Planning a surprise weekend break to St Andrews for my husband's 40th, I found the Dolls House Restaurant website and decided to book a table. We went there on a Saturday night. The restaurant is in the middle of St Andrews, in Church Square, and opposite the Church. There were four of us for dinner, my husband and I, and two friends. When we arrived, the atmosphere felt warm and welcoming. The staff were excellent, and very friendly towards us. The restaurant feels intimate, it probably seats about 80 downstairs. Around the walls are wooden shelves, with plenty of old toys and games, for a nostalgic feel. The service felt about the right pace, not too rushed, and not too slow either. The menu has something for everyone, with a range of fish, meat, poultry and vegetarian dishes. I started with duck a l'orange, which was very nice, and had peppercorn through it. I continued with Parmesan chicken with red Pesto, again delicious. There was an extensive specials board, two of the party had a wonderful angus steak with peppercorn sauce and my husband had seared tuna. There were also plenty of desserts for those not watching the waistline. The restaurant is not that cheap, the steaks were £18, although my chicken dish was about £13. The starters were about $4 as were the puddings. We had a lovely australian shiraz for about £15 per bottle and we also had a pudding wine, again about £15. The restaurant does do two course lunches for £6.95, which we did not try, but it is probably worth doing so, to enjoy the ambience of the restaurant and the town itself, without breaking the bank. There are tables outside, in the Town Square. If you are planning a trip to St Andrews, then try this place!
Having done the circuit around St Andrews visiting the numerous hostelries and creating havoc, you may feel the need for a bit to eat. Have no fear, St Andrews boasts a good selection of restaurants to cater for all tastes and budgets, rather than resorting to beans on toast courtesy of Tesco. Here are potted reviews of most of them as I remember. 1) Roadhole Grill The restaurant at the Old Course Hotel. Be prepared to splash out here, as the food is very pricy, and almost beyond the range of most people. Expect to pay around GBP50 a head for a hearty meal and wine 2) The Rusacks Hotel Good menu, and slightly cheaper than the Roadhole Grill, it has the added bonus of usually participating in The Times "Meal Deal" promotion. Although the menu is then reduced, you still get a good feed for a very reasonable price, otherwise for students it is strictly romantic meal for two territory. 3) Alexanders (Scores Hotel) offers traditional food at not too expensive prices, although booking is to be advised. The menu includes some great fish dishes, and sometimes there are specials worth having a look at. 4) Ma Bells good selection of pub grub, or otherwise The Golf Hotel (upstairs) offers good evening meals for around GBP25 a head. Reservation is recommended. 5) The Russell Hotel Offers lunches and dinners at affordable prices, and is usually easy to get a table. 6) The Northpoint Café Dinners are mainly prebooked, and you hire the entire restaurant. The food is great and helpings are hearty. Very accommodating, and also very good for parties. 7) Cidsin Hearty lunches, and the food is better than in The Lizard downstairs. 8) Ziggy's An American style diner, which offers a wide selection of steaks, burgers and is very reasonable. 9) Commedia dell'Arte New Italian restaurant, although fairly pricey, apparently worth a
visit. Booking adviseable 10) The Balaka This Bangladeshi Restaurant has won countless accolades over the years, and has now also got a Thai menu. The food and service is excellent, and it is open until closing time. 11) La Posada Mexican Restaurant, ideal for parties, lunch or dinner, owned by the Dolls House. Prices are reasonable, and the atmosphere is good. 12) Brambles Available for private parties, by day it is a coffee shop, by night a gourmet restaurant. Great food, although can be a little bit on the pricey side. 13) Café India Cheap and cheerful Indian restaurant, with very tolerant staff, a good lunch menu and a cheaper alternative to The Balaka. 14) Littlejohns Good cheap student fayre, and a mix between a café and a restaurant. Lots of student deals available, and good for informal meals and parties. 15) The Westport Overpriced and with dubious service, although with the Dollshouse (below) having an interest this should improve. 16) The Dollshouse Great restaurant although quite expensive. Offers a good lunch menu, and is good for parties, although service can be quite slow. Food though is excellent. 17) The Vineleaf Excellent restaurant, although very hard to get a table. If you want to get a table for Graduation Week (definitely worth it) then be prepared to reserve in February. The food is outstanding, the service excellent and all this for cheaper than the Golf Hotel or The Road Hole Grill. A1 18) Ciao Roma Slightly cheesy Italian restaurant, serves reasonable Italian food at a reasonable price 19) The Jahangir Indian Restaurant with a stream flowing through it. Good service, cheap and cheerful and with a good menu. 20) The Merchant's House Good cuisine at inexpensive prices, and with some great dishes on the menu. Can be good for a quiet meal out. <
br> 21) Rufflets Excellent restaurant slightly out of town, with a great menu, although booking is necessary. The food is great, and the helpings generous. 22) The Grange A great restaurant although not the cheapest in town. It makes a very nice change and is a little bit out of the centre of town, but is well worth it. Reservation recommended. 23) The Tudor A cheap and cheerful solution, with some quite good fish dishes available, service can be a bit dicey, but generally food is good. This is not a complete list of eateries, but hopefully will at least give anyone unsure of where to go, quite a good idea of where to go and what to expect. If you are in St Andrews for a gourmet weekend without a tight budget my suggestion would be: Friday night: Balaka Saturday lunch: Dolls House Saturday dinner: The Vineleaf Sunday lunch: Rufflets / The Grange