Rock & Oyster, a new seafood restaurant situated in the heart of Aberdeen, is opening tomorrow (8 August), with the 25-year-old head chef wanting to bring a bit of informality back to the city’s dining scene.
The new 40-cover restaurant is situated in the city centre, on the site of Italian restaurant Pavarotti’s, which had operated there for 10 years. Chef Ryan Fowler, who has previously worked at Amore Dogs and Santini Ristorante in Edinburgh, believes Rock & Oyster’s relaxed atmosphere will provide a much-needed alternative to nearby venues, the majority of which are based on a fine-dining model.
“Service as we all know is key to any restaurant but I really don’t want to be fussed over with three sets of cutlery, three wine glasses and little room left at my table for dining,” he said. “I also don’t want to be going in for lunch at 1pm and then encouraged to leave by 2pm."
“So at Rock and Oyster service is unfussy with simply-dressed table-tops, and diners can stay as long as they like.”
Fowler’s menu focuses on simplicity, with ‘flavour and food integrity top priorities’. Oysters and Mussels each have their own sections of the menu, with dishes including chilled oysters, served on crushed ice with fresh lemon and tabasco sauce; and Shetland blueshell mussels with a hot-smoked salmon and spring onion sauce.
Other menu items include Arbroath Smokie fishcakes (£5.95), crab and asparagus risotto topped with a soft poached egg (£14.95), and beer-battered haddock with hand-cut chips (£11.25).
A few hand-picked suppliers have been selected for the restaurant’s produce, including Bluflag Fisheries from Aberdeen; Turiffs of Montrose; Braehead Foods in Kilmarnock; and Inverarity Morton in Glasgow.
Around £50,000 has been spent on the restaurant by its owners Mountwest Achieve. The dining room, which has been designed by Lynne Frost Interiors, continues the modern, simple ethos, with branding created by Edinburgh-based design agency Nexus24.
The Rock & Oyster opens at 27-29 union terrace, Aberdeen, on 8 August.