We decided to broaden our horizons when it comes to eating out. It’s somewhat of a bold statement but I’m sure that many of you can appreciate and relate to how easy it is to fall into the trap of always visiting the same handful of food places and honestly, it gets boring.
Living in the North East of Scotland, in Aberdeen city centre especially, there are a lot of chains which can be great for comfort and ease but sometimes, I’m just bored and I want to experience more of what the city has to offer because I know that there are some great independent and unique places flying under the radar.
So, we stepped outside of the box and took a trip down to Smoke and Soul at Six Degrees North. This is somewhere that neither of us has visited before but I have had Smoke and Soul on my list for a little while and I was keen to pay a visit.
Honestly, I didn’t look at the menu beforehand which is so unlike me. So unlike me! I didn’t know what to expect but I was sucked in by the name alone. Smoke and Soul, to me, screams a style of street food, pulled pork, beef, chicken with chipotle and mac and cheese. I felt like I already knew it and I was hungry, which I think helps. No faff.
Now that we have come away and found out a little more of the company, Smoke and Soul by their own description serve ‘wood-fired soul food’ which is mainly slow-smoked and BBQ spit-roasted meats. I believe they started up as a part-time, street food pop up and catering business but now have a residency at 6° North thanks to their popularity.
6° North is a bar and also a brewer of Belgian inspired artisanal and craft beers and they actually have 5 bars in Scotland which I did not know. I thought it was only Aberdeen and Stonehaven but you can find 6° North in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee too! However, I think it’s the only the Aberdeen city centre bar that serves Smoke and Soul catering food.
The interior of Six Degrees North is very minimal, there are some pieces of colourful artwork on the walls but when it comes to the seating and restaurant areas, it is very understated and you either have a booth area for your party or there are larger benches which you could share with others.
Looking at the menu, it is mouthwatering to read. There was so much on the menu that appealed to me, it was along the lines of what I had imagined it to be and it offered everything that I hoped it would, and then some. Everything sounded very moreish and a little more indulgent than I probably needed but that’s also part of the fun in eating out.
While you can order poutine, mac and cheese and chipotle bean chilli, you can also pick up a soul sandwich such as a Sloppy Joe or a pulled pork brioche or if you prefer, some dirty fries with brisket, chicken or even the veggie option which sounds delicious.
To start… and I say start, honestly, the portions are so big that I wouldn’t recommend ordering something like this for yourself to start but rather if your group is hungry but also willing to all share. Anyway, to start we ordered some nachos to share. We thought that a bit of crunch would be nice to an otherwise quite soft and tender meal. The nachos are ‘salted tortilla chips, grated cheddar, soured cream, fresh salsa, guacamole and coriander’ and they were really tasty. Piled high but the ingredients tasted and looked really fresh and they weren’t overladen with so much dip that they became soggy so this was a definite winner for us.
For main, I ordered the Korean BBQ Brisket which is ‘slow-smoked brisket, Korean BBQ sauce, soured cream, house pickles, fennel tomatoes, feta and coriander’ and these are in the dirty fries section so this comes on top of a layer of chips, which is just fine by me. I am an absolute sucker for anything with a Korean sauce, my eyes were drawn to it on the menu straight away and the blinkers were on, I knew where I was going. I didn’t need to see anything else.
The beef was really soft and juicy and the sauce was sweet, the cheese was slightly warmed and crumbly and the fries although covered in a mass of food, still had a crunch. I have zero complaints about the food that I received, if I had to pick on anything, I would say that feta is quite a salty cheese and the chips had also been heavily salted which some people may have found overwhelming but I couldn’t say that was an everyday occurrence and not just my dish on the night so perhaps take my comments or criticism with a pinch of, em, salt?
Peter had the Garlic Chicken Brioche which is ‘slow-smoked chicken, garlic mayo, tomato, feta cheese, rocket; served in The Bread Guys brioche with fries’. Now, when we first looked at the menu we knew that we would be sharing because it all sounded so good, so we made the decision to order a beef dish and a chicken dish although Peter ate the majority of this particular choice. I love garlic so I knew that I would enjoy this and I thought that the chicken and garlic mayo was delicious and again, very tender. Peter found the feta a little overwhelming and salty but I don’t think it’s a cheese that he would ever pick himself so perhaps this is something you might like to ask to swap out if you are of similar tastes. I am not a huge fan of brioche buns for burgers but Peter really made comment on how nice he thought the bread was so we will definitely have to take a visit to The Bread Guy shop soon!
My overall opinion of Smoke and Soul is that the food is delicious, the portions are massive, bigger than you might think judging by the pictures and they are all fairly priced in my eyes. I love the company branding and the way in which the food was served, it really gave a higher end street food feel to it. Relaxed but well thought out. When it comes to the ingredients, I don’t think too many are used, you will see a lot of the same ingredients used in many of the dishes and I don’t think that this is unusual, I also think that they are very fresh and I enjoyed them but if you don’t like or have a real aversion to one or two of the main things listed, like Peter with the feta, then it might not appeal to you as much when reading the menu, which is a shame as the food is great.
All in all, we both really enjoyed our first time visiting Smoke and Soul and I’m sure it won’t be the last. It’s great to find some new local restaurants close to home and get a taste of something new and I would be very keen to try out the chilli or maybe if they had some menu changes in the future.
If you can’t make it to the restaurant, order online at Smoke and Soul Deliveroo
Six Degrees North,
6 Littlejohn St,