Rocks Dunbar, Dining Review, Restaurant East Lothian, Address, Phone, Location

Rocks Restaurant, Dunbar

East Lothian Restaurant, Scotland : Review

15 Oct 2010

Rocks Restaurant Dunbar

Address: Marine Road, Dunbar, East Lothian, EH42 1AR

Contact the restaurant: 01368 862287

Dining at The Rocks in Dunbar

Oct 2010

Driving along the Dunbar coastal road in the dark The Rocks stands out as a welcoming beacon. The warm glow pulls you in.

Rocks Dunbar Restaurant
view from Rocks Dunbar Restaurant

The friendly staff have all been at The Rocks for the past six and a half years, quite unusual in the fast-moving world of catering.

We were shown to our table in the corner of the room called The Bar. The high ceilinged room was spacious enough to take 24 covers comfortably, though cosy and intimately lit with candles on the tables and dimmed ceiling lamps. The hand-drawn and hand-written menus were already on our table for us to study. We found it to be a good selection of both locally-landed fish and seafood and a good variety of meats and vegetarian option. There is also an excellent wine list with some very reasonable prices, much cheaper than in Edinburgh. It was going to be tough to make a choice.

Our waiter brought fresh bread + butter, explained the Specials Board for us and took our drinks orders. I had to hold myself back from filling up on the bread, it was warm and fluffy with a thin crust and the butter melted easily.

The proprietor, Jim Findlay came to our table to welcome us and to make sure we were happy with our table – we were. Jim flits around through the evening talking with customers and checking that tables are happy – he is a good host. Our table offered a good view of the room yet was tucked away enough for us to have a conversation without feeling on show.

For starters my husband, Adrian, chose Devilled Whitebait (£5.95) and I chose Dressed Crab from the Specials board. Service was swift and presentation good – Adrian’s bowl of Whitebait was served with a green crunchy salad. My crab was served in a crab shell garnished with fresh fruits, and mayonnaise was offered. Portions were very generous, though neither of us had any issues about finishing our delicious starters.

For mains Adrian chose Wood Pigeon and Partridge Wellington with celeriac puree, puy lentils and pear sauce (£17.95), and I asked for Honey and five spices roast half duck, without the Stornaway black pudding offered, but still with the sauté potatoes (£16.95).

Adrian enjoyed his flaky puff-pastry parcel of Wood Pigeon and Partridge and felt the pear sauce worked well with the game – though I secretly think he might have wished he had chosen the duck. For me this was the perfect choice of main course. The duck skin was perfectly crisp, the meat was plentiful and the accompanying vegetables were steamed just enough – I could eat this again and again.

The dessert menu offered seven choices including cheeses and biscuits. Adrian asked for Vanilla Crème Brulee and I went for the Wild berry Cranachan with shortbread. The Crème Brulee was deliciously creamy with a thick layer of caramelised sugar on top.
My Cranachan left me in no doubt that I better practice harder when attempting it in my own kitchen.

The restaurant’s three dining rooms were fully occupied both when we arrived and when we left, yet at no point did we feel forgotten, rushed or in the way.

A luxurious celebration of flavours and glamour – we really felt looked after here without being crowded.  We will be back – well we have to, there is so much more on the menu for us to sample.

I warmly recommend The Rocks to anyone who enjoys fine dining, good wine, dramatic views, traditional yet stylish interior and faultless service.

The Rocks at Christmas

The Rocks Christmas Menu promises a choice of Prawn and Crab Cocktail with brandy Marirose; Papaya Canteloupe Melon with Passion Fruit; Smooth Chicken pate or Traditional Game Broth for starters. Followed by a choice of Roast Turkey platter; Sizzling pig; Baked Scotch Salmon or Sloe Gin Venison pie for mains – for dessert you can choose from White Chocolate Cheesecake; Christmas Pudding; Peach and Raspberry Trifle; Creamed Rice Pudding or a selection of cheeses and biscuits.

Coffee and mints.

2 Courses – £22.95
3 Courses – £26.00


Rocks Restaurant, Review

15 Jun 2007

Located on the seafront looking east over a cove to the ruins of Dunbar Castle the setting is poignant. The restaurant is within an old red sandstone building with a old fashioned feel about it, thankfully not done up and done over like some former East Lothian classics like the Goblin Ha’ (a brilliant way to ensure established diners don’t return). We were led through one of the two restaurant spaces to a cosy room at the back containing around five tables.

It was a while before we were asked whether we were ready to order, we were parched and the kids starving. I suggested we might start with a drinks order in the time-honoured way. ‘Tasty’ bread was promised too. Drinks and bread arrived and suddenly things seemed rosier: good quality wine and real ale, delicious bread.

The menu was good but didn’t really sparkle, however in gazing round the room we spotted the Specials board and the offerings looked superb: a diverse selection with an emphasis on seafood. For starters three of us went for crab fritters with sweet chilli sauce. Nice, but not as good as crab cakes. For mains Isabelle and I went for T-Bone steaks with crab and tiger prawns. Daniel and Harriet both chose a golden-battered haddock which went down well. Plenty more bread arrived whilst we ate which was a nice touch.

For dessert Daniel and I went for chocolate and lime brulee, chocolate can be cloying after a few bites sometimes so the lime nicely prevented this. Isabelle went for cranachan with fresh raspberries, lovely. Harriet went for San Luca vanilla ice cream. A proper cup of coffee and mints rounded off the lunch. Overall we enjoyed the visit to Rocks Restaurant, the food is interesting and cooked well. Jim Finlay is the owner and he works the floor like a professional, polite and helpful. Previously he ran what were excellent restaurants, the Waterside Restaurant in Haddington and the Drovers Inn, East Linton.

Adrian Welch, Jun 2007

Rocks Restaurant, Review
17 Nov 2005

“Hello Stumbled across this place whilst watching rugby and needed to get out of the cold in February! Warming, friendly and decent food.
5 months later on, a beautiful evening, pleasing interior, very friendly staff and again decent food, worth a drive, we now regard this our favourite romantic restaurant (bar seating area our favourite).”

Elaine Lamont, Edinburgh 2005

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