Review: Old Chain Pier, Newhaven, Edinburgh

WITH A HOUSE move looming the opportunity to scout our soon-to-be locals presented itself as we look forward to life by the sea in Newhaven. My good friend, Bat, was a resident here before moving home to his native France, and he often spoke fondly of the Harbour Inn and Old Chain Pier.  I think the concept of a regular “after work pint” was lost somewhere in translation, but the stunning views from the Old Chain Pier are something anybody would appreciate.

I can recall this establishment getting a good write up in Bite Magazine a few years ago when I used to write reviews for them. I've always admired how she tells it like it is and her recommendations are usually bang on the money.  Anyway, on Googling this place, I learned that it was up for sale for £150,000, which screams to me a good investment for any wannabe or current restauranteur with a few quid to spend. With idyllic views and a history of fishing in Newhaven, sitting down here with a cold pint and a pot of moules mariniรจre or a hearty fish pie seems heavenly. If anybody agrees and wants to lend me the £150k, my email address is on the right-hand side of this blog…

Anyway, down to business… there can’t be many more effective methods of gauging the quality of the grub than to sample pub staples like burgers and fish and chips, so we duly ordered them.  There was a range of what I guess you would call regular burgers alongside a section offering ‘gourmet’ options, which I just find a bit Wetherspoons-y – call it a restaurant gripe of mine. 

I ordered from the ‘normal’ burger section of the menu to run the rule over the pork and apple burger (£7.95) with a side of hand-cut chips for an additional £2.95.

Now this was a very tasty thing, indeed.  A juicy 8oz meat patty with a subtle acidic tang of apple, creamy, melted mozzarella (£1.50 extra) with a fresh crunch of red onion and lettuce actually took me by surprise at how enjoyable a burger it would be. If that was great, the chips were simply outstanding. Cooked perfectly, using good-quality spuds, there wasn’t evidence of even a single drop of grease.  My only pang would be that for a side order, the portion was verging on the small side.  I like a good chip, but unfortunately, this brought disappointment, if only because they were so delicious.

Sarah’s fish and chips (she went for the small priced at £8.95 with large at £11.95) looked appetising from my side of the table.  Light, crispy batter housed tender haddock that was flawlessly cooked and matched with those chippers again, a side of decent tartar sauce and a side salad was well worth the price. 

Now the food was good value for money, which leads me onto my final little gripe – the drinks prices. Old Chain Pier had Three Hop on tap, which I enjoy at my local, The Mash Tun. The Mash Tun isn’t the cheapest bar in the world, with a pint of Three Hop setting you back £4, but I was astounded to see a charge of £4.75 when my bill arrived.

I will definitely return here for the food and scenery, but only time will tell if the Old Chain Pier becomes a regular drinking spot after the move. After all, us Fifers like plenty of change back from our tenner when it’s our round!

Phone: (0131) 552 4960
Address: 32 Trinity Crescent,
              EH5 3ED

Opening Hours: Sun-Thurs 11:30am - 11pm
                        Fri and Sat 11:30am - 1am

The Old Chain Pier Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato