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“Great food!”

Sadlergates Black Rock Grill Steakhouse
Price range: $14 - $42
Cuisines: Steakhouse
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed March 31, 2013

I booked a table for 7 people through the website which was really simple to do. So simple in fact I half expected the table not to be booked, but it was. We hade a whole area to ourselves which made it feel more special. We all had starters which were presented really well and tasted amazing. I had the soup which tasted superb, my friends had the scallops and garlic bread as starters.

We all ordered steak for our main choosing from the option of fillet, rump or sirloin and one of our party had the mixed grill. As per the previous reviews we were told about the safety issues with the volcanic rock. I must say whether people think its a novelty or not, not one of our party had a complaint about the food. We all ordered a sauce to go with our meals too and these were superb. I loved cooking the steak on the rock, very often I find that when I'm out with friends for a meal the food goes cold quickly because you are chatting at the table. It's is definitely not the case here.

A couple of our party managed a dessert and one had a liqueur coffee. The wine selection was varied and well thought out too.

I agree that the toilets are a little primitive but they are fully functional and clean and with the building being so old, they are not going to be to everyone's liking.

The waiting staff were well informed about the menu and extremely efficient.

All in all an excellent service and a very good meal. I'd recommend it without a thought

Thank Suttieuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (120)
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61 - 65 of 120 reviews

Reviewed March 20, 2013

I ordered the scallops to start, my husband, who is notoriously difficult to please ordered the broccoli and stilton soup. My starter had a crust of some kind but didn't really need it as the everything else on the plate worked well. My husband raved about the soup so it must have been good.

We had the mixed grill and steak as the main and was really satisfied with what was served. If you know how to cook a blue steak then that may be an advantage. However, I was there on a Wednesday night, and if the steak was still on the 'rock' until Tuesday following it would have still been blue!

I ordered the cheese and biscuits and the portion was generous and even making up for my blue cheese aversion by adding more portion of a delicious cheese with mustard seeds. Highly recommended.

My husband had the ice-cream and he said it was 'nice'....again decent praise!

For a Wednesday evening there were still a few tables occupied.

Lovely front of house people and easy to engage.

OK it was hard to find and they could do with a sandwich board on Sadler Gate (we knew we would need the help of a local to find it!). It is located in a nice part of Derby city centre and in easy reach of the theatres.

It comes highly recommended and as a newly established business it is well worth supporting. It really needs to consider relocating. The Wonky Table, which is on the main street, also comes highly recommended but I prefer this restaurant and the tipping point for me is well-seasoned food and friendly staff.

We booked via the website and it was the most impressive I have come across so far.

We will certainly go back again.

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Thank BodiceaOverall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Hard to find its above the cafe half of it you need the side door. The waitress we had was great answered any questions we had.we were the first ppl in so lacked a bit of atmosphere but sure it's busy on the weekend.cold in the restaurant but sure it heats up with more people. The scallops were nice ,the soup could of had a bit more flavour. The steaks are not seasoned at all so you need to do it your self.but liked the idea of cooking it yourself.slightly expensive for having to cook it yourself.its worth a go if you have never been the service was great though.

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Thank lbrownhill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2013

I visited here recently and while it wasn't bad, it's all a bit of a gimmick. Some people on here have described it as 'novel' and 'a novelty' as if that's a good thing. Someone said the steak is never cooked how they like it when they go out, but here you can cook it to your liking. If you go to a decent steakhouse, the steak will be cooked how you want it. If it isn't then you're not going to the right places.

If you haven't eaten here before you get a health and safety talk before your steak arrives (no joke). The steak arrives on a very, very hot piece of rock. They recommend you take the steak off the rock when it arrives, cut it up on your saucer-sized side plate, and then put that piece back on the rock until cooked to your liking. It's very awkward reaching over your hot rock to cut up your steak on the side plate. And having a 200C+ piece of rock less than a foot away from your face makes you sweat. It's uncomfortable and very tricky to eat, especially when there's a few of you all reaching over the table and banging elbows etc.

All the books and TV shows about cooking I've ever seen always say how important it is to let meat rest for a few minutes after cooking. So if you did that you'd end up with a lump of meat on your side plate, a small piece cooking and another small piece resting. What a strange idea for a restaurant. For the money you'd be better off buying the best steak you can find and cooking it at home, seeing as you're the chef anyway.

Your meal arrives on a massive plate like a school dinner/prison tray (ceramic though, not plastic) with 3 sections. The middle area has the steak on the stone, and on the left are some chips and on the right is a "salad". The chips were very nice, some of the best I've had for a while. Sadly, the salad was terrible. A few mixed leaves, badly chopped red onion and half a roast tomato. And no dressing.

Because everyones food comes out at the same time, if one person likes their steak well done and another likes it rare, the well done person will be sitting waiting to eat for a few minutes while the others eat. By that time their chips will be going cold. It's a totally ridiculous idea for a restaurant. It's basically an upmarket Sizzler pub, with the whole business plan being based on serving meat still cooking and making a noise to wow people. It's like sticking a sparkler in some scoops of ice cream for kids.

I suppose it saves the chefs a job - you don't need a good steak chef because they just stick it on the rock and let the customer cook it. If they insist on this hot rock idea, they'd be better off having a larger slab of rock to share between 2/3/4 people that you could put in the middle, at least then you'd have a normal plate in front of you to eat off and you wouldn't get so hot.

There was some "free" bread to start which was very nice (of course it's not free, you always pay for it in the end). I had a mackerel salad starter, which although I thought it looked small at first was just right. I had surf and turf (steak and prawns) for a main which consisted of 3 prawns. It looks like more because they have the heads on, but there really isn't much prawn to eat. Basically 3 mouthfuls of prawn unless you're a toddler.

The restaurant is very, VERY smoky indeed with all the sizzling steaks around. You will smell like the chefs by the time you leave. Before you open the door it looks like you're about to walk into a 70s working mans club. Your clothes and hair WILL smell very strongly of steak by the time you leave.

The toilets were a bit grim, and they are shared with the bar they own downstairs. The clientele are very different from the restaurant. There were some particularly loud, drunk, sweary men in the toilets when I had the misfortune of needing a wee. I suppose that's what you get when you share toilets with a bar on a Saturday night.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't all bad. In fact, apart from the steak fiasco it was fairly good.The staff were friendly and helpful, and the wine was nice. If only it was just a simple steakhouse that cooked the steak how you want it. It's a shame really, I don't know why they don't just drop the gimmick and be a proper steakhouse, it would probably be really good then. But then again, they wouldn't have the spectacle of bringing steak out sizzling and fooling people that love a bit of a novelty. I won't be back unless it drops the gimmick and doesn't leave you smelling like a chef after a long shift on the grill.

I think 3 is a very fair score. It could be a 4 if they dropped the hot rock idea and became a proper steakhouse. I gave it 1 for atmosphere because the actual atmosphere was so horrifically smoky and there was a very loud, annoying table nearby. Thankfully they left when our startes arrived.

And why water buffalo is in the Australian section of the menu I've no idea! Kangaroo, yes, water buffalo, no - they're from from Asia. Finally, if you look at the website there's an illustration of what looks like a man urinating against the corner of the building! I think they need a new design team!

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Thank LeifEricson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GregHutchby, Owner at Sadlergates Black Rock Grill Steakhouse, responded to this reviewResponded March 20, 2013

When we decided to open our Restaurant we wanted to bring something very different to Derby and we chose the Black Rock Grill, this decision was based purely on the taste of the food and not about gimmicks or novelty factors. The unique process of the Volcanic rocks ensures our locally sourced steaks are cooked to give a taste second to none, whilst also being a very healthy option as our meats are very lean and we do not use oils.
The concept of the black rock grill is that the volcanic rock cooks your steak to your own personal taste and to perfection whilst you eat. The rocks are super heated to 440ºC and therefore as the food is placed onto the volcanic rocks they instantly sear the meat holding in all the protein and juices without the need for cooking fats.
We do find it important to inform our customers not to touch the rocks and give advice on the best way to use the rock for people who have not been before.
We use two different types of serving platters dependent on the meal being served it’s either the wooden platter with the round volcanic rocks or the ceramic with the square rocks.
You are more than welcome to visit our Head chef and see the hard work he and his team put into all our homemade breads, starters, mains and deserts, they are very passionate about the food they produce. They visit the farms our produce comes from and work with local suppliers to ensure the very best food is produced.
We absolutely pride ourselves on producing our menu from scratch absolutely nothing out of a packet or frozen and we actively encourage our customers to visit our kitchens any time they wish to see our chefs in action.
When we have large parties in the Restaurant it does tend to get a little smoky when all the meals come out at once and we have just upgraded the ventilation to help with this.
Our cafe bar does have its own toilet on the ground floor. We have acoustic music nights alternate Fridays and Comedy nights once a month so it was probably very busy with a full Restaurant too.
Our Water Buffalo does come from Australia from the same approved supplier as our Kangaroo. Water Buffalo’s were introduced into Australia in the mid 1800’s. They live in fresh water marshes and billabongs (small lakes). And I have to say taste fantastic.
In relation to our website the picture you mention is an artist’s impression produced with English Heritage of how our building would look after its renovations in 2011. I believe its standard practice to put figures to the side for scaling purposes, but I do see your point.
The Black Rock Grill is very popular and we have a large amount of regular customers. Although rare our chefs do occasionally get asked to cook the steaks in the Kitchens particularly for younger children or those that struggle with the Hot Rock.
Thanks again for your detailed feedback

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2013

I went with 12 colleagues and we all had steaks. Personally, I struggle with the concept of having to cook your own food with no discount for the privilege. I go to a restaurant to eat a steak the way it needs to be cooked, not the way I think it needs to be cooked. I like my steak rare, which I managed to do. The issue was that the hot rock is the plate, so every time I wanted to cut my steak it went back on the hot rock and continued to cook. By the time I had finished it was over medium.

By adding a plate to the experience it would have a positive impact.

Thank Youngklaus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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