I have wanted to visit Howies Restaurant for years but with being situated just off of Union Street, on Chapel Street, it’s a restaurant that until now had slipped my mind when it actually came to deciding where to visit for a meal.
So when booking a birthday meal for Blair, I’m glad that I remembered about this gem of a restaurant to allow us to experience the delightful food for the first time together.
Howies is a family-owned restaurant with a few restaurants all located in Scotland – the one in Aberdeen that we visited and the rest in Edinburgh. Each is said to have its own personality but share a common ethos.
The restaurants pride themselves on their Scottish ingredients to produce their gorgeous menus which they have done for over 25 years.
Now let’s get onto our tasty menu choices.
The Starters at Howies
For both Blair and myself, picking our starter from the menu was the hardest choice because we loved the sound of everything!
With options like traditional Haggis, Needs and Tatties and Cullen Skink or something a little different like Butternut Squash Falafel and Steamed Shetland Mussels with Garlic, you are in for a treat.
After much deliberation, Blair opted for the Smoked Mackerel Pate, served with beetroot relish and oatcakes. This dish with its explosive, smoky flavour from the fish on several of little oatcakes is paired perfectly with the.earthy yet sweet taste of the beetroot relish which helps tone down this strong dish and make it one you lust after.
I was close to choosing the Chicken and Spring Onion Terrine, but I had terrine quite recently when I visited Native Restaurant so, instead, I went for Confit Duck Croquettes and oh boy, I did not regret it. This delectable plate serves crispy, breadcrumb coated parcels packed full of succulent duck alongside spiced, red cabbage kimchi and a creamy and garlicky Gochujang aioli with a punch.
Alongside our starters, we also sent for a side of freshly baked bread with a balsamic and olive oil dip which was a great addition to our meal.
The Main Courses at Howies
The main course menu was just as difficult to choose from and with options like Braised Shoulder of Beef Bourgignon, Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto and 28-Day Dry-Aged Scottish Steaks to decide from, you can see why.
Blair ended up going for the Fresh Catch of the Day which is a fish dish that changes daily so you may not get this exact dish when you visit Howies but it gives you a great idea of what to expect. This particular day’s catch of the day was a beautiful piece of pan-roasted cod that melted in your mouth served with mustard crushed potatoes, creamed cabbage and spinach. Oh my word, this dish was exquisite and bursting with flavour. We’d never tried mustard through potatoes before but it’s bloody brilliant. I am definitely going to make that for us at now from now on.
I’m all about tomato-based meals so the Scottish Salmon dish on offer really appealed to me, apart from the fact I don’t like salmon. I asked to have the catch of the day to replace the salmon which was done at ease. So I ended up with a gorgeous piece of cod served on a bed of tomato and cannellini bean ragout with roasted peppers and wild garlic pesto. This dish was extremely mouth-watering. The sweet and savoury flavour of the tomato sauce, the texture of the cannellini beans and the tanginess of the pesto complimented each other fully.
The Desserts at Howies
These days I am more of a starter kinda gal, but the dessert menu at Howies is so dreamy with multiple of my favourite desserts – how is a girl to choose?! Options like Chocolate & Raspberry Brownie and Poached Rhubarb means there is something for everyone.
Now onto my favourites from the menu – the Banoffee Pie and the Sticky Toffee Pudding. The only desserts I ever really tend to pick at a restaurant and Howies has them both!
I decided to go for Banoffee Pie because I tend to find it less frequently when out dining and I needed my biscuit base fix. This crumbly, digestive-based pie with flashings of toffee, whipped cream and banana is beautifully decadent. The thick toffee is almost sicky sweet so a sweet tooth is 100% required. I, however, couldn’t get enough of this sweet treat. My only criticism was the lack of ice cream, but it’s something I could look past because it tasted so darn good.
Luckily, Blair chose the Sticky Toffee Pudding which meant I could sneak a bite of this dessert also. The sticky toffee pudding was to die for. The moist toffee-soaked sponge and the luscious toffee sauce was gorgeous and with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream, all on a bed of pieces of crushed biscuit was the perfect finisher to a wonderful meal.
After a divine meal eating some gorgeous, local food, it’s definitely easy to say that we will be visiting Howies Restaurant again and hopefully it will be very soon. The menu is right up our street and it’s now somewhere I think that will pop into my mind straight away when looking to treat someone for a special occasion.
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