Café Bohème is the epitome of savoir-vivre, in the very heart of Aberdeen. Combining over a decade of French heritage at its roots along years of Scottish cooking expertise. Bohème delivers the perfect fusion of classic cuisine and finest local produce. In true parisian style - where time is to be savoured, not rushed - Bohème lives by the slow food values: ensuring meticulous attention to detail, served with passion for honest, homegrown produce.
Head chef Andrew Gray and his team bring out the best in seasonal ingredients from across the North East, working with independent farmers, fishmongers and breeders. Join us for a rendez-vous with the lunch menu, amuse your senses with Table d'hôte, or settle in for the night À la carte-style.
For Aberdeen Restaurant Week we are serving a delicious french twist on an Afternoon Tea priced at £20 and a £60 Tasting menu.
Cafe Boheme - Afternoon Tea - ARW2020 review
Is it clichéd to say I’ve never really understood afternoon tea?
Any time I’ve happened to, almost by accident, go somewhere to eat your bog-standard three-tier selection of run-of-the-mill sandwiches, scones and cakes – no matter how it’s dressed up – I’ve always come away struck by how ordinary an experience it is.
However, having sampled the Aberdeen Restaurant Week afternoon tea at Windmill Brae’s French mainstay Café Boheme, I’ve discovered there is a way to bring some imagination and soul to the concept.
We arrived at 12.30pm, a time at which there was a decent lunch crowd in.
In these difficult times, I feel I must broach the subject of coronavirus precautions and Café Boheme’s staff – very chatty and attentive throughout our visit – made sure we sanitised our hands on entry before seating us in a cosy corner and explaining the menu.
Although it was Tuesday, we decided to start with a couple of sparkling wine cocktails – one each I might add – as we waited for our food to arrive.
The St Germain Fizz was a well-balanced concoction, beginning with a sharp hit from the elderflower liqueur in its name and ending with the sweetness of passion fruit liqueur. I’m told the French 75’s mix of raspberry gin, lemon and, of course, wine was also refreshing.
Our impressive tower of savoury and sweet items was on the table soon after.
I started with the teacup of roast butternut squash veloute, which was well-seasoned, slightly spicy and played off deliciously with both the grilled brie, mushroom and spinach French toastie, and the braised ox cheek and comte croquet monsieur.
The first was my favourite of the two slim toasted sandwich bites – creamy, not-too-strong brie combining with the bite of both the mushrooms and the light, crunchy bread.
The comte cheese with the ox cheek is akin to cheddar and was a wonderful foil to the beefy flavour of the meat.
Rounding off the savoury section was Toulouse sausage en croute, hot smoked sea trout rillette, and truffle and sage polenta cake.
Although the sausage roll, with its soft meat and flaky pastry, as well as the polenta offering – another texturally well-balanced bite whic
h happily wasn’t too strong on truffle – were lovely, the star of the three was the sea trout. Light, fresh, not overpowering and with the tang of a pickled garnish, it was in contrast to the rich flavours of the other items, cleansed the palate and left me ready for the sweet section.
The sweets included were plum and vanilla tart tatin, chocolate torte with orange and cardamom ganache, pistachio and blackberry macaron, lemon meringue pie, and raspberry fruit pastille.
While I could’ve handled the lemon meringue pie being sharper, this is personal preference.
All of the impressive-looking dessert items were great examples of culinary skill.
The macaron was crisp and sweet, as you’d expect, but I was surprised how much I enjoyed the combination of juicy plum and creamy vanilla on the tart tatin.
On reflection, however, the star of the whole occasion was the chocolate torte. It’s balance of chocolate flavours, not too sweet or bitter, with just enough orange, was joyous and was perfect with the strong coffee included in the afternoon tea price.
Like the sea trout before it, the soft pastille – with its intense raspberry jam sweetness – was in contrast to the richness of the chocolate and coffee, closing out the sweet section and our visit perfectly.
I can’t stress enough the clear passion of the waiting staff at Café Boheme for the food. They enquired as to how we were enjoying it several times, with both hosts who visited our table sharing their own thoughts on the afternoon tea and their favourite items.
It’s clearly an eatery where the creation and serving of delicious cuisine is in the DNA from the kitchen right through to front of house.
The £20 per head cost of this afternoon tea – £29 with the sparkling wine cocktail – during Aberdeen Restaurant Week is well worth the money.
The little bites added up to a satisfying, filling, gateway lunch of sorts, which made me want to revisit Café Boheme’s regular lunch and evening offerings, which I’m sure is the aim. Along with attracting new diners.
As part of this, they have shown afternoon tea as a concept can be both original and exciting.