Rooftop dining at Rusacks

Derek Johnstone’s confit potatoes must be the lovechild of a chip and a potato; moreish crispness married to soft nutty flavour initiates a vigorous fork fight between me and Mr Bite. A side dish that can stop the show like this however, proves to be par for the course at the restaurant 18 where we drive to try the newly-launched Sunday Lunch menu. Derek is a 'well-kent' chef for his 2008 appearance on Masterchef. He is also Roux-trained, Michelin kitchen nurtured and at the helm in this classy rooftop restaurant, which is part of Rusacks Hotel in St Andrews. Starters are complex and outstanding. I have Coal-Fired Crapaudine Beetroot aka ‘toad beetroot’ which is a heritage root grown for an estimated 1000 years. The dish is presented as a piece of art on a plate with super sweet beets, blobs of burnt orange, toasted pollen, nasturtium leaves, oils and more. Mr Bite is impressed with his Raw Black Isle Beef, Shimeji, Wild Rice and Nasturtiums. We hop between a la carte options and the set Sunday Lunch but what’s important is that firstly, 18 is now open on a Sunday (from 6pm on other days), and secondly, that the food is extremely high quality whatever menu you choose to eat from. For main course I keep things simple with Roast Beef (from Dumfries), Yorkshire Pudding, Carrots fired on a Robata Grill, Pan Gravy and Maris Pipers roasted in beef fat. The benchmark for Sunday lunch will always be your mum but a close second is a very good place to attain. The beef in particular is juicy and rare while the pud is puffed and crisp. Mr Bite had Barbary Duck perfumed with star anise (get him!), a roasted tropical tamarind fruit and those confit potatoes which he keeps very quiet about until my curiosity kicks in and the game is up. We don’t think we can do dessert but the waitress takes my arm and twists it mercilessly up my back. I crumble and am grateful for the rich, fruity explosion that is Passionfruit Souffle and Bramble Sorbet. Another showstopper of a course. We don’t drink wine but the list is good and includes the ‘fine and rare’ as you would expect. Despite the well-heeled environment however, Sunday lunch is £40 for three courses. All things considered this means 18 remains an accessible rooftop dining experience; albeit perhaps one to be savoured before the word spreads - (S. Wilson). Rusacks St. Andrews
Pilmour Links, St. Andrews
KY16 9JQ. Opening Hours 18 Restaurant: Monday- Saturday 6pm - 9:30pm; Sunday 1pm - :30pm

18 Bar: Monday-Saturday: 5pm-Late; Sunday: 1pm - 10pm

Rooftop dining at Rusacks