platter for two: frittata, smoked salmon parcel, tempura vegetables, chilli chicken wings, salad and dips for £14.95.

For main course, The Fennel offers a great selection of seafood, meat, pastas, and vegetarian dishes at very reasonable prices for what is delivered. Sometimes because the likes of the burgers are thicker and homemade, staff will advise this might take a little bit longer to cook. This has never been off-putting as the homemade burgers are worth the wait. The waitressing staff make sure that the meat orders take note of how the diner would like their food cooke (rare, medium to well done and well done etc).

The overall bill was very reasonable for what we received and at least certainly 10% – 15% lower than what I would pay in the centre of Aberdeen for the same quality of food, surroundings and service.

Our Food Selections & Opinion of Dining at The Fennel

My recent visit to The Fennel was for lunch with my father, step mum and 4-year old daughter,

Fennel Sticky Toffee Pudding

Fennel Sticky Toffee           Pudding

Lillie. The adult selections were soup and sandwich packages which included cullen skink soup, sweet potato soup of the day; club sandwich, coronation chicken; and my step mum had piri piri chicken burger with chips. Lillie, had the kids burger with chips and ice cream with strawberry sauce to follow. The size of the children’s meal was a good sized portion and good value for money.

We thoroughly enjoyed our lunch and The Fennel, Inverurie, always remains high on my list for places to go to eat, even although this is a twenty minute journey from my home in the North of Aberdeen to Inverurie. So far it has always not just ticked all the right boxes but exceeded my expectations.

It’s not just a case of “if I will go back?”, but “when I shall return!” to dine at The Fennel, Inverurie.  It is well worth the journey and I highly recommend this to other perspective diners.

ByGemmaL