16th April 2015 – 6pm
Steak on Stones is the newly opened sister restaurant to Steak (Steak Edinburgh already reviewed here and at the time of writing my 3rd highest reviewed restaurant) and sits in the site formerly taken by Fish. Now, I am going to be honest here and say that I cannot help but compare Steak on Stones to Steak, which scored very highly, and my review will be written as such. The venue for Steak on Stones is light and airy and also has a small bar area attached to it. I visited with my parents, who were up for a visit. We were a bit surprised on arrival that we were shown to the bar as our table was not ready. My parents aren’t really drinkers so it felt a little awkward. Also, at 6pm, having to wait 10 or so minutes until our booked table was ready whilst the restaurant was empty was not great. Anyway, you’ll not be surprised to read that I ordered a cocktail and my Dad did go for a Heineken. The beer came in a can, which seemed a little steep at £4. My cocktail was the going rate of £7.95 and I went for a Bonnie Lassi, which was delicious. The mango and coconut were a lovely combination.
Once we were finally shown to our table, we were greeted by a very helpful waiter, who explained the menu for us. My parents were a little too scared of a hot stone (and the idea of ‘thin’ steak) so they both opted for the steak frites with a side of creamed leeks, peas and bacon. I decided that I would be a fool not to try the lava stone and ordered 200g of steak for this, which is the minimum order but I know from previous experience is enough steak for me. Chips do not come with this, so I ordered a side of fries and also opted for a jerk mayo sauce. When the food came out, the steak frites looked good, with the chips arriving in little buckets. The side of béarnaise sauce was to follow. My lava stone came out with a cover on top. As soon as the lid was lifted, you could feel the heat soaring off it. A plate with small slices of steak was provided and my own bucket of chips and a small pot of jerk mayo shortly followed. The waiter explained that the hot stone should be sprinkled with salt to stop the steak sticking to the stone. I have to admit, I got a little excited at the theatre of it all. I soon found out that you have to turn the steak almost immediately to get rare steak but once I got the hang of it, it was fun but I did get a bit bored after a while so it was a good job I didn’t order more steak. The meat was exceptionally tender and full of flavour, as in the sister restaurant. The chips didn’t have the magic seasoning that Steak has but they still were tasty. The jerk mayo was nice but not that spicy. On the other side of the table, my Dad’s rare steak was well past medium and my Mum’s medium steak was closer to well done. They didn’t mind as the steak still tasted nice but it wasn’t what they had asked for. At this point, they still hadn’t received the béarnaise sauce, which eventually arrived half way through the meal, but wasn’t too much of a big deal as my Dad is allergic to egg anyway. They did have exceptionally high praise for the creamed leeks, peas and bacon. My Dad did comment that it would have been much easier to eat the steak if they had been provided with steak knives, as whilst the steak was soft in the mouth, a steak knife would have eased the journey. This wasn’t so much of a problem for me as my steak was quite thin, so I wonder if they use cutlery expecting that most people will be having the thin steak.
Moving onto dessert, there is only one option – warm doughnuts. This is fantastic but sadly meant that my Dad could not have dessert due to his allergy. The waiter did remember though so wasn’t cruel as to bring a menu of things he couldn’t have. That got the waiter a healthy tip for remembering. There are four fillings available for the doughnuts. I went for apple and my Mum went for custard. When they arrived they were of a good size, light and fluffy. They weren’t that warm but I suppose it is difficult to get the balance so the filling doesn’t cook, or the filling doesn’t overcook the doughnut. The fillings themselves were plentiful. No hunting for where the filling is in these.
Overall, we had a pleasant time but seemed lacking in comparison with Steak. Yes, it is a little cheaper in general and the room is lighter but I think this place is still trying to find its feet. I may be doing the restaurant a little bit of a disservice as it I have had such fantastic experiences at Steak. However, unless you were really keen on using the hot lava stones to cook your meat, I would recommend going to Steak instead.
Food – 7/10
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere – 7/10
Value – 8/10
Overall – 30/40
Cost – £65 for 3 mains, 3 sides, 2 desserts, 1 cocktail and 1 beer