Restaurant review

Restaurant review: Cartoos in Aberdeen

Who needs a motto like ‘Who Dares Wins’ from the legendary SAS when you can have one like Cartoos in Aberdeen?

“Life is Short – Eat More Ice Cream” greets visitors to their dazzling ice cream, milkshake and dessert parlor tucked away in a corner of the seaside restaurant.

It must be hard to walk past this place without parting with the money, especially on sunny seaside days with kids.

But we had bigger fish to fry and rushed into the restaurant to put our teeth into the restaurant’s full menu.

Cooking fish became a bone of contention later on, as you will soon find out.

Cartoos invites you inside with attractive interior design that showcases pendant lights and floral decorations.

Cartoos Grill House and Desserts

We wasted no time making our way to a cozy alcove near the entrance.

We were not alone: ​​a “robot” showed us our seats from the front door.
Cartoos have a pair of them spinning indoors, drawing a lot of attention when they open in August.

The robots look like electronic carts and have been tasked with performing various tasks by the service staff, primarily delivering meals, collecting dishes, or welcoming guests to their tables.

Some might make a little fuss about “taking jobs away from real servers,” but to us these bots seemed to be a useful support for existing service staff.

One of the robots is waiting for the staff.

They were also a lot of fun for the kids to watch.

If I had to navigate a map to trace the exact culinary roots of the menu, I would be hard pressed; this is the range offered by Cartoos.

Mediterranean influences rub shoulders with dishes closer to home.

The menu covers many bases; grilled meats and fish alongside exotic burgers for lunch and dinner.

The interior.

Breakfast is also on the menu.

Cartoos is a stone’s throw from Aberdeen Beach. It was great to see the beloved strip of restaurants rejuvenated with local produce during these trying times.

The food

We started our evening with cocktails, langoustine and bruschetta.

My bruschetta, topped with brie and tomato on sourdough bread, was light and flavorful.

My wife’s little duo of langoustines, spread with lettuce and avocado, were pretty to look at, however, they flattered to deceive; there was only a tiny amount of flesh to scratch.

Our night reached a turning point with the main course, which turned out to be a story of pain and ecstasy.

I picked an old favorite, Fruitti Di Mare.

Fruitti Di Mare.

You know the sort of thing. Seafood – squid, prawns and mussels in a stew-style dish.

The dish was a dazzling creation, but, although it arrived in an extravagant large dish, the bowl itself was quite small; the various elements seemed to be piled up and almost tumbled down.

Normally I would expect to see similar dishes from Fruitti Di Mare topped with tomato sauce, but this one was much simpler and cooked with butter, garlic and oil – the kind of dish you get. would see in Spain, for example.

The squid made up about 30% of the dish, but unfortunately it was tough and chewy with a chewy consistency.

The robot delivers food to your table.

It was a shame because I could see that a lot of effort was put into the presentation.

Squid is delicate and the timing has to be perfect. It needs to be cooked for less time to achieve the required tenderness – or longer to compensate for overcooking. It breaks the toughness created by leaving it on for too long.

It was pretty obvious that I had a problem with the meal because I left the squid mostly intact and ate the rest. I reported my concern to a friendly waiter.

My wife was having a much better time. His Turkish lamb chops were superb. The dish of the day according to us.

Lamb chops.

Served on a slate, the five succulent chops were neatly lined up like soldiers on parade. Portions of red cabbage, lettuce, onions, coleslaw and rice also joined the training.

Cooked to perfection with a lovely seasoning and a light dusting of chili powder, the chops were a joy – I know because my wife couldn’t handle them all on her own.

The kitchen has made every effort for the desserts.

My brownie, in a sizzling caramel sauce with ice cream on the side, was a gem. My wife’s banana waffle with strawberries and white chocolate was also excellent.

Chocolate brownie with caramel sauce.

They reduced the total bill by 10% as a token of goodwill on my fish dish, but I was slightly disappointed because whenever this has happened in other restaurants in the past, the whole dish has always been wiped off.

The last time something like this happened to us was at a restaurant in Spain a few weeks ago.

My wife’s expensive sirloin steak was so tough she left most of it in and she reported it to a waiter.

We reiterated our concern after being charged full price for the steak, so the restaurant deducted it completely from the bill.

Banana waffle with strawberries and white chocolate.

Apparently the waiter had not informed his boss of our previous complaint and the unfortunate man was dragged outside and dressed fiercely in public in front of the diners.

It was the whole Basil Fawlty, other than handcuffing his ear like poor Manuel in the classic comedy. In real life, it was embarrassing and unnecessary.

I’m not suggesting for a second that something similar should have happened in Cartoos for that matter.

The verdict

Perhaps this was a sign of Covid’s havoc on hospitality finances.

But overall we enjoyed Cartoos and would stay there again – despite the Squid Game.


Address: Cartoos, Beach Esplanade, Aberdeen AB24 5NS

Phone. : 01224 589132


Price: £ 75.30 (after a 10% discount) for three courses for two plus a side, three alcoholic drinks and two coffees


  • Food: 4/5
  • Service: 4/5
  • Surroundings: 4/5

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