By Andrea Pearson.

1. ABERDEEN: 210 Bistro

Dining out is not an everyday occurrence so the 210 Bistro is sensibly offering its five-course weekend menu every two to three weeks to make sure diners feel it is a special treat.

Local produce has been the focus with menus including salmon as a starter, followed by duck and scallops, and a chocolate fondant sharing dessert – all available with matching drinks and cocktails.


New menus are announced in advance and the next on February 27 will take a French/Scottish theme to tie in with the Six Nations match – thereafter it will be Mother’s Day, March 13 and 14. It has been such a success that the plan is try to keep the service going after lockdown.

Adele Callan from the 210 team says: “Not everyone will feel comfortable returning to restaurants when the restrictions lift so it’s a great way for our customers to enjoy restaurant-quality food at home, with all the hard work done for them by our chefs.”

£40 per person, or £60 with all drinks, check

2. DUNDEE: The Tayberry Restaurant

Showcasing the best of Scotland’s natural larder, chef proprietor Adam Newth has created exciting new dine-in experiences for customers old and new.

On the menu is a delicious selection of contemporary dishes ranging from comforting lamb gigot flavoured with ras el hanout and served with garbanzo for £16, to the indulgent chateaubriand with parmesan polenta, shallots, mushrooms, beans and cafe au lait sauce, at £55 for two people.


Through Dundee Local, the Michelin-recommended restaurant has replaced impersonal cash vouchers with “Dine in for Two” and “Family Night In” gift bundles. And the team also makes up a seasonal Tayberry Box to enjoy at home.

“These have proved very popular. We want people to know that they can still celebrate landmark dates in style by coming to us. We do our bit to recreate The Tayberry experience, and people like to embrace it.”

3. INVERNESS: Café 1

Norman MacDonald at Café 1 is not one to rest on his laurels. Even before the pandemic he was rethinking his lunchtime menu to cater for office workers needing a break from their keyboards.

“When lockdown happened we had a bit of an advantage in that we knew what would travel,” he says. “A 14-hour slow cooked braised beef is ideal.”

Norman, who rears livestock on a small croft, also came to value his fellow local suppliers, whose perseverance allowed him to survive.


“One thing Covid has taught us is that we really need to be looking after the local fishermen, the local butchers, the local veg suppliers. I think that’s a real positive.”

His regularly changing Pots To Go menu, with main courses around the £10 mark, has found favour with a new clientele who can’t generally dine out – among them full-time carers and people with severe mental health problems.

“I realised that Pots To Go must stay because we have a responsibility to these people,” says Norman.

4. PERTH: North Port

The old saying goes that it never rains but it pours … and that was certainly the case for Andrew Moss at North Port in Perth. Just after the restaurant reopened in July, floods in August closed it down once more.

“The whole hospitality industry has had to rethink and they have adapted,” says Andrew. “For us, it was coming up with dishes that can travel well and will look good.”


On the menu are dishes such as Scrabster hake with a potato, Jerusalem artichoke and sunflower seed crust, for £12. Regulars have been delighted – with many reporting back that they like to dress up and set the table with candles.

“You can be as formal or as casual as you want – we don’t mind as long as you enjoy what we do,” adds Andrew.

5. GLASGOW: Julie’s Kopitiam

This Malaysian street food and Michelin-listed outlet was an early adopter of the switch to takeaway and, according to owner Julie Lin MacLeod, lockdown was something of a blessing in disguise.

“It’s really brought us back to our roots of ugly, delicious street food. No more delicate hand-thrown bowls by local ceramicists and hand-decorated chopsticks!”


The online order menu focuses on those dishes, such as nasi goreng and nonya curry, that are robust and delicious enough to be consumed from a box. Handy set meals for two, vegan or non-vegan from £25, make choosing a breeze for new customers too.

“It gives your weekends a sense of purpose, like you’ve brought a little bit of luxury from a restaurant to your home,” says Julie.

“I’m incredibly grateful we’ve had such a vast show of support from our customers old and new over this time. The sense of community is incredible.”

6. EDINBURGH: The Little Chartroom

Chef proprietor Roberta Hall offers her At Home option at weekends, maintaining her contact with regulars throughout lockdown.

The Michelin-listed restaurant does the hard work, but diners do a little finishing in their own kitchen. The three or four courses for two also come with wine and a Spotify playlist – recommended listening for the cook.


“Our aim has always been to deliver the same quality of food that we serve in the restaurant and the support we have received so far has been overwhelming.”

Menus change weekly but may include a starter of chickpea pancake with aubergine, peppers, and za’atar followed by chicken with mushrooms, pancetta and chestnut gnocchi.

Meals for two are £65 for three courses, or £79 for four courses, with matching wine and simple finishing instructions. Order from 9am on Thursday for delivery the following weekend.

7. STIRLING: Gabe’s Diner

Tracy Scott was never a fan of takeaways but when she realised they were the only option for her and husband Hugh’s friendly neighbourhood diner, she turned her attention to getting it right.

A quick social media poll of customers returned some surprising results – and what they missed were steak sandwiches and macaroni cheese.

“I get the steak sandwich,” she says. “It is more than it sounds, there is a lot going on in there. But the macaroni cheese?”


The killer steak sandwich is a ciabatta with slow braised beef in a creamy tarragon, mustard, garlic and mushroom sauce, served with caramelised onions and chunky chips, all for £11.50. It sits alongside risotto, and bangers and mash, on the specially created Good Mood Food menu.

“It seemed everyone needed a little comfort food in their lives. We wanted to create something that would have that comfort element but that would still have our personality.”