Park Lane Restaurant and Bar, Aberdeen

As is typical with a lot of ‘little gem’ finds, the Park Lane Restaurant and Bar was a chance find, during an overnight stay in the neighbouring Micasa Apartments.

Aberdeen city centre has changed considerably since my last stay and the Park Lane contributes hugely to the city’s culinary offering.

A quick check through Trip Advisor, not wishing to take any chances for a group of ten of us, came up very positive; and on a cold Winter’s evening in Aberdeen, the joy of literally popping in next door, made it doubly appealing.

As it turned out, this restaurant is most definitely worth travelling to. A very warm welcome on a cold Saturday night by the most friendly and naturally proficient waiting staff, made for a good start in this contemporary, upscale city bar and restaurant. A cocktail bar downstairs and restaurant on the upper level with unique, retro styling, offered an intimate dining space with comfortable seating and a relaxed ambience – a superb start.

The menu, as the waitress explained, was still reduced in size and contained the Christmas selections as our visit was still within the Festive period. No less impressive, the small choice had obviously been carefully selected and still offered a quandary for the indecisive in the group – not due to lack of choice but the mouthwatering, descriptive dishes presented in front of us – all of them with unique appeal.

Presentation and taste fully lived up to the expectation, which the menu had so temptingly built; a spiced butternut squash and coconut soup delivered fully on taste, stored to memory as one of the favourites. The duck and pistachio terrine was also a popular choice around our table, served with a fruity chutney and Scottish oatcakes in a perfect starter sizing.

The timing of the waiting staff had been perfected and suited us for a relaxed night out – neither hurried nor slow, service was unobtrusive, friendly and perfectly pitched.

Upon the arrival of the mains, we knew we were onto something good – venison cooked to perfection and a chicken dish, which was simply remarkable with a blaze of natural fresh tastes and outstanding accompaniments including festive cranberry and chestnut.

The finale for our visit before we retired next door for coffees, were the splendid desserts – fabulous pairings and interesting mixes – seemingly standard dishes, made different – obviously the result of an impassioned and motivated chef – all credit to him and his front of house team.