Union Square Supper Safari in Aberdeen

After 6 months of living in Aberdeen, I finally discovered the blogging community and attended my first event at Union Square organised by McFrank PRUnion Square is my favourite shopping centre in Aberdeen and hosts an incredible variety of eateries upstairs. The other bloggers and I were treated to complimentary drinks and dinner from Las Iguanas, YO! Sushi, Byron and Carluccio's on a Supper Safari. And yes I did have to unbutton my jeans as soon as I got home.

About 10 other bloggers and I met outside Las Iguanas, introduced ourselves and headed into the restaurant where host Brad soon joined us. I have heard a lot about Las Iguanas in Edinburgh and Glasgow but have never eaten there. However Latin-American is one of my favourite cuisines so I'll definitely be returning to Union Square to give the food a try. On Tuesday however we were all treated to a cocktail of our choice. The cocktail menu features many choices - I'm sure a few of us had to google a few unknown ingredients!

After a long and hard thinking session, I went for the Pink Passion Fruit which was sweet and very passion fruit-y (surprise surprise). I was a little disappointed when my cocktail wasn't actually pink though, instead being yellow. I do love yellow, but maybe it should be called a Yellow Passion Fruit. Despite the colour I did love the drink and highly recommend it to you if you have a sweet tooth but also appreciate the exotic tang of passion fruit.

Plus, Las Iguanas are now offering selected cocktails for £3.90 all day every day (including my Pink Passion Fruit). You're welcome.

Having never met anyone in person, it was great getting to know the Aberdeen bloggers over cocktails. Afterwards, we were escorted by Brad to our next stop on the Supper Safari - YO! Sushi.

Now, if you know me, you'll know I have a phobia of fish. I never minded my pet goldfish - Shelly and I were great pals. But eating fish is a totally different story. I can eat tuna and be okay with some squid and scallops. However anything else is a no. I feel sick just thinking about mussels and salmon. AND PRAWNS ARE FORBIDDEN. Raw fish sounds even more terrifying. Hence I'm sure you'll understand why I was a little wary about YO! Sushi.

However I was happily surprised to see there are cooked fish and non-fish dishes available as well as the expected raw fish.  They even had avocado on the menu so I couldn't really complain, could I? I wasn't sure I could brave raw fish so settled for Maguro Katsu (like cooked tuna croquettes) from the new menu accompanied by a delicious wasabi mayonnaise. For my second dish from the quirky signature conveyor belt, I (and most of the other bloggers) tried out the Hoisin Duck sushi rolls, again from the new menu. Both were delicious.

I managed to accidentally eat raw fish after being asked if I could handle the kick of the Spicy Tuna sushi rolls by Brad. Not being one to wimp out of a challenge, I swallowed that roll whole. And it actually wasn't that spicy. Then I realised it was raw fish and amazingly somehow didn't feel sick or faint. It was an eventful moment in my fish eating journey. So maybe I would give some more raw sushi a try on my next visit. As someone who has a phobia of fish, I can confidently say YO! Sushi has a lot of tasty options for those out there like myself and that I will definitely be returning.

Our host in YO! Sushi was incredibly enthusiastic and friendly, telling us a bit about sushi, the brand and the new menu as well as gifting us all a much appreciated goody bag when leaving. He also brought round scallops for us to try. I loved mine and was starting to feel just a tad full after this - but onto the main course!

I hadn't heard of the burger chain Byron before Tuesday. That's probably because Union Square hosts the first Byron to be opened in Scotland which is pretty exciting for Aberdeen. I have recently become a bigger fan of burgers - I used to think they were too much of a faff to eat but now like to believe I am a medium-rare connoisseur. Byron has increased my enthusiasm for burgers with their beautifully tender signature Byron burger: 

"6oz hamburger, dry cure bacon, mature Cheddar, shredded iceberg, tomato, red onion and Byron sauce" - Byron Menu

Now that's the face of a good burger.

With a side of sweet potato chips to share (and having already eaten sushi for starters), the burger was more than filling. But I did manage to finish it. I am very proud of myself.

In addition most of us tried out Byron's popular milkshakes - or 'hard shakes' if you decide to add a shot of alcohol. These are massive creamy concoctions which taste just a little like heaven. I decided on the new banana milk shake but with an added shot of Bailey's to make my own custom Hard Shake. Banana and Bailey's is a very good combination. Unfortunately I couldn't finish all my milkshake, but I did make a respectable attempt. I'd definitely come back to Byron for food - and if not for dinner even just for another hard shake as a break from shopping. It's a perfectly different treat for you and a friend.

I may have forgotten we had another restaurant to visit on our Supper Safari but by this point I knew major bloating was inevitable so threw all caution to the wind, stormed through as much milkshake as possible and was still determined to eat a dessert.

A photo posted by Mairi Lowe (@copperpink) on

Carluccio's is another eatery I had never heard of. The caffรจ aims to serve high quality, affordable and authentic Italian food in a friendly environment and I feel it definitely achieves this. Italian is one of my favourite cuisines - my holiday in Rome was all about the food to be honest - so I was excited to try out Carluccio's. Their homemade gelato sounded pretty fab, however I couldn't resist the chocolate bread and butter pudding. Definitely a star dessert.

Although I only tried a dessert here, I would like to return to try out the savoury food too, so you may see another longer review shortly.

The event overran by about an hour but I was enjoying myself so didn't mind. The thought of walking home with my food baby was too overwhelming. Luckily I managed to share a taxi ride for the 10 minute walk - that's how full I was!

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the Supper Safari and having a little tour of what Union Square has to offer food-wise. It boasts an impressive variety of cuisines and really does have something for everyone. With plans to return to all four eateries I discovered on Tuesday and the necessity to unbutton my jeans, I'd definitely say the night was a success.

A big thank you to Brad from McFrank PR for organising the event and being so friendly on the night! And of course it was lovely to meet fellow Aberdeen bloggers. I'm really looking forward to future events and getting to know you all and the community a bit better.

What's your favourite type of cuisine and what do you think of what Union Square has to offer?

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