Last week, Spatch, a charcoal fired chicken restaurant located just off the Royal Mile, kindly invited me to sample their menu. Spatch have been open since June, promising “barn reared Scottish chickens SPATCHed and charcoal fired on a custom made rotisserie in the middle of the restaurant.”
We visited on a Wednesday evening, which we later discovered was unlimited wings night – £12 for unlimited wings and a beer! The restaurant is relatively small but inviting, decorated almost like a modern barn with beautiful lighting. The first thing that struck me was how relaxed and comfortable everyone seemed, from the waiters to the chefs and diners. I especially liked the choice of throwback tunes that had everyone humming along!
Whilst almost everyone around us opted for the unlimited chicken wings, we ordered a mix of dishes from the menu in order to sample a variety of what Spatch had to offer. Of course, the chicken wings were the first thing to catch our attention. If a chicken restaurant can’t serve chicken wings well, we have a problem. We ordered the BBQ wings and were struck first by the size of them – 4 giant wings, coated generously in a rich and sticky BBQ sauce. These were delicious, the meat came off the bone nicely and the sauce coated our fingers as it should do when eating wings. Thankfully Spatch are on hand with plenty kitchen roll on every table!
For mains we ordered the Cluck Norris and the BBQ pork ribs. The highlight by a country mile was the Cluck Norris – a burger filled with chicken prepared in 3 ways – “a breaded chicken burger topped with BBQ pulled chicken, Virginia sweet cured bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo. Served in a freshly baked bun.” I would probably go as far to say this was the best chicken burger I have ever tasted. The textures of this were amazing, with the soft pulled chicken meat, the crispiness of the breaded chicken breast and the crunch of the bacon. It was by no means a small burger but I wished I’d ordered it all to myself rather than having to share.
The BBQ pork ribs came with homemade chips and tequila and lime coleslaw – and it was a monstrous portion! Unfortunately the chips and coleslaw were the highlight of this dish. The chips could easily be compared to the best chippy chips you’ve tasted – chunky but crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside and seasoned well, and the coleslaw had a lovely creaminess without being too heavy. The ribs were okay – they fell of the bone nicely as they should, but the sauce was a little sweet for my taste and the meat was almost too soft (if that’s possible). I don’t know about you but I want a slight chew to my ribs and I want to taste the meat.
We also ordered a side of the hot BBQ beans which were undercooked but we had plenty other food to contend with.
The service was great – all waiters were really knowledgeable about the menu and happy to provide recommendations. We had a little wait for our food, although I didn’t mind as it’s reassuring that everything is being made to order, and it was well worth the wait.
Food – 8/10 (although Cluck Norris would get a 10/10!)
Service – 9/10
Atmosphere – 9.5/10
Price – 8/10 – I received this meal for free but considering portion sizes, quality and the location, I would say prices overall were reasonable
Overall – 8.5/10
Fantastic atmosphere, lovely staff and quality chicken – what more can you ask for?!
P.S Spatch – we’ll be back to take on your unlimited wings!
Spatch, 3 Hunter Square, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH1 1QW, www.spatchchicken.co.uk
* as ever, all views and opinions are my own