“ 1, Union Terrace / Aberdeen / Aberdeenshire / AB10 1JB / Tel: 01224 251120. „
My partner and I thought we pop in here for a quick drink whilst out shopping. Being on Union st it's ideally located for tired shoppers and it doesn't have much competition - the next nearest place being an intimidating looking cocktail bar about 30 metres further up.
PRICES - pretty average for Aberdeen I'd say. A pint of Stella and a diet coke was £5.40 - I had a quick look at the food prices too and these ranged from £5-£20.
FACILITIES - if you're a sports fan you're in luck, this place has so many screens that you are guaranteed to find a spot in the bar with a good view.
CLEANLINESS - the toilets were clean but that was about it. The bar was a bit sticky and so was the table we were sat at. It needed a good soapy clean.
ATMOSPHERE - we went in at about 2pm on Saturday and it was very busy and very loud. If you want a quiet drink this isn't the place for you, if on the other hand you're a stag or hen party and want a place that you're large group can gather then get yourself down here! The music I feel is too loud as well, they we're play dance music on a Saturday afternoon!
This place isn't really my cup of tea. But if you're a football fan or on a stag or hen do you'd no doubt love it. You can tell it's geared for stag and hen parties too as there are machines in the toilets which sell various hen and stag party essentials such as "grow your own man" and various other things which I'm sure I can't type lol!
I went into the monkey house yesterday Thursday March fifth. My first visit and certainly my last. I ordered an orange juice and macaroni cheese my favourite dish. What was presented in front of me defies description. A plate of bright orange goo. The plate is hot said the waiter.One side of the meal was very hot the other side stone cold.Oh and there was also a wafer thin slice of garlic bread.As a cook myself I would not have expected anyone to eat this microwaved mess.
Was out with my wife for some afternoon shopping and a few drinks. We had planned to end up at the monkey house for our tea. When we arrived at 5 there was about 6-8 empty tables but when the waitress came to seat us she told us they were not taking any more customers as the kitchen could not cope. I advised her they should maybe just put out the amount of tables that they can cope with. there was another few people turned away after us.
Some of you will be aware that my bloke and I recently met up with another couple from Ciao, for a weekend of relaxation, shopping and pubs. This get together took place in Aberdeen, which is a city that I have always loved visiting but havent really had much of a chance to socialise in at night. Looking for a place to eat on the Saturday night at 8pm was a bit of a struggle, as we were looking for a pub that offered a good variety of food rather than one of the many specialist restaurants that offer Thai, Chinese, Italian or Indian delicacies or a burger joint.
On our way wandering down Union Street we spotted a large beautiful building that was all lit up and called The Monkey House. We noticed that there seemed to be a menu board outside so popped across the busy main street for a nosy. It offered a good selection at a price that was acceptable to us all so we wandered in, getting a friendly good evening from the bouncers as we did so.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Aberdeen, this pub actually has the address of 1, Union Terrace, and is just beside the bridge on Union Street that overlooks the park that heads off towards the Robert Gordon University. Union Street is filled with lots of pubs, clubs and shops and comes alive at night with a variety of differently aged people, all looking to go out and have a good time with their friends. There are many students in Aberdeen as it boasts two Universities but we found that everyone was friendly and courteous even as the night wore on and more alcohol had been consumed.
Beautifully decorated high ceilings and marble pillars are in evidence as you walk into the very elaborately decorated pub/restaurant. The floors are of lovely wood parquet design and the wooden tables and chairs in the eating area to the left of the entrance were all laid out with plenty of room to get past other diners.
The main body of the pub was exceptionally busy and at first we wondered if we would be able to get a table but we found that in the raised platform area, there were plenty of seats available for our party of four.
The only problem I would have with the layout of this pub was the maze that had to be negotiated to get to the toilets. Upstairs, round a corridor and then more stairs, up and then down before finally making my way to them. They were however, spotlessly clean and I felt very comfortable using them. I did have one worrying moment when a very drunken man was coming down the stairs after me not so much worried about him as such but more than he might slip on the stairs and knock me out.
***The Service & Food***
This area had its own bar although waitress service was in evidence and it wasnt long before we were approached with menus, told the specials and asked what we would like to drink.
Unlike all my drunken companions I decided to have lemonade, which was served with ice and a slice of lemon on both rounds. This was not because I had turned over a new leaf but I had been using strong anti-histamines and didnt want to drink anything before the meal.
My bloke had 2 bacardi and lemonades, also served with ice and a slice, and the other two had 3 glasses of red wine and a glass of water between them.
By the time she had returned with our drinks we were ready to order and she went round the table asking the ladies of the group first. I decided on the tagliatelle cooked in a tomato sauce with chorizo, which was served with garlic bread. My bloke had the medium rare steak, which came with chips and a side salad.
Our companions had the Cajun chicken, which came with a separate large bowl of chips and the Cheeseburger and chips, which was served with a healthy salad.
I have to say that I did enjoy my meal although I felt that there should have been a bit more of the spicy sausage in the sauce to give it a bit more zing. The pasta was cooked perfectly though and I cant fault it one bit. I did find it was a little bit difficult to eat with the fork and knife I was given though and probably should have asked for a spoon to go with the fork, as I would have been served with in Italian restaurants.
My bloke really enjoyed his steak, which was cooked exactly the way he had asked for it. He had a good portion of chips with it and a lovely looking salad too.
For dessert I decided that I couldnt resist having the Chocolate Torte and was so pleased that I had opted for this, as it was gorgeous on the taste buds but not so good on the hips, which I need to get in order for my wedding in July. All this eating out is not good for them. My bloke had the Sticky Toffee Pudding, which came with cream although ice cream was also a choice for this. I have to say I was drooling over it too as it looked scrumptious and by the way he dived into it, Im sure he was making sure he finished before me so I didnt steal any.
Only one other dessert was ordered and Im not going to say who that was for at this time but it was a simple but delicious bowl of ice cream.
The service was really good in this pub and we received a check back not long after we had started eating. We were also replenished with drinks, as we needed them and our plates were cleared away within a few minutes of us finishing our food.
The total cost for the 4 main courses, the 3 puddings and our drinks along with a tip came to a very reasonable £65.
This was certainly a good find and we all agreed that we liked our food here, and the service that went with it. Although the main body of the pub was very busy and noisy, we were sheltered a bit from all that in the quieter eating area. It was great because it meant that you could have a good old chinwag whilst enjoying some good food.
The building itself is beautiful and is worth a look if you are interested in architecture. It is obviously a very old building and the outside has been relatively untouched with modern features and so blends into the surrounding premises. This is something that I love about the centre of Aberdeen, as the buildings are all so old but kept in lovely condition and although the shops below these high storey buildings are bright, they do not detract from the beauty above.
Inside the lavish pillars and wooden bars and floors look as if you could step back in time to days long ago but on saying that there was still a very modern feel to it, with a variety of differently aged people, us slightly more mature visitors didnt feel out of place with some of the younger ones around that were dining there too.
One thing that I would like to point out to any young females out there, is that it is definitely not cool to sit and paint your nails and do your make up at the table whilst waiting on your food. This did make us laugh at the sheer thought of this pair of barely old enough to be in a pub girls, rushing out the door and realising that they had forgotten something. The other thing that seemed to keep the men of our party amused was the sight of a young woman leaning forward to speak to her friend and baring almost all of the back of her thong above her rapidly decreasing jeans.
Despite these occurrences, this didnt put us off our meal at all and I have to say that Im sure we all enjoyed the food immensely. I know I certainly did and the others were certainly making a good impression of enjoying it, making all the right comments and noises throughout. The portions were of a good size and with a main course and pudding I could say that I was comfortably full.
Of course it does help when you are in relaxed and enjoyable company too so where were they???? Only joking Sheena, we couldnt have asked for better company for a lovely weekend away.
Apparently this pub closes at the weekends at 1am for half an hour before reopening to serve full breakfasts to passing revellers until 4am. We werent in the area at that time and I found this out on a website whilst browsing for more information on this bar, so Im not sure if this still happens or not but if you are in the area and fancy a non-alcoholic drink and a pause from partying it might be worth dropping by if youre already in the area.
1 Union Terrace,
Telephone No. 01224 251120