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  • Writer's pictureLife & Style

Eating around the world in Aberdeen

Updated: Mar 27, 2022

Thailand, Japan, China, and Korea

by Rory Buccheri (@rebelfoodrory)

courtesy of Jakub Kapusnak

You don’t have to travel far to savour the specialities of mind-blowing food places. And yes, even though I’d rather be in warm Thailand right now rather than in my below-zero flat in Aberdeen, I still commit to that mantra! I’ve always found the city amazing for the variety of cuisine and food businesses available. Not half as big as Glasgow, Aberdeen still retains an ample and variegated food scene, where often local ingredients find expert handicraft from abroad. If you are sick of your neeps and tatties, or you want to add some pizzazz to your Sunday roast, I would start from these 3 food hubs, these leviathans of flavourful, authentic cuisine…right in the heart of Aberdeen city.

  1. THAILAND: Madame Mew’s

I always start talking about Madame Mew’s by saying “my Thai friends recommended it” – I think it says something about the way I approach non-local cuisine in big cities. If people from the place go and eat there, if they bite on that Pow Pia dish and it reminds them of home, I need no other proof that it is the best place to go. Here is my list of what you should not miss and why it will make your taste buds tingle with joy.

Kuay-Tiao moo

If you’re a fan of a low-key ramen, this is for you. Served in a clear pork broth enriched by lemongrass undertones, this rice noodle dish takes the classic to a new height of perfection. Adding to the perfect blend of tender pork strips and veggies, the spongy fish balls are a real jewel in the crown of this dish, adding a twist both for flavour and texture.


Served with jasmine rice, this Thai red curry has the perfect blend of spicy kick and soothing coconut milk sauce.

Kuay-Tiao Phad kee mao (V)

Luscious stir-fried flat noodles served in a silky chilli sauce and freshly cut basil leaf. A perfect combination of leafy bitter, chilli spice and soft, creamy noodle stir-fried to perfection.

left to right: Panaeng, King Nga Khaw, and Kuay-Tiao Moo.

  1. JAPAN AND KOREA: Yorokobi by CJ

Yorokobi is just a three-minute walk from Madame Mew’s, proving my point that this side of town is, indeed, the most exciting and thriving food hub. Offering a mix of Japanese and Korean dishes, Yorokobi’s Chef Jang hardly ever fails to impress his hungry customers.

Dol-sot Bibimbap

Served in a sizzling stone pot, this colourful and highly nutritious hot pot has the best components of Korean cuisine, with spiciness toned down (for British palates). Stir-fry veg, very tender meat, a whole fried egg and a silky sauce mix in this hearty hot dish.

Volcano Roll

To add a spicy kick to your usual California roll, this set of 10 rolls has a salmon and avocado filling, topped with flying fish egg, spicy sauce and mayo. With the softness of the roll and the crunchy texture of the fish egg, this Volcano Roll is a real yum-fest for the palate.

Legend Roll

My absolute favourite of this list, and something that I suspect is Chef Jang’s own creation. Sea bass roll, topped with grilled salmon and wasabi-flavoured tobiko. Creamy, silky, and with that slight kick of spice coming from the wasabi and the tobiko combo. If you pick one set of rolls, make it this one.

Pictured: the Dol-sot Bibimbap.

Pictured: the Legend Roll.

  1. CHINESE and CANTONESE: The Manchurian

Now that I have given you high-street restaurant contenders, it is my duty to suggest a favourite that is closer to the University campus. If you are on an empty stomach after a 7-hour study session in the library, it’s important that you know that the Manchurian is at a comfortable 10 minutes walking distance. Besides, it has everything you might possibly want: from traditional Chinese cuisine to Cantonese specials, to dim-sum. What are you waiting for?

Vegetable Chow Mein (V)

I dare you to find a place where Chow Mein is given more sacred importance than here. The stir-fry vegetable and noodle combo is served sizzling hot here and in portions big enough to fill you up but still leave time for a couple more dumplings.

Roast Duck with Plum Sauce

The punchy and crunchy mix of a scrumptious roast duck, with its skin cracking at every bite, is united to a bittersweet sensation when paired with the plum sauce. If your go-to is a chicken dish, you will not regret upgrading to a luscious duck one. Silkier, more tender, and full of flavour, it will be one of those things you’ll end up craving.

Pork & Chinese Leaf Dumplings Never have my lips touched a more blessed thing than this. A set of dumplings, steamed to perfection, filled with tender pork bits and Chinese leaf – the blend is perfect in itself. And if you ever want to replicate that food euphoria, the great news is that you can find most of their dish components on sale in the shop they own next door, the iconic Matthew’s Foods.

When you are curious about eating out in Aberdeen, the world can be your oyster. Or your roast duck. Or your Bibimbap. Be adventurous, try new places, venture in new alleys…and if you find a real, hidden gem, we are dying to hear about it. Email, or share your thoughts with Rory on her food platform, @rebelfoodrory on Instagram. In the meantime, enjoy your meal!

**This review was possible thanks to the Development Trust.***


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