If it’s not the law you shouldn’t have to cook when you have a day off, then it should be.
With this in mind, three of us set off for the Aboukir as it had been a little time since we had been in. I phoned ahead and booked a table.
It turned out that on that particular Thursday there was no need to book and we had a choice of seats in the bar area. There are banquettes along some walls where you can join tables for bigger parties, round tables for two or four or at the front of the building more seats in a raised area. That part of the room also has TVs.
It was a wet night so we took the car – there is a large car park, free for customers. The driver opted for a pint before his tea and asked about the on-draught Ossian.
We were seated by this stage and our lovely waitress brought him over a taster – good job as he didn’t like it and instead ordered a pint of Coors Light (£3.80). I had a Bacardi and diet coke (£2.95) and son number two had a pint of draught diet coke (£2.10).
There is a good sized menu with lots of choice.
We opted for starters: chicken pakora with sweet chilli dip (£5.50), black pudding and haggis bon-bons with a whisky creme fraiche (£5.95) and chicken liver parfait (£5.85).
I was dithering over my main courses – surprise, surprise.
Options included battered fish, lasagne, hunter’s chicken, mac and cheese, chicken goujons, curry of the day (it was jalfrezi), scampi, sausage and mash, fajitas, burgers and steak. Most dishes are between £9-£10.
The specials’ board had chicken Louisiana – which was explained as like fajitas, served with wraps, in a barbecue sauce. My son chose this.
I queried the Cajun chicken supreme, wondering how spicy it was.
Apparently it’s spiced chicken in a creamy sauce served with tomato, onion rings, mushrooms and chips and not really spicy at all. Yes please from me.
My husband was having a gammon steak but when I changed from my first choice of steak and ale pie, he swapped to that.
Unfortunately, within minutes our waitress was back apologising as they had no Cajun chicken.
I reverted to steak pie (£10.95), and my other half to the gammon steak (£8.95).
The starters were big. I had four oatcakes with butter, salad and several cubes of pate. Delicious.
There were also four very sizeable bon-bons coated in batter and served with salad. The whisky sauce was good and went well.
The three pakora were a decent size and coated in red batter. They were served with a tomato/chilli dip rather the sweet chilli, which we didn’t remember about until we were nearly finished. We were offered a dish of sweet chilli to come with the main course but declined.
The service here was lovely, with our waitress (apologies for not getting her name) friendly, helpful and fun. It just brings that wee bit extra to the experience.
The mains, again, were sizeable. My steak pie came in a deep round ashet which I poured on to my plate.
There was lots of gravy and tender meat to go with my skin-on chips. I’d asked for no peas and instead was given salad. It was a wee bit weird having salad with gravy, but if I hadn’t decanted my pie it wouldn’t have happened. I’m never sure if decanting is what’s expected, but I like my food on one plate. The chips were, unfortunately, a smidgen on the soft side.
The gammon was a good size though a little on the thin side. Served with pineapple and egg and chips. Again the chips let the side down. They were edible but could have been cooked a little longer.
The chicken dish came with two large tortillas – hurray! It seems to be the norm to have more filling than wrap, but this measure was good. There was also a bowl of cheese and extra sauce to go with the chicken, onions and peppers.
We couldn’t squeeze in a pudding, but there was a nice selection.