Eating out in Aberdeen
An interview with Granite Park
We aim to recommend a wide range of top quality and value for money dining experiences to our guests; therefore, we are delighted to announce that our partner restaurant Granite Park has won the Trend Magazine ‘Life with Style’ award for the Divine Dining category!
Read this interview with Forbes Innes, the founder and owner of Granite Park to find out why Granite Park is so special.
Tell us little bit about Granite Park:
We opened Granite Park 2 years ago after spotting a gap in the market for informal fine dining in Aberdeen.
I have been in the restaurant trade for 30 years now and have worked my way up from chef to head chef in top restaurants. I love working with people as well as food and decided to study for a degree in psychology, which then led me into supervisory and training roles. From there I went into the business side of the restaurant and worked has a management consultant helping to turn around struggling restaurants.
A ‘lightbuld’ moment of inspiration led me to consider opening my very own restaurant and when I saw the building that Granite Park is in now I knew it was the perfect setting for my vision. The building had been closed for 4 years and was in a state of disrepair, in fact, there was even a gaping hole in roof! Undeterred by the restoration work involved – we restored it within 6 weeks.
The name Granite Park developed from my vision of a place where adults could come to relax and enjoy a quality dining experience. During the restoration phase I was standing in what was to be the private dining room looking out over Golden Square and saw all of the surrounding Granite building sparkling in the sunlight, at that moment I thought that the square was probably once a nice green park – and so the name Granite Park was born.
As I mentioned, we have a private dining room, the demand for which has exceeded our expectations. We are lucky that we have not had to do much advertising, in fact in the first year we didn’t do any advertising and all our business came through word of mouth – which says a lot about the loyalty of our customers.
How do you feel about winning the Trend ‘Life with Style’ Award?!
This was the first award of this kind that we have entered; the competition was tough and coming from restaurants which have been established much longer than we have so we were delighted to have won this award.
What kind of atmosphere or dining experience would our guests expect to receive at Granite Park?
Welcoming and attentive. Very consistent. Warm & relaxed.
The restaurant attracts a clientele of average age 25 – 45 year old professionals.
The music is chilled, people instagramming pictures of their food and sharing bites with friends and family – this is what I love to see. Whilst our service and attention to detail is akin to what you find in a fine dining restaurant the atmosphere is more informal – not stuffy.
We change our menu every 2 months to match the change of the seasons but above all we listen to what our customers like.
-What is your favourite dish on the menu at the moment?
Granite Park Surf & Turf – Duck breast with scallops and rhubarb chutney.
And your favourite wine?
Barbera – an Italian wine which is very complex to produce.
Vidigal Douro – a Portuguese wine with a smooth taste, easy to drink and a good accompaniment to red meat. This wine will be very rare next year because unfortunately the producer lost the whole harvest this year.
Where does Granite Park source its ingredients from?
We try to source local as much as possible even when that does mean higher prices. For me there is no substitute for the traceability, flavour and freshness of locally sourced produced. In fact when it comes to traceability, our chef has even been known to catch the fish himself!
What inspires your menu?
Our chefs are very inspiring, they bounce ideas off each other constantly and naturally think outside of the box to come up with modern twists on traditional dishes – then it’s over to the critical taste tests of the rest of the team who provide constructive criticism and take an active interest in really getting to know all the flavours and ingredients of the dishes.
Most importantly our customers inspire our dishes – we listen to what they like and what they don’t ...but still try to surprise them with the dishes that they didn’t know they liked!
So you if want a taste of Scotland and a fantastic dining experience then look no further. For more information or to reserve your table at Granite Park speak to our receptionists to arrange your booking, alternatively call: 01224 478 004 or visit: www.granitepark.co.uk/
Pre-theatre and lunch menus also available
Interview by: Rosalind McClure, Digital Marketing Executive at Skene House HotelSuites.