Scone Spy can be just a wee bit prickly if it’s bakes aren’t right. So we were not only relieved but thrilled to find The Tasty Thistle does us proud.
We rocked up early one morning to find the scones not quite ready to go. But the reputation of this newly launched eatery was such that we decided to go back later.
And we’re glad we did.
There they were, on display, fresh out of the oven, just waiting to be devoured. Our choices were simple – plain, fruit or cheese – so we took one of each.
While we waited for them to be served we took in the clientele; chatty senior schoolgirls huddled, cross-legged in the window seat, on plump, soft cushions; mums with buggies chatting over cappuccinos; business types, bags stashed under their tables, tucking into hearty lunches; all clearly comfortable in the Thistle’s bright, modern interior.
The menu displays an array of bagels, wraps, baguettes and baked tatties filled with house favourites such as the traditional Mealy Thistle (chicken, bacon, sausage, cheddar cheese, and barbecue sauce), the Balmoral Thistle (roast chicken, haggis and cheddar) and the Vegan Thistle (falafel, onion, peppers, and vegan cheese and mayo).
With vegans in mind, there are a string of milk alternatives (coconut, almond, soya, and oat) to go with its good selection of teas and coffees.
Back on the food front there’s also the opportunity to create your own toastie or roll from the vast selection of fillings on offer.
Sit-in customers have their food served with a side salad, coleslaw and crisps, and can add a small cup of soup for £1.50. Tray bakes and cakes are also available and are made daily (along with the scones) by owner Nicky Robertson, who runs the café with his fiancée Sarah Smith.
Our scones were super generously-sized and so delicious we chose to eat them without jam.
With a slightly crisp outer shell and a soft, light interior we judged them to be among the best we have ever tasted. The savoury scone was beautifully cheesy – unlike some we had sampled from other eateries with cheese only on top. The fruit variety was bursting with fat, flavoursome currants, and the plain was scrumptious simplicity.
The cost? Just £1.20 each.
The owners – who are in their 20s and have two little girls – opened this place in March. It has blossomed in their hands and has fast become a favourite with the Granite City’s West End residents. We can see why.
The Tasty Thistle has a breakfast and a main menu with a good selection of goodies from around the world, from Thai sriracha, and Jamaican reggae reggae sauce to Greek halloumi cheese and jalapenos from Spain. And then there are pancakes and puddings to die for.
But best of all for us is its traditional Scots fayre like potato scones, haggis, black pudding – and those bakes.
We feel a Thistle-themed song coming on, Flower Of Scotland anyone?
The Tasty Thistle, 40-42 Thistle Street, Aberdeen
Warm and friendly with fast service. 9/10
Fabulously located in the Granite City’s West End on a street peppered with boutique shops and cosmopolitan eateries, and an art gallery nearby. 9/10
Excellent. Sizeable, beautifully baked, and extremely well-priced. 10/10
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