I remember when I moved to the suburb of Aberdeen, Bridge of Don, and people were talking about this bar called the Mains.
It took me a while to realize they meant the Mains of Scotstown – and even longer to find the place!
It’s tucked away in an area surrounded by various housing estates, so you won’t necessarily walk past it.
Years ago, when I was expecting my first baby, my prenatal group would meet there for coffees comparing bumps and general baby talk. The bumps were slowly replaced by car seats as all the babies came into the world, so we had to switch to a more suitable setting for our catch-ups.
Of course, all of these babies are now adults and old enough to drink alone at the bar these days.
The family restaurant is quite striking from the outside with a large courtyard and a wall adorned with thriving climbing ivy. There are plenty of picnic tables and a plethora of umbrellas over the tables if the sun gets too hot, while a large marquee provides shelter if the rain does appear.
They also have an outdoor dining menu and a cocktail menu, but later.
Three of us visited on a Sunday evening and the restaurant was very quiet with only a few other tables occupied. Inside, the decor is very sleek and modern, with seating in varying shades of blue and numerous fabric textures, while stunning teal dressers are used for storage.
Exquisite industrial-style chandeliers provide plenty of light while wood paneling and wooden floors complete the contemporary look.
A young waiter greeted us warmly and showed us to our table as we perused the menus.
The menu has half a dozen starters and desserts. The main courses are divided into a section of classics, burgers and dawgs, pizza, grill and a section of healthier options.
We chose the popular Italian antipasto bruschetta to share.
Stacked on two pieces of crusty ciabatta bread were delicious juicy diced tomatoes, red onion and basil. The balsamic glaze was gently drizzled around the white serving plate and over the tomatoes.
A delicious fresh starter that was enjoyed.
Then for the main course there was a giant chicken skewer, hunter’s chicken and a Thai red vegetable curry.
The skewer arrived on a large wooden board loaded with food. Lots of fries, coleslaw and a side salad shared the platter with the meat.
Threaded onto the wooden skewer were large chunks of juicy chicken marinated in peri-peri, red onion and bell pepper. They all had the perfect grill look and flavor, while the accompanying dip was definitely not for the faint hearted with a surprising amount of spice.
I tasted one of my favorite pubs, the hunter’s chicken. How can you not love a chicken breast wrapped in bacon, covered in barbecue sauce and cheese?
It was real comfort food, bursting with lots of different flavors, and I devoured this and every one of the large fries.
On the other side of the table, mum was eating her curry. The presentation looked good with a rice dome topped with red chillies surrounded by curry. However, she was a bit disappointed with the curry which lacked depth of real flavor and contained very little heat.
A naan bread or maybe a poppadum could have been a welcome addition and would also have added texture to the dish.
Being the “dessert queen” of the family, I had already spotted delicious sweet treats at the back of the menu.
Chocolate death, affogato and a banoffee sundae sounded equally mouth-watering, but since it was summer and sunny, I opted for the Eton Mess.
It really felt like summer in a bowl with cherries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and physalis, all perched on a thick layer of creme fraiche.
Underneath was fruit coulis, crushed meringue and the absolute winning ingredient – lemon curd. The sweet and tangy curd took this dish to a new level and I vowed to try it at home.
We chatted with the waiter while paying the bill and inquired about the outdoor space. He gave us a look at the bar menu which is served outside and got us drunk at the dirty fries section, with temporary toppings such as chicken katsu, haggis and pepper sauce, or the old favorite, fries, cheese and gravy.
There’s also a basket section with chicken, meat and vegetable burgers, fish and chips and scampi, and a selection of pizzas with various toppings.
Le Mains also offers many gins to enjoy indoors or outdoors and also offers a nice range of summer cocktails.
We really enjoyed our Sunday evening treat. Special mention to the two young servers who were very polite and friendly throughout our visit.
The restaurant is ideal for all ages with plenty of choice to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters at reasonable prices.
The beer garden is definitely worth a visit and we can’t wait to walk our dog there and sample those dirty fries and a cocktail – we just need the sun to shine.
Lesley Taylor is a staff restaurant critic. She works in the events team at DCT Media and is based in Aberdeen.
Lesley has been reviewing area restaurants for over a decade.
Address: Mains of Scotstown, Jesmond Square, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen AB22 8WT
P: 01224 825222
Price: £60 for a starter, three courses, dessert, two soft drinks, a beer and a latte
- Food: 4/5
- Performance: 4/5
- Surroundings: 4/5
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[Tasty feast at Mains of Scotstown in Aberdeen]