REVIEW : 1902 Grill Dunmuir Hotel, Dunbar, East Lothian

Dunbar is situated 30 miles east of Edinburgh and is affectionately known as Sunny Dunny as it gets more sun than most places along the East Coast.

It is the birthplace of John Muir, naturalist, conservationist and the father of ‘American national parks’. Without John Muir we wouldn’t have Yosemite National Park and possibly the Grand Canyon.

Dunbar is also home to Dunmuir Hotel, one of only three hotels in Dunbar. It’s located five minutes from the beach, the golf club, town centre and train station.

The hotel boasts twenty bedrooms, a large function suite and the 1902 Grill Restaurant and 1902 Bar. This hotel is family owned and run; it’s a well established building that has been slightly modernised and oozes charm in a very homely way.


Greeted by very warm and friendly staff at reception, we were given the choice of dining in the restaurant or the bar. As it was lunch time, I felt the bar would be a better choice. The bar is dark wood and turquoise with a large bay window seat. It’s cosy but bright. They have a nice selection of craft beers from the very local Belhaven Brewery as well as some nice wines and the usual array of spirits.

The menu is extensive and is a full on Scottish menu. They use local produce as much as possible which are evident in the ingredients listed – haggis, black pudding, beef, batter for the fish, oatcakes and whisky. They received a ‘Taste Our Best’ award from VisitScotland last year, so they must be doing something right.

There is a lot to choose from but we went with the Homemade breads (for sharing) served with the most amazing pickled onions I have ever tried and a selection of oils and salts. The breads included some rolls and added a nice tear n share aspect. The dipping oils are from local East Lothian producers, Black and Gold Rapeseed Oils.

The Confit of Duck Croquettes with black cherry compote and salad, was a serious contender for our starter but in the end the Trio of Haggis Balls made it to the table. These are served with a whisky and oatmeal mayonnaise.

Crispy on the outside with the haggis soft and mushy on the inside; and I mean mushy in a nice way.

The haggis was nice and peppery, well seasoned and the little oatmeal flecks added a wee bit of an extra crunch. Really pretty plate of food!

Their signature dish is the Beef Medallions served with creamed potatoes, asparagus and wild mushrooms. Sounds lip-smackingly good.

Although we were hungry, we still weren’t in the mood for a full on massive feast. So I thought that the Steak and Dunmuir Ale Pie with chips was a safe bet. How wrong was I. It was massive; the portions are huge. The steak pie dish was stuffed full of hearty beef chunks and topped with the largest, flakiest, butteriest (not even a word but you know what I mean) pastry. Add to that a mahoosive portion of chips and then seasonal vegetables. I have to admit that I didn’t know where to start. The pie and pastry were demolished first and foremost but I left most of the chips and all of my veg – I just didn’t have the space.

It took Carmin a while to order as three dishes sounded good to her. The Boar Burger, the Macaroni Cheese and the Tandoori Chicken Tikka Masala. The curry won. Another massive plate of food arrive, overflowing with large pieces of tender chicken, rice and naan bread. Carmin enjoyed the curry but felt that it could have done with more heat but then she is a curry aficionado!

After a good wee while of gabbing, posting images to Instagram stories, having another cup of coffee and drinking a litre of sparkling water, the lovely staff convinced us that there was most definitely room for dessert and who were we to say no.

For desserts you have decent selection – Banoffee Cream Pie, Fudge Brownie Sundae, White Chocolate and Strawberry Vodka and Fresh Fruit Salad.

Carmin choose a twist on a Scottish Classic, Cranachan. The Raspberry and Whisky Mille-Feuille garnished with toasted oats and heather honey. It was marvellous and light as a feather. The cream was like eating a whisky cloud and the pastry lovely and flaky. The honey added a wee bit of sweetness. A good dish that leaves you wondering if you’ve even eaten anything (if only the calories didn’t count either).

As you know my go to dessert is Sticky Toffee Pudding. Beautifully presented, this lovely dark brown cake was sticky, datey and slightly gooey. Delicious, but for me it needed more treacle sauce.

We thoroughly enjoyed our lunch and left stuffed! The staff here are wonderful, possibly the best service I’ve come across in a long time – the banter, friendliness, efficiency and knowledge of the menu, food, hotel, guests and location where spot on.

Their menu is very adaptable and they pride themselves on the fact that many of their dishes can be catered to gluten freebies and vegetarians. Over ten of their dishes have gluten free options and the all important one, gluten free Haddock and Chips. Now I know where to take my mum!

The 1902 Grill at the Dunmuir Hotel is not fine dining, but it’s not pub food either. It’s good food cooked well. One thing’s for sure, you will not leave hungry!

The Dunmuir Hotel, 1902 Grill, 11 Newhouse Terrace, Queens Road, Dunbar, EH42 1LG. 
Tel: 01368 862033

My Spoon Award : Silver 8/10



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