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Aberdeen Restaurant Week serves up feast of success in hugely-popular ‘foodie fortnight’

23/08/2023

ABERDEEN Restaurant Week has served up a feast of success with more restaurants than ever before joining in and thousands of diners heading to the city centre to enjoy top-class food at tempting prices.  

The hugely popular “foodie fortnight”, which ended on Sunday, August 20, saw 60 restaurants taking part, a record number for the event which has been running since 2017, organised by Aberdeen Inspired. 

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Each eatery offered a special Aberdeen Restaurant Week menu over the two weeks showcasing their food and drink, from lunch or dinner specials to sharing platters and even unique cocktails. 

The restaurants taking part were delighted to see a jump in bookings and an increase in footfall as discerning diners took full advantage of the tasty treats – and prices starting from just £10.  

The food on offer ranged from traditional Scottish dishes to cuisines from around the world, including Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Indian, Cuban and Thai. 

Many restaurants were also taking part in Aberdeen Restaurant Week for the first time, such as The Atrium on Chapel Street; The Exchange on Exchange Street; Smoke and Soul on Littlejohn Street; Milk Jug Café on Upperkirkgate; The Copthorne Hotel on Huntly Street and Shahbaaz Tandoori on Rose Street. 

Anis Ahmed, proprietor of Shahbaaz, said he was delighted with the boost Aberdeen Restaurant Week had brough for his restaurant.  

“It has been a great experience for the team at Shahbaaz. We welcomed lots of first-time customers, some of whom have already returned to experience the wider menu selection,” he said.  

“It has been a great two weeks for the business and look forward to being part of Aberdeen Restaurant Week again next year.” 

James Hailstones, one of the owners of Olive Alexanders on Golden Square, was equally enthusiastic after taking part in the event, describing Aberdeen Restaurant Week as a fantastic concept.  

“It was very successful for us from start to finish. We started getting full bookings for every day of Aberdeen Restaurant Week even before it started, so much so we had to put in extra tables in our restaurant to cope,” he said.  

“It was a huge increase on normal times. The only time we have seen something similar was the last time Aberdeen Restaurant Week was put on.  Of all the events that take place in Aberdeen City Centre restaurant week is the one that has the biggest impact on our business, it’s a great concept from start to finish.” 

The Terrace Bar And Café at His Majesty’s also experienced a boost during Aberdeen Restaurant Week, during a fortnight when the theatre was “dark” with no shows on. 

Taymar Buckley, Hospitality Team Leader at The Terrace, said: “Aberdeen Restaurant Week was wonderful. It gave us plenty of visitors throughout the day and we had a lot of new faces and customers who had never been before, as well as regulars who had seen the deals and were coming in specifically for them. 

“Aberdeen Restaurant Week gives people the incentive to go out, visit different places and see the sort of local produce and local businesses they might not usually go to. I went to plenty of different places myself, so that was nice.” 

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said he was delighted to see Aberdeen Restaurant Week achieving its aim of giving local cafes, restaurants and bars a platform to promote their food and drink while driving footfall into the city to boost the local economy. 

“The response to this Aberdeen Restaurant Week has been superb. We are just delighted to have had 60 venues joining in for this special foodie fortnight and even more pleased they are reporting a big increase in bookings. That so many places took part underlines just how popular the event has become since it started six years ago.  

“It is not just a hit with the places taking part, but with discerning diners, too, as can be seen by how busy eateries have been during restaurant week, creating a real buzz in the city.  

“You can tell from the blizzard of social media posts, with people highlighting their favourite menus or pointing out gems they have discovered, that it has captured the public imagination. 

“The team here at Aberdeen Inspired saw that firsthand. We enjoyed Aberdeen Restaurant Week as much as everyone else and were really heartened to see places we visited packed full of people enjoying the carefully curated menus. 

“That’s good for the restaurants, good for diners and very good for the city centre. 

“And if anyone wants seconds, I’m delighted to announce Aberdeen Restaurant Week will be returning in January and I am sure it will be just as popular.”  

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