Posts Tagged With: Sunday

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: , , , , ,

Amicus Apple

Visited in Aberdeen

Since our latest Sunday brunch hunt my colleagues have got a bit more savvy about the Aberdeen weekend food scene. This particular Sunday I had the tough task to chose one of a number of brunch diners, but once I heard the name Amicus Apple I jumped on the occasion.

The venue is better known as a laid-back cocktail place, and all credit where it’s due. Since it also features a burger-led day menu I did not expect it to offer breakfast options; and yet the tasty-looking carte du brunch sealed the deal this time for my friend and me.

Although I got there two minutes after the door opening at midday, the place was already buzzing with busy tables – a sign that Amicus‘ brunch offering is not much of a secret. The venue is actually perfectly suited for an early afternoon Spring-time meal: it is bright and airy, with round open table booths as well as an elevated, high-table area in the middle, crowned by a wall of living decor (moss-covered stones, perhaps?) behind a glass window. I sat at one of those and awaited the arrival of my friend, just moments later.

This was a cue for the busy-looking staff to deliver us a second menu, share with us the day’s specials (we could order either off the brunch menu or just go straight for the chicken roast) and take our drinks order. Since it was noon and I hadn’t had a coffee by that time, the choice for me was simple. However, although we requested just a mocha and an orange lemonade, it seemed to take forever for our drinks to arrive – and the food took even longer once that order was taken too.

Mocha at Amicus Apple

Mocha at Amicus Apple

As engrossed I might have been in the conversation with a likeminded female gossiper, I could not ignore the mini-shock when I my coffee. Nicely presented, with a soft, velvety milk cushion, the mocha was lukewarm! This is the first time I can remember a coffee review being faulted by too low a temperature of the brew, not the opposite.

Why was that a problem? With the lack of temperature the whole thing lacked punchiness, and although I could taste the sweetness of the chocolate on the bottom of the cup – even more so after I gave it a decent stir – I could not feel any caffeine kick from it whatsoever. It was more of a summer dessert than a Sunday morning perk-me-up.

Although I was busy conversing, my seat gave me a pretty good view of the bar and I hadn’t noticed our drinks having been left waiting for service, so I couldn’t understand why the coffee hadn’t been delivered hot. I had drunk the first one quickly, and since my friend ordered another orange lemon, I decided to give the mochas another go – and the result was exactly the same! You can’t knock them on consistency, and it seems that is the temperature they make their coffee at… or, that their espresso machine was broken (a painful issue – speaking from my own barista experience).

As any afternoon spent with my girl, I would not shelve this event as a wasted one; even though the coffee wasn’t up to scratch (the eggs Benedict were more on the hard-boiled side too), the venue certainly has some charm to it and is a great get-together place. As for staff – who I haven’t spoken much about here as they were hardly ever present, just flashing by our table sorting out all orders – all I can say is that we didn’t leave a big tip.

Mocha: £2.70

Verdict justification: All elements of the coffee nicely executed, but the low temperature and lack of punchiness are a big let-down

Categories: Aberdeen, Chains, UK | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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