Howie’s is very close to my work. Really it’s too close, as most days, and today was no exception, it’s populated by a number of familiar faces from the corridors, so sometimes doesn’t really do it for me, in terms of offering a true getaway from the daily drudgery.


That aside, I’ve visited more than a few times down the years, and generally been pleased with the fare they’ve served.

Today, the service was welcoming and attentive, and I was quickly shown to a little corner booth. I awaited the arrival of my fellow quester for the day, David, for a few moments, then we were soon contemplating the lunchtime menu. They run a nice deal offering two courses for £8.95.


The soup of the day, carrot, tomato and basil, didn’t sound so appealing, so I opted to start with the haggis. To follow, I opted for the Strathdon blue cheese risotto cake, in the sincere hope that it would be better than the rather ropey risotto cakes I was served at the hugely disappointing Cucina at Hotel Missoni. David opted for the pate, served with oatcakes, followed by the Portobello mushroom stuffed with what looked like a wild mushroom haggis and topped with aioli.

Dishes arrived promptly and it was generally agreed that my haggis looked the better of the two dishes. The creamed savoy cabbage was alright, but the haggis was really very good. The pastry of the bridie was light and crisp and the excellent peppery flavour of the haggis was all very pleasing.

Haggis bridie

I think David’s dish won the looks good for main course. My risotto cake was topped with a good deal of foliage in the shape of generous amounts of rocket. Once the forest had been negotiated the risotto cake beneath tasted rather good. The cheese had a lovely tang to it.

Sadly, I’m not sure the tang quite worked with the bitter sweetness of the pepper sauce. Both elements were good in themselves, but I think they clashed rather than complemented. The dish was still good, but there was the odd mouthful that wasn’t quite so satisfying as others.

Portobello mushroom

We rounded things out with good espresso, then it was time to toddle back the few yards to my office.

So overall, Howie’s served nice quality dishes in a busy and stylish setting. The lunchtime deal is really good value, so well worth checking out. For me, it’s just a little too close to my work for comfort, so my visits tend to be infrequent, but I’d certainly be happen to recommend it to you for a satisfying lunchtime experience.

Risotto cake

Blythe scores Howie’s
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
4/5 for setting
giving an overall 14.5/20

Today’s questers were: David, Blythe

We ate: pate, haggis bridie, stuffed portobello mushroom, risotto cake

We drank: sparkly water, espresso

We wore: blue shirt, stripey suit

Total bill: £26

Square Meal

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Written by BKR