Review: Mara, Aberdeen

Review: Mara, Aberdeen

Mara brings fantastic Italian wines and inspired small plates to the Granite City. Grant Dickie heads along to try out the city’s latest eatery. 


Thursday evening, and after a day of working, nothing is better than escaping the house to wind down with a bottle of wine and some delicious food. 

Enter Mara. New to Aberdeen, the small Italian inspired wine bar and bottle shop on the city’s Thistle Street is a welcome addition to the city’s food scene.

Run by award winning chef Ross Cochrane, who previously worked at The Rothesay Rooms, and wife Carolina, Mara is cosy and intimate, with a menu that changes every few weeks, depending on what’s in season.

Everything on the small curated menu sounds incredible. We opt to share four plates and a bottle of wine, leaving room for dessert. There was a lamb special that I couldn’t refuse, and it didn’t disappoint. The meat was cooked to perfection and served alongside pesto and beans. It was the perfect start to the meal. 

We enjoyed a stunning red Mara Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso. Carolina explains they felt so strongly about Mara wine it was only fitting to name their new venture after it. The wine is smooth and paired perfectly with the lamb dish.


The smoked chicken was a winner and quickly devoured. The hake with gem lettuce wedge, Caesar and onion, alongside the truffle and pecorino fries, were delicious. The flavours were perfect. 

The plates are brought out slowly, a welcome change from similar tapas style restaurants where your table quickly becomes cluttered with dishes.

To round off the evening we tried the Sicilian orange polenta cake with curd and ice cream. Having only tried polenta in chips, it was nice to experience its versatility. Another success, and the perfect way to round off an incredible meal. 

Mara is the perfect after work spot. The bar seats make it ideal for popping in to enjoy a glass of wine after a long day, and the food is relaxed but executed to perfection.

It’s slightly pricier than other food and drink options in Aberdeen, but the price is easily reflected in the quality of the food. I will certainly be back to try the other dishes on the menu. 

For more on Mara and their current small plates offering visit

Back to blog