Last summer, on the way back from a wedding in the charming Scottish town of Banchory, I spent a hungry evening in Aberdeen.
Now before anyone gets riled up, I’m not saying Aberdeen doesn’t have its share of good restaurants (the trusty Michelin Guide seems to have quite a lengthy list) I’m just saying that on that damp weekend last August, with only the squawking of giant seagulls providing the rather desolate soundtrack to our wandering along the city's grey streets, I didn’t find any.
I did, however, find some adult milkshakes which I thought were a fairly amusing concept, and after trawling numerous restaurants offering the standard triumvirate of haggis, fish and chips and grilled scampi, finally settled on some crispy white bait and grilled chicken for dinner.
But thankfully after this rather dejecting start to my culinary adventures in Aberdeen, the next day dawned beautiful and bright. A crisp summer morning inspired us to take a walk along Aberdeen port to the twee fishing village of Footdie (Fittie to local Aberdonians) – all pretty slate, stone and wooden houses plopped in handerchief-sized gardens bursting with summer blooms - at the edge of which is where we found The Silver Darling.
The seafood restaurant has in the past been named among the Top 10 seafood restaurants in the UK and I can see why - it would definitely count among my all-time favorites, and was single-handedly responsible for redeeming my personal opinion of the Aberdonian culinary scene.
The Silver Darling, which is run by French chef Didier Dejean, is named after a Scottish term of endearment for the humble herring. Apart from its elegant menu, the restaurant’s chief charm lies in its cozy size and absolutely stunning location – offering wraparound views of Aberdeen harbor and the North Sea. Despite the fact that the plates of food were impeccably presented, I really struggled to tear my eyes away from the views of glistening water and golden banks spread out before me.
On the menu that day were scallops and chorizo croquetas, mackeral and beetroot, and delicate seafood mains of fish, shrimp and cockleshells accompanied by fruity glasses of chilled white wine. I couldn't have picked a more perfect spot to enjoy my last day in Scotland, and the meal remains one of my favorite memories of last summer.
Has anyone else ever eaten at this little gem before? What were some of your memorable meals from last summer?
The best spot to drink in the view along with some vino when you're in Aberdeen
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