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“Amazing Experience”
Review of On The Rocks

On The Rocks
Ranked #42 of 154 Restaurants in Douglas
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$16 - US$32
Cuisines: Steakhouse
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Description: Steakhouse
Berwick-upon-Tweed, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Amazing Experience”
Reviewed 20 August 2014

This is one of the best restaurants we have been to. My husband's birthday treat!! Cooking your own steak on your special rock plate, brilliant!! Quite expensive, but well worth it!!

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank Eleanor D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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188 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    19
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
“Thoroughly enjoyed the evening”
Reviewed 19 August 2014

The restaurant was very quiet with only 2/3 other tables taken up, and through no fault of the company's, there were road works outside which wasn't appealing to the eye.
The actual inside of the building surprised me, it was a lot nicer than I expected without looking into what it looked like.

We were greeted by the staff who sat us down (offering any available table, so following a review, we sat away from the door) and offered drinks, left us for about 5 minutes or so (as expected) and came back asking if we were ready to order. We weren't so they left us until later and advised us on how the restaurant works (i.e. cut the steak in half, etc.)

We both ordered the 10oz Fillet Steak which was perfect - Just pure meat and it was a pleasure to eat.
The chef (myself) did a wonderful job of cooking the food - I quite enjoyed cooking it myself.
The chips refused to lose heat when I was cooking the meat which is good. The peppercorn sauce was quite hot, but in a good way. Apply sparingly if you don't like hot sauces.

Admittedly, I do think it's overpriced, but then again, the fillet is a good cut.

Otherwise, everything was perfect and I would gladly go back and I would recommend it.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Sarah W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Isle of Man, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“left not wanting”
Reviewed 17 August 2014

This was our second visit to On the Rocks, our first visit had a great meal ruined by sitting too close to the door, so cold we ate with our coats on and using the hot rocks the steak was served on to keep our hands warm!

So on this second visit, the first question was "can we have a table away from the door please?

And so, there we were on a nice little table near the kitchen, much warmer, but nearly chocked when a chilli burger went on the grill! Hey ho...

Our waitress was nice enough although easily distracted by everything else going on around. We skipped starters and went straight for mains, 2 steaks appeared in good time, sizzling away on their hot stones, and a good portion of goose fat gourmet chips too. Our steaks were similar to our previous visit, very good. The novelty of the hot stone didn't wear off, we used them to warm up the veg and chips too. I must say the pepper sauce was not for the faint hearted, I enjoyed it, but it was too intense for my wife.

Next was pudding, only 3 items to choose from, don't know if they had run out or what but the choice was carrot cake, choc fudge cake or ice cream. My wife ordered the chic fudge cake and I ordered ice cream, I noticed the waitress was paying more attention to what was happening across the room, and I guessed that she hadn't heard properly and I was going to get choc fudge cake too...correct. Lucky i like choc fudge cake!

All in all we enjoyed On The Rocks, but it could be so much better, like so many places on the Isle of Man. Having said that, I'm sure we'll go back one day.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank simon k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maybole, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Too much of a gimmick to enjoy!”
Reviewed 10 August 2014

Do you like cooking your own food in a restaurant? Do you like your meat or fish nearly raw while your veg and chips are getting cold? Well, then this could be the ideal place for you!

We were attracted by the convenient location of this restaurant and by the fact that their menu did not seem quite as overpriced as other restaurants in Douglas. Also their opening hours were quite flexible and the place did not seem overcrowded.

I had looked at this site and was aware that On The Rocks make you cook your steak to your own liking. However I did not quite expect that: (1) this seems to apply to ALL main courses, so ordering fish and duck breast for our meals did not get us out of the "rock experience" and (2) that the fish and meat would be brought to the table completely uncooked. Wonder what the DIY part of cold salads would have been - maybe being sent to the beach to harvest seaweed for your greens?

Cooking your meat on a sizzling hot rock seems like a great idea, however the restaurant seems to forget that while guests are waiting for their meal to cook, their chips and veg and getting cold. We were faced with the choice of either eating duck and fish half raw or eating all sides first and the rest later when it was finally cooked. The dilemma was only partly solved by me cutting my duck breast into slices, so they would cook faster. That strategy did not work for my husband's salmon though.

Cooking duck on the hot rock also means you get a LOT of spitting. The restaurant is aware of this - they provide you with a paper towel to stick to your top to avoid a major mess on clothes. It did not help with feeling the pricks from spitting fat on my lower uncovered arms and it also did not prevent fat spitting onto my glasses (had to go to the toilet to wash them with soap after the meal).

Sauces served with my duck were OK, but my husband was unhappy with VERY spicy sauces being served with the salmon. This may have been a clever decision by the restaurant because the salmon itself was completely tasteless.

On the bright side (and this is what the 2 stars are for, else it would be 0 stars!):
Service was friendly and efficient throughout the meal, the house wine was brought quickly and was very good quality. Waiting time for the main course to be brought to the table was acceptable.

This could be nice restaurant if they put some more thought into what meat/fish/sauces they offer (thinly sliced = faster cooking time would work better) and how they time serving the components of a meal. Maybe a hot plate for the veg/chips as well? Or bring them out on demand when the guests decide their food on the rock is ready?

If we had enjoyed our dinner, we would have brought a group of 14 the following night. After our experience however we decided to warn them off instead.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Kerstin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nadeem k, Owner at On The Rocks, responded to this review, 26 August 2014
Hi Kerstin M
I am very sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your experience at On The Rocks. It seems a shame that you did not quite understand the concept and what it was designed for. We are of course predominantly a steak restaurant and pride ourselves on having locally sourced top quality ingredients. The idea is very simple in that the Meat or Fish are placed on the rock and cooked to each persons liking sealing in the flavor for you to enjoy instead of losing all of the moisture from the meat over a grill. This of course adds to the healthy eating option as we do not apply any oils to the meat. Our staff are happy to advise customers on the menu and If your dish was not particularly tasty for some reason then we would be happy to replace it for something more to your liking. You commented on the Duck spitting (and also the Lamb) which we are aware of due to the higher fat content of these meats so we do provide a bib to provide protection for your clothing. We can also provide relevant protection for your glasses so this was obviously an oversight on the customer service side for which I apologize. I can only suggest that you had a tasteless piece of fish on that day as all of our ingredients are the finest that can be all from the Isle of Man.
I apologize for you not having a good experience and would love to have the opportunity to turn that negative experience into a positive one on a future date.

Regards
On The Rocks Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Douglas, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Excellent as usual...”
Reviewed 15 July 2014

I first introduced my family to this restaurant some months ago, now it's their restaurant of choice. We attended this evening to celebrate my Dad's birthday & enjoyed fantastic quality food & service, I'm surprised by anyone who criticises this place & can only think it's down to their own inability to cook their own steak well.... We'd highly recommend any lover of good quality steaks, & quick friendly service to visit 'on the rocks'. thanks again :-)

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Lisa A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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