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Restaurant review: Head to The Selkie in Dundee for Tapas Tuesday where you’ll find the best deal in the city

The Selkie Tapas Tuesdays
Tuck into a whole range of dishes on The Selkie's Tapas Tuesday menu.

Something certainly has to be said about a restaurant that is fully booked every time you try and book a visit.

No matter the day or time, every chance I get when in Dundee, I make a conscious effort to try and secure a table at The Selkie on Exchange Street, usually with very little luck.

However, just a few weeks ago I finally did it.

Booking first thing in the morning online I was ecstatic to finally be getting the chance to try the venue’s Tapas Tuesday offering.

I had heard so many rave reviews from friends and colleagues so my expectations were high.

Customers enjoy a bite to eat at the outdoor seating area out the front of The Selkie in Dundee.

The Selkie

It was a gorgeous night in Dundee and everyone was out soaking up the sun. Walking along the street I could see the front door prompted open and there was an air conditioning unit inside working overtime to keep everyone cool.

I perched myself on the available seats near the unit which provided a cold and refreshing blast from time to time.

Inside The Selkie you can’t help but notice the cotton detailing on the ceiling, emulating fluffy clouds. There’s some coloured LED lights in the mix, with relaxing hues of blue shimmering while I was there. The staff informed me these colours can easily be changed and have been used a lot for their brunch parties at the weekends.

The cotton ceiling design which looks like fluffy clouds.

The rest of the venue is charming. It isn’t big, with around 24 to 30 covers, but there’s faux flower foliage and a gorgeous piece of art that has been painted directly onto the wall by one of the team’s friend’s who is studying art.

I’d already been handed a menu before my colleague Mariam walked through the door just after 6.30pm and I suggested we order a mocktail.

She opted for the passion fizz while the citrus one took my fancy. These were served in a goblet with ice and had fresh fruit juices and soda in them.

Church Pugh seating is along one side of the venue.

The food

There are plenty of options on the menu with a good mix of meat, fish, veggie and vegan options. What I loved most though was the price. All dishes were £2.50 minus a few dishes with asterisks beside them which were £4.

We were advised to get five each so airing on the side of caution we ordered eight plus a board of bread, salad and oils (£2.50).

The breads, salad and oils were served on the side.

The dishes all arrived as they were ready. The bread with the salad that had been tossed in a dressing was first, quickly followed by the sea bass with red pepper butter (£4). We split the one piece of fish in half and the crisp skin was delightful. The butter was subtle, but the fish itself was cooked perfectly.

As Mariam doesn’t eat meat that isn’t halal and doesn’t consume anything with alcohol, I had the chorizo and black pudding in red wine and honey (£2.50) to myself. I was sceptical if it would work, but I was so glad I did take our server’s recommendation as it was my favourite of the night. There was plenty of it, but it was the way the meats had been cooked and the sauce itself that sold it for me.

The black pudding and chorizo dish with the red wine and honey sauce was a stand-out.

Mariam’s vegan meatballs (£2.50) in a sweet tomato sauce weren’t long behind. She said the texture was as if it was meat, which she enjoyed, and the sauce was well balanced. There were three balls and she gave me half of one to try, too.

A discreet sizzle making its way to our table alerted me to the next dish – gambas pil pil (£4). Sizzling in the smallest skillet I have ever seen, the oil danced around the six prawns which were being cooked in the boiling oil. They were a reasonable size and succulent and we both commented on how much we enjoyed them.

Gambas pil pil was one of Julia and Mariam’s favourites of the night.

Up next was the mini meze (£2.50) that Mariam had chosen. This vegan dish boasted hummus, sweet potato falafel (two) and sun-dried tomatoes mixed with olives and other Mediterranean veg. Using the bread from the salad she dipped it into the hummus and scooped up as much as she could.

The mini meze. Mariam’s didn’t feature pomegranate like the picture shows, but it did have micro herbs on top.

We were still tucking into the other dishes and food kept arriving. The table was becoming busy and two other vegan options – the patatas bravas and chickpea and pepper stew (£2.50 each) – graced the table next.

You can’t go wrong with baked chopped pieces of fried potato smothered in a rich tomato sauce and a creamy garlic aioli.

Be sure to tuck into the patatas bravas when you pay a visit to The Selkie.

The last dish to make it to the table was my seared sirloin steak with salsa verde (£4). Another top pick from me, I hadn’t told them how I wanted my steak but it came served medium/rare which I was thankful for. There’s nothing worse than overcooked steak, especially when it is sliced into small thin slithers.

The salsa verde was pungent and zesty. It paired very well with the quality beef and it provided an instant hit of flavour. There was minimal fat on the steak, too.

The chickpea and pepper stew is one of the vegan options available.

We just and no more managed to polish off the small plates and didn’t dare ask to find out if there was a dessert menu.

It was great to see so many people enjoying the deal and dishes were flying around the venue as more and more diners ordered favourites they’d fallen for again and again.

Other options included everything from marinated chicken skewers, seared tofu and sweet chilli, halloumi and balsamic tomatoes, warm artichoke and Manchego salad and garlic and herb mushrooms to name a few.

A selection of the dishes Julia and Mariam tried.

The verdict

The fact the dishes are delivered as they are made means they are as fresh as they can be. It is hard to refrain from ordering more, so I would say order some, then order a few more instead of getting them all at one.

We ordered everything in a oner and the flow of dishes did get busy at times with our table filling up quite quickly.

That being said, we managed to work our way through them all and for £2.50 or £4 a plate I don’t think you could get this quality of food for those prices anywhere else in Dundee.

If you’re looking for some luxury and don’t want to spend a fortune dining out The Selkie is an absolute must.


Address: The Selkie, 27 Exchange Street, Dundee DD1 3DJ

T: 01382 698210


Price: £36


  • Food: 4/5
  • Service: 4/5
  • Surroundings: 4/5

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