Posts Tagged With: Cognito

Cognito on the Corner

I remember visiting the original Cognito for the first time three years ago (has it really been this long?!). At the time the standalone cafe only had a few seats outside – by now, the brand has built a mini local empire.

Today, Cognito is sporting a lovely outdoor area at the original shop, a wee branded van running about town, and a total of four different venues across the West End. I’m yet to visit the Deli across the road from the cafe, or the newest addition situated within the Queen’s Cross Church nearby, but I have already been twice to the stunning bistro/gin bar, Cognito on the Corner.

The first visit was on an early spring night, not too long after its opening. The decor was mesmerising: gold and brass in art deco, very Gatsby and very much to my taste – which made the few G&Ts, a charcuterie platter and the tête-à-tête with my company that night that much more enjoyable, even if we were sat at the bar.

After that, I forgot about the venue, partly due to it being a bit away from the city centre, and partly because the couple times I’d enquired for a table, they were fully booked.

But this was an unusual Sunday for myself and my other half, as we decided to take a break from hiking and stay in town. We fancied ourself some brunch, so our first shout was the Deli – unfortunately, as it later turned out, we picked the wrong date for it, as it was hosting Cognito’s bi-annual staff do that night, and was therefore closed.

Mocha at Cognito on the Corner

The Corner wasn’t, however, and – once more – we managed to get the last seats at the bar. By that time ravenous, I ordered my Eggs Royale and a mocha, trusting in the coffee quality implied by the venue’s heritage; since the brew arrived first I went straight for it.

Unfortunately, the first sip revealed it did not stand up neither to the glam interior nor the Cognito legacy. Although it was well made, with smooth texture, it lacked the chocolatey sweetness, but at the same time had a bit of a powdery taste to it. There was only one size available to order and it was pretty big, and as it cooled down it developed a bitter milk aftertaste.

Sadly, neither did the Eggs Royale impress on this occasion. Because it was after noon at this point, my other half went for the Sunday roast, which still left him craving more; we thought about maybe ordering sweets from the pastry section at the back of the restaurant, but once we saw the minimalistic display, we decided against it.

Even though this wasn’t a memorable experience, I’m sure we will pay the Deli a visit soon, and I would still recommend the Corner for a romantic dinner or a night out with the girls – but probably best to stick to the original Cognito for coffee and cake.

Mocha: £3.50

Verdict justification: The venue is great for evening entertaining – not so much for a coffee break.

Categories: Aberdeen, Cafes, Local, UK | Tags: , , , , ,

Cafe Cognito

full star

When I discovered Aberdeen’s West End mid-last year, I instantly fell in love with that part of the city for its manicured driveways and peaceful surroundings; and ever since I’ve taken up walking again, it’s been one of my favourite destinations – getting lost among some of the most expensive houses in town. My previous coffee experience in the area was not great, but better things were underway – even if I was not aware of them at the time. Only during my recent walk did I discover Cafe Cognito – virtually opposite Rocksalt, which opened shortly after my first visit to the area. It was a sunny Sunday, and I could feel it in my bones this would be a good one. When I entered the cramped cafe area I was a bit baffled by whether the place offered any seating at all, other than the windowsill tables, which were both taken. There was some commotion created by five or six staff behind the bar (which was partly formed by the counter, partly by an ice-cream fridge), all genuinely busy working away: making coffees, composing salads or taking orders. There were also two small queues formed: one at the till, moving rather swiftly, and the second one to the other side of the entrance awaiting their take-away orders (in the way of the staff moving between tables delivering food and drink). Regardless of the chaos, there was a positive vibe about the place, noticeable from the onset.

Mocha at Cafe Cognito

Mocha at Cafe Cognito

In the few seconds it took me to take all this visual information in, it was my turn to order; I did not even have time to look at one of the wooden menu boards on the wall, but what was beneath them certainly caught my attention: a beautiful display of cakes and pastries. I asked for a mocha and after a very short battle with myself also went for a pecan cake, which I picked up as self-service, while the coffee would be delivered to my table. By the time I paid I had learnt that the venue extended to the back with additional seating, and – to add to the quirky feel of the place – a nail bar, behind glass door. Somehow there was a free spot at the window, and the coffee arrived shortly after I made myself comfy on a cute metal chair – and it was massive. Size aside, the presentation was quite appealing, with nice latte art on top of a firm chocolatey foam (and a piece of tablet on the side) – and the taste lived up to the expectations. The brew was of a smooth texture, with good quality mellow chocolate, of which I could still see some melted residue on the bottom of the cup as I was making my way through the drink. The temperature was just on the verge of being too hot, but still drinkable upon delivery. And a delicate sharpness of the caffeine rounded the mocha off nicely – and went particularly well with the pecan cake. It didn’t take me long at all to be finished and full – the portion (both coffee and cake) was enough to keep me going for the rest of my walk, which I embarked on with a spring in my step, confident I would be back again.

Mocha: £2.50

Verdict justification: Lovely, lively place, with lots of character and great tasting coffee (and cake)

Categories: Aberdeen, Cafes, Local, UK | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

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