Masterchef has a lot to answer for. Try getting a table at a restaurant where the chef has made it to the semi-finals. Despite Head Chef Brian McLeish’s celebrity status, a table was booked at Moonfish Cafe in Aberdeen.
For an aperitif there’s a long list of gins to choose from and the Caorunn Gin, served with apple, distilled at the Belmenach Distillery at the foot of the Cromdale Hills in the Cairngorm National Park, was a treat.
Even we could tell that the person in the kitchen knew what they’re doing because the food on the plate tasted different from the rest of the food on the plate. Food items hadn’t morphed into one – each thing had its own distinctive flavour. With the exception of the slightly dry chicken thigh in the first course everything else was delicious and the pear with rosemary, peanut and cream cheese dessert was truly lovely.
The restaurant is in a pretty part of Aberdeen – the medieval bit with cobbled lanes near St Nicholas Kirk. The interior is unfussy and attractive with calm neutrals and greens in the decor although the wooden floors and hard surfaces might be hard on the ear drums on noisier nights.
Maybe Masterchef had gone to the heads of the waiting staff. The waitress tried (although not too hard) to be polite while clearly thinking ‘what a bloody stupid question’ when asked if we needed to order vegetables in addition to our main course, saying something along the lines of ‘We serve what is listed on the menu and nothing else’.Maybe the bitter and heated family argument at our table wasn’t doing us any favours. Or maybe we had unintentionally insulted their short menu by suggesting there was other stuff in the kitchen we weren’t being told about. Teenage daughter’s response was typical; ‘This restaurant and the food is good but they seem a bit up themselves’. Probably the other customers found them perfectly civil; Moonfish Cafe is Number One restaurant in Aberdeen on Tripadvisor.
But then, without a burger on the menu, Moonfish Cafe is probably not the best place to take teenagers and certainly not a teenage boy. And, at £36.95 for three courses it’s probably more than needs to be spent on a burger fan who is quite happy if all the food on the plate tastes the same as the rest of the food on the plate.