Old Chain Pier reopens with new decor, friendly service and impressive food
Whatever image and thoughts you had of the Old Chain Pier before May 2012, leave them behind.
Their doors were reopened yesterday after a much needed face lift and we were impressed as soon as we walked through the door. After a warm welcome from the staff in the middle of the afternoon, we found out that they serve the full food menu all day (food served until 9pm, bar snacks served till 10pm).
We took a window seat and read the menu, trying to decide what to have. There are a handful of choices for each course, but all seemed appealing. Starters of soup of the day (two choices, £3.75) and Old Chain chowder, £5.45 grabbed our attention. My dining partner opted for the latter whilst I plumped straight for the steak from the choices of mains. Faced with the option of sirloin or rib eye, I chose the latter, medium-rare. Both steaks are served with portobello mushrooms, onion rings, chips and a choice of sauces from pepper, mushroom & brandy and creamy blue cheese (£10.95).
Other meals on the menu that appealed were: beer battered haddock and chips (£8.95), steak pie (£7.95), lamb and apricot burger (£7.45) and a falafel and halloumi burger (£6.95).
The only vegetarian choices we could see was a lasagna and nachos, so perhaps lacking a little for the non-meat eaters out there.
Even on a rainy day like today, we loved the views over the Firth of Forth from the large windows. They must be stunning on a sunny day, or you could time your visit perfectly on a summer evening when the sun sets over Fife.
Our food arrived together (as requested) and my partner’s chowder was packed full of smoked haddock and prawns. The starter dish also came with bread and butter and was practically a meal in itself.
My steak was cooked perfectly and the meat very tender, but the sauce was a little on the runny side for my liking. Not wanting to waste anything, I asked for some bread to soak up the sauce and my plate was handed back to the kitchen completely clean.
We had certainly been impressed so far and although we weren’t left hungry, we did manage to find room for one of their desserts. It was a toss up between the brioche bread and butter pudding (£4.95) and the banana and hazelnut pancakes with toffee sauce (£4.75). The pancakes won and the portion was on the large side.
The bananas had been baked/fried and the hazelnuts and toffee sauce combination was to die for. It turns out the pancake was actually a crepe and was a tiny bit burnt on the edges, but it didn’t detract from the taste at all. Another clean plate heading back to the kitchen from us.
Considering it was only their second food service since opening, we were had been pleasantly surprised with what had been dished up.
We had some more drinks after our meal and left as the pub was getting busy with inquisitive locals checking out the new place for themselves.
Children are welcome in the bar (children’s menu available) and there are highchairs for little ones.
The conservatory area through the back was warm and cosy despite the cold weather. There’s a mixture of tables, chairs and sofas, all with views of the water.
Once the Old Chain Pier find their feet, we think they will provide serious competition to the neighbouring Starbank Inn. With the demise of the Peacock Inn, the newcomers on the Newhaven block have brought good quality pub food at reasonable prices to the area.
Update 22nd May – Now that the sun has come out, we passed the Old Chain Pier again and they have a seating area for about 18-20 outside now. The seats catch the sun from lunchtime and well into the afternoon.
Old Chain Pier, 32 Trinity Crescent, Edinburgh, EH5 3ED. Telephone 0131 552 4960.
Currently no website, therefore we are unsure of exact opening hours.
The business card only says “Peter Ross – Billy Ross”.
Wi-fi is coming soon.
Suitable for disabled? Yes, the main bar area and conservatory are on the ground floor but the bathrooms are down a set of three steps.
“Take your time at the old chain pier, but haste ye back”
Note: We normally visit a place twice before we review it, but felt that this one should be shared immediately. We will return in due course and amend our score/update if necessary.