Savor Thai cuisine at Padthai Hot Pot and Grill in Aberdeen

Aberdeen Market was, at one time, the beating heart of Aberdeen’s independent street food offering.

The vendors found inside were hidden gems, located in a building that in its heyday had food businesses like butchers, fishmongers and fruit and vegetable wholesalers.

As I write this review the venue is now in ruins having been bulldozed to make way for a new modern venue. businesses new homes.

One such business is Padthai Hot Pot and Grill.

The front of the restaurant.

Now located on Union Street in Aberdeen having opened just a few months ago, I was keen to visit after missing it when it was based in Aberdeen Market.

A very late catch up meant that my colleague Ellie accompanied me on the night.

We had an appointment at 6 p.m. sharp at the restaurant on a Thursday evening.

The spiral staircases.

The first thing you’ll notice when walking through the well-marked entrance is that the restaurant is on the first and second floors of the building.

The front side is quite deceiving and this Tardis-like place really goes on and on.

A spiral staircase with dark red walls led to the dining room where, through two doors, we were greeted by a member of staff.

Inside Padthai Hot Pot and Grill.

After confirming my reservation at the bar, I was taken around the corner and shown to my table in the main dining room which nods to Thai culture with lovely decorations and details.

The restaurant is bright with large windows letting in light. The bright colors immediately put a smile on your face and help to accentuate its size. Again, it seats 100 people on the first floor and around 40 on the second, so it’s still big.

The spacious dining room.

The food

I love when the restaurant gives you free shrimp crackers and because we were so hungry we immediately popped in. Journalism is a greedy profession.

Ellie wasn’t too long behind me and joined the table. I took the comfy booth seat, but there was no love lost as I restrained myself from making fun of the gifts.

She is a big fan of crispy seaweed (£5.80) so it was a must which she declared before we even looked at the menu.

I suggested having it with our entrees, which ended up being the See Krong Moo (pork ribs) and the sticky prawns.

Each dish was numbered on the menu which made ordering very easy for us and the staff.

There had been a slight mix-up with the drinks and my Diet Irn-Bru ended up being Diet Coke, but if you know my reviews you’ll know that’s usually my favorite anyway.

See Krong Moo.

Both entrees came with a small salad of freshly shredded red cabbage, carrots and lettuce.

The marinated ribs (£6.90) cooked in Thai spices and soy sauce had been grilled over charcoal and were topped with a sticky barbecue sauce that was lickable on your fingers.

Sprinkled with sesame seeds, their only downside would be a lack of meat in abundance. However, they were succulent and not too chewy, plus it was a reasonable portion considering we had two each.

The sticky shrimp.

The prawns (£6.90), which could also come in chicken form, were topped with a sweet and sour cause and also contained sesame seeds. This sauce was thicker than the BBQ sauce and was just as flavorful. The prawns were a little smaller than expected but were juicy and the tails were easy to remove as the whole prawn had been fried in batter.

Couldn’t fault the seaweed (which is actually cabbage) as it was crispy, salty and crunchy – everything it should have been.

The service had been consistent so far and the room had started to fill up a bit more with additional diners setting sail.

There were lots of options on the menu and although the hot pot experience looked fun, we wanted something less messy and fussy so we opted for the main menu options.

Ellie opted for the chicken in satay sauce (£12.45) and egg fried rice (£3.70) and I opted for the duck curry, expecting her to share the rice .

Duck curry.

I had toyed with the idea of ​​Thai red, masaman, panang and various other curries but settled on the roast duck one with bell peppers, chillies, tomatoes, pineapple, leaves sweet basil and coconut milk, all cooked in curry paste.

The duck was perfectly cooked and there was plenty of it. The fruitier, sweeter curry sauce was also delicious, and there was a subtle heat from the fresh chillies. I scooped up each piece and devoured it all, adding a little fried rice to soak up the sauce.

Ellie felt a bit let down by her principal. While it said on the menu that the chicken was in satay sauce, the sauce had been poured over the top and was not infused into the chicken which meant it lacked flavor. The meat was cooked well, but she felt the dish could have been so much more had it been cooked in spices or gravy.

Slices of tomato and cucumber lined the sides of the dish with pieces of chicken breast in the middle of the plate. All placed on a bed of lettuce.

Chicken Sate.

While the service had started well, as the night progressed attention began to waver. Empty plates were left in front of us for about 30 minutes and it took me a while to pay the bill at the end.

The team were incredibly polite and friendly throughout, however, there weren’t enough people to justify waiting as long as the dirty plates were cleared from the table.

Ellie didn’t manage to finish hers so took the leftovers for lunch the next day. If I had thought more strategically I could have done the same, but it was just too good not to take a ride.

All dishes.

The verdict

Padthai Hot Pot and Grill offers a delicious taste of Thai cuisine in a relaxed and welcoming environment.

The team were really lovely and even though the service ended up slipping it didn’t negatively affect my time.

The food was delicious and the flavor was very present for all the dishes I tried. I’ll be more adventurous next time and order something I’ve never tried before.

When you’re confident that a venue can nail the classics, that’s when things get even more exciting…


Address: 189 Union Street, Aberdeen AB11 6BB

P: 07846 699626


Price: £61.50 for two starters, two main courses, two sides and four Diet Cokes.


    • Food: 4/5
    • Performance: 3.5/5
    • Surroundings: 4/5

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[Tuck into Thai cuisine at Padthai Hot Pot and Grill in Aberdeen]


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