I mentioned in my September edition of Inta-Herby that I visited my sister in Aberdeen for the weekend. It was an amazing, fun filled weekend and to top it off we went for a slap up seafood dinner at the Tolbooth Restaurant in Stonehaven, which is a town about 20 minutes outside of Aberdeen. It’s a cute little seaside town and the restaurant is found in the gorgeous little harbour.
The stone walled restaurant is cutely decorated with bunting and has old fashioned laundry mangles outside. I love using the mangle in the laundry when I was younger on our caravan holidays. You can also park yourself on the benches and enjoy the views of the boats.
Indoors, the restaurant still carries the nautical harbour theme and you can still enjoy the view through the window. The restaurant is bright and spacious but not massively big, and it got very busy very quickly. We settled in to our seats and browsed the menu and the specials board.
While we waited we were given an amuse-bouche which was a salmon tartar. Raw or cured salmon isn’t my thing – which I’m surprised at as I absolutely love smoked salmon. I can’t say I fully enjoyed it – that’s my personal taste though! I’m going to continue with the cured salmon until I like it!
Bread and butter…no meal is complete without it! It’s a vital tool for the mopping of delicious juices.
My sister ordered the crab cocktail which was beautifully served in a martini glass. Layers of fresh local crab meat, avocado and a creme fraîche mixture provided a very light, mild and fresh starter.
Mussels in Thai ginger & chilli coconut cream.
I absolutely love mussels and I absolutely love coconut, this was an instant ‘done deal’ when I saw it on the menu. The mussels were plump and fresh and the broth was really tasty – my only complaint is that there wasn’t enough of it. I like to have the ability to take a spoon or half spoon of the sauce alongside the fish but it was difficult to do as there wasn’t much. It also meant I couldn’t do my mopping up of the sauce with my bread, but with all that aside, it was delicious.
I decided to order the lobster and my sister who had decided on a steak then started to suffer from lobster-envy. The solution was to make the steak a surf ‘n’ turf!
Steak with Lobster Thermidor
The steak was cooked beautifully to order and served with a rich jus, seasonal vegetables and grilled corn from the cob. I’m very much set in my ways with steak and always order certain sides and sauces, so it was refreshing to taste one which was served the chef’s way. The steak was really tender, really juicy and the jus was gorgeous.
As I visited during peak Lobster season and there had been good fishing weather, I had a choice of small, medium or large lobster. I picked on the middle guy.
I absolutely love lobster, and lobster Thermidor in particular. I’ve only tried it once before and it was at The Longhouse in Kilmarnock where they served it totally differently so I can’t compare the two. This one felt more like a summer version – very light and easily eaten (and digested). The Longhouse version was much stodgier and I was stuffed after eating it, but this one at the Tolbooth was delicious and only just filling enough to allow me to comfortably eat a dessert.
White Chocolate & Passionfruit Cheesecake with Mango Ice cream & Cocoa Tuile
Oh hello! Such fantastic presentation, isn’t it? I love when you see food being served to you and it wows you. The impressive tuile wedged into the dessert attracted our attention and the beautiful tastes kept it. A tangy, creamy mixture of exotic flavours with nice chewy and crispy tuile to mix it up.
I ordered the strawberry trio which consisted of:
Poppyseed Meringue with Strawberries & Cream
Strawberry & Basil Sorbet
I don’t want to sound dismissive,m because I genuinely loved my dessert, but it was quite simply what it says on the tin. The strawberry and basil sorbet was absolutely to DIE for. I adore that flavour combination and this was my first sorbet using the flavours. In my mind, the rest of the dessert was just a garnish for this sorbet as it was the key player. I just loved it!
If you like the sound of the sorbet but can’t make it to Stonehaven, then Hard Rock Cafe do a strawberry and basil lemonade which is in a word: lush!
This is one of the most beautiful sea views I’ve seen on the east coast of Scotand. I’m an Argyll sunset kinda gal, so I feel like I’m cheating by loving this!
We walked around long enough to see the sun setting over the harbour, and it was just so calm, quiet and beautiful. We basked in the glowy goodness, still stuffed full of our delicious meal. I felt so content. If you’re in this area then you really must take a trip here for some food and to enjoy the local area views, especially at sunset!
The Tolbooth Seafood Restaurant