For seven long years of my life I walked Midstocket Road twice a day to and from primary school.
Around the corner from Kings Gate, I used to admire an interesting building with a rounded facade, much like a small-town Aberdeen’s answer to the Flatiron Building in New York.
This building was always a bank and clean as a pin, until it wasn’t. Then there was an old barricaded building, sad and left to rot.
Years passed and even though I no longer walked every day, every time I saw the smooth, rounded facade of the granite, I couldn’t help but think it was a mess.
Fast forward a decade, and it has been transformed into a successful little restaurant called Cognito on the Corner, which I have visited many times with pleasure.
I then felt a sense of deja vu when I heard that it was also going to close. Was this building cursed?
It turns out however, fortunately, that the restaurant was simply taken over and renamed – Milton on the Corner.
It was time to leave for a visit.
If you visited this restaurant when it was Cognito, you will notice more than a few similarities.
The beautiful marble-topped bar still takes center stage, with diners seated both at the bar itself on high stools or on small low tables and booths around the edges.
It sets a great vibe as you watch the bartenders shake cocktails and pour pints all evening.
There are plenty of nods to the area, with lights spelling out the names of nearby places like Mile-End or the Victoria Bridge.
So it was a little disappointing to be led through the busy bar and into a smaller room at the back of the restaurant – but I had booked last minute and was grateful to have a table.
Another bonus was that despite being seated away from the main drag, the staff were very attentive throughout the evening.
The menu was similar to how I remembered it from my last visit; full of classics like steak, fish and chips and burgers, but with some interesting dishes like pork chops with mango and chilli salsa and cod with chorizo croquettes.
To start, my boyfriend Ollie chose bon bon haggis which were served with a fig and chilli jam.
They were spicy and peppery like haggis should be, and would burn the roof of your mouth like any good deep fried goodness should.
I had opted for bruschetta but ordered skink from Cullen in a panic when the waitress came to the table. It’s one of my favorites and I haven’t regretted it.
The chunks of smoked fish were generous and served in a thin but creamy soup, rather than the thick soup that sticks to your ribs that Cullen’s skink can sometimes be, and which I find too hearty for a starter.
Soon our mains arrived and I had chosen another fish dish (yes, I know it’s not the ‘done thing’ but you’ll see why I just had to have that main course).
The fisherman’s platter arrived on a wooden board and consisted of huge king prawns, lightly breaded haddock gudgeons, grilled prawns and two different types of smoked salmon – the cold raw type and the crumbled type smoked at hot.
This was served with crusty bread, pickled vegetables and tartar sauce.
Technically this is called a ‘platter to share’ and is probably meant for a starter to share or nibble with friends and a few wines, but it made a great main course for one person and everything tasted wonderfully fresh.
My fingers were sticky with the garlic from having separated from the shells and my mouth was tingling from the sour capers.
Across the table, Ollie was eating a sirloin steak with fries and blue cheese sauce.
It was cooked rare and slightly charred on the outside just the way he liked it, which isn’t always easy with a ribeye.
However, the blue cheese sauce – while tasty – was a little runny which made it difficult to stick to the fries and steak on your fork.
Both portions were an excellent size and Ollie helped me finish the last bites of my smoked salmon.
We were tempted by the dessert, especially the special which was a Biscoff brownie with honeycomb and banana ice cream, but ended up being too full.
I finished with a final glass of peppermint tea and Ollie drank another beer.
It was lovely to sit and enjoy the setting of the restaurant and the late night entertainment, and the staff were more than happy to let us in, which was exactly what we wanted.
Milton on the Corner looks a lot like its predecessor, but IMHO that’s not a bad thing.
The food is delicious and well cooked. The restaurant also offers coffees, brunches and Sunday lunches, so there is plenty to taste.
Milton also has a private room for small groups and offers an excellent cocktail menu.
I’m so glad this restaurant survived, it would be an incredible waste to walk past and find boarded up windows again.
But for now, this neighborhood restaurant seems to be thriving and I’m crossing my fingers that it stays that way.
Address: 1 Midstocket Road, Aberdeen, AB15 5NE
what we ate: Two dishes for two people plus two cocktails, three beers and a tea.
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[Milton on the Corner in Aberdeen]