A quirky concept and great staff can’t mask the missing ingredient: flavour
HOW would you recommend I eat this, I say to the manageress as an avocado chicken burger arrives at the table and stares right up at me in all its impudently virulent greenness. “Knife and fork,” comes the reply. So I whip them into action and immediately, and I mean immediately, things start to go seriously wrong. First there’s a bit of slithering then a sudden shooting apart that no amount of prodding and pushing and balancing will ever fix. So I don’t try.
It would be pointless anyway, considering the burger consists of two slippery, slidey avocado halves with a chicken fillet between them and some sesame seeds atop. Frankly? I eat one avocado half slowly. Then I eat some chicken slowly. Then I eat the other avocado half slowly. All the while thinking, as you no doubt are thinking too right now, why?
Why start a restaurant serving mainly avocado? Why even eat avocado? Why not choose turnip, which is arguably a far more Scottish thing. Or potato, which at least comes in countless deeply flavoured varieties which we restaurant goers haven’t even begun to explore.
It turns out the answers to these questions and many more are not on a postcard, but are actually written on the wall above my head. Or so the poor manageress, who by now has decided I am a bored policeman from the cop shop across the road, says when I ask her. I can’t actually read any of it because of where I am sitting and anyway I’m now trying avocado fries. These are breadcrumbed wedges of avocado, deep fried and served with, er, some sort of avocado dip in a little pot.
Across the table my pal Lozza, who may be regretting suggesting I choose a restaurant for lunch today, is picking her way through avocado mac ’n’ cheese. Fairly unenthusiastically. Though the manageress, having taken one look at me and quite rightly concluded my body ain’t no temple, has decided she is a far more likely future customer than old chubs here.
Of course we could have had avocado with eggs, avocado salad, avocado soup, even; and we will have avocado cheese cake to finish – or at least I will. By then we will have learned that the avocado is very popular with all sorts of people, that this restaurant idea came from a visit to Amsterdam, where the owners first discovered the avocado buzz – and I thought Amsterdam was buzzy for other reasons – and that even those cops from across the road are popping in fairly regularly.
As are gym goers, and body builders, and monounsaturated fatty-acidy types, the body builders being particularly fond of the avocado and steak strips option.
I don’t fall into any of the above target customer categories so I’m just going to tell you what the stuff tastes like. Though before I do that I’m going to say the manageress here is extremely helpful, cheery and keen to know what we think of the food in this new venture, because – and how often do you hear this in restaurants nowadays – constructive criticism is actually more valuable than bland compliments.
That burger, then. What do you think it tasted like? Two avocado halves and some lean grilled chicken breast. The avocado fries? They do kind of work as fries with a soft, gooey and slightly soapy texture, but they needed seasoning. Lots of it. I actually had to get up and ask for salt, which in a restaurant like this is pretty much not
a good thing. As for the avocado mac ’n’ cheese, it alone is testament to the fact the avocado can blend – or is it bland? – into any background. We couldn’t taste any.
I did like the cheesecake. A lot. It was nicely moist though again there was no noticeable flavour of avocado.
Still, if you are one of these people who has just made a resolution to be more careful about what you eat, Avo Avo will be right up your street. Otherwise? Hey, it’s certainly different.
At Avo Avo you can have avocado with eggs or salad, in a soup, breadcrumbed and deep-fried, as well as in a cheese cake