While I was up in Aberdeen, I had the wonderful pleasure of having dinner at Musa. I wanted to try somewhere new when I was in the city & a Twitter vote decided my fate. Set in an old 19th century church, Musa is a restaurant, art gallery and live music venue in the merchant quarter of old Aberdeen.
“Our eclectic menu fuses world inspired cuisine with quirky interpretations of Scottish staples. We fiercely advocate an artisanal, old world approach to food, focusing on local produce from small Scottish suppliers”.
We took our seats and were soon welcomed by Musa’s General Manager John Kelman who gave us some background info of the place, introduced us to the menus & spoke about drink pairings for each dish.
Looking at the Main Menu & Specials Menu, I honestly couldn’t choose what I wanted. Everything sounded so good especially the Black Pudding Dauphinoise which accompanied some of the dishes. In the end, I decided to order Scallops & Razor Clams with Basil Pesto and Pea Shoots to start with and then Venison, Bubble & Squeak, Green Beans, Asparagus, Sweet Potato Crisps & a Juniper Jus for Main Course off of the Specials Menu with a side order of Black Pudding Dauphinoise (I couldn’t resist!). Gillian ordered Haggis and Coriander Spring Roll with Chilli Jam to start with and then Ginger Roast Duck Breast, Braised Red Cabbage, Spiced Apple Puree and Black Pudding Dauphinoise.
Despite my ever growing love for Seafood, I’ve never tried Razor Clams before so I honestly didn’t know what to expect. The scallops were plump and cooked just the way I liked them. The razor clams reminded me a little of squid. Of course, I have nothing to compare it to so I’m not entirely sure they were supposed to remind me of squid… but they did. Both the scallops and razor clams were complimented with the warm basil pesto and pea shoot salad.
Gillian’s Haggis and Coriander Spring Rolls were amazing. I know that’s a little cliche to say but trust me, if you’re ever in Aberdeen, get your butt down to Musa just to try these babies. Crispy spring roll on the outside, peppery haggis in the inside with a chilli jam on the side. I honestly couldn’t fault anything about this dish (from the bits I tried) and I know neither could Gillian. We could have happily continued eating more of these until we could no longer move. That’s how good it was.
Along with our starters, John brought over some drinks to compliment them in particular 5am Saint by Brew Dog for the Haggis. I was given a White Wine (not pictured) to compliment my Scallops. I’m more of a Red Wine drinker, as you can see from the photo below but the White Wine was a nice addition.
After a short break it was time for our Main Courses. My venison was tender, pink & had a lovely taste to it. It was a little rich but venison is a rather rich gamey meat. The sweet potato crisps were too sweet for my liking, but that’s just my personal preference. Bubble & Squeak was an interesting additional to the dish. I can’t say I’ve ever tried it along with Venison before, however, along with the Juniper Jus it was a combination that worked well. On a side note, it’s great to find a restaurant that knows how green beans and asparagus should be cooked. I’ve been to many an awful restaurant that give me mashed up vegetables that should have been al dente. It’s rather refreshing!
My specially requested side order of Black Pudding Dauphinoise was spectacular. You’d think with the amount of Black Pudding we eat in Glasgow that someone would have “invented” this but I have yet to see this on the menu anywhere in Glasgow. Soft, Creamy Potatoes layered with Black Pudding. Heaven in your mouth. Even though I was pretty full, I couldn’t stop eating this. Someone has to bring this wonderfulness to Glasgow. STAT!
Gillian’s Duck was delicious. Pink and tender, it melted in your mouth. I’m not a fan of “fatty” duck so was glad to see that there was no fat around. The spiced apple puree gave a nice sweetness to the meat and of course, helped give some added flavour to the black pudding dauphinoise which is my new favourite thing. I never tried the red cabbage because quite frankly, cabbage is on my list of “must never eat again vegetables”. Gillian did say she really liked it, so I’ll take her word for that! To be honest, if I had to order a main course all over again, I’d go with the duck over the venison. Don’t get my wrong, I did really enjoy my venison but the duck had more of a “wow factor” when I tried it. I’m pretty sure Gillian attempted to lick her plate clean. Just don’t tell her I said that!
We were both of the verge of bursting we were so full but you can’t go out for dinner without having dessert can you? I’m sure there is some law against it. No? Well I’m starting that rule from now, especially when sticky toffee pudding is on the menu. Oh yes. Gillian & I decided to share dessert because I honestly doubt we could eat a full one to ourselves. The sticky toffee pudding was light and fluffy with the perfect amount of toffee sauce smothered all over it. Unfortunately, I didn’t like the drambuie ice cream as it was too strong for me. Gillian on the other hand loved it and ate it all. Looking back, I’m pretty sure we didn’t need dessert but we were greedy and it tasted so so good.
I’m glad that my twitter followers told me about Musa as I’m sure it’s going to be a place I frequent whenever I’m visiting Aberdeen. It is a little expensive but in fairness, you’d pay about the same for food in Glasgow which is not up to the same standard. Overall, I couldn’t fault the food or service at Musa and to me, that is worth every penny.
Note: I dined at Musa as guests in return for a review. Whilst our meal was complimentary, I was under no obligation to write a positive review and my comments reflect my true experience on that evening.
- Food - 10/1010/10
- Service - 10/1010/10
- Value - 8/108/10