Comedian Rhys Nicholson on enjoying Scottish food and eating nine meals a day at the Fringe

Australian comedian Rhys Nicholson discusses the joys of Scottish cuisine, pokes fun at Festival foodies and highlights his favourite places to eat.

Published 22nd Aug 2016
Updated 8 th Aug 2023

I like you Scotland. I like your moors, your castles and your accents.

But most of all I love your food.

I reckon you can tell a lot about a people by their nation’s foodstuff. French food is small and pretentious. Australian cuisine it typically tasty and adorably unsophisticated. From yours I can tell you are confident humans who stick to their guns.

Sure, over the past seven hundred years there have been new discoveries in spices, herbs and ways of cooking from other lands, but you have said “No! We’ve been making food like this for generations and we cannae stop now”.

I don’t want you to think I’m being facetious here. I genuinely love it. It seems to me that you’d deep fry and eat a door knob if you could. I’m sure it’d be super tasty with some brown sauce poured over it.

READ MORE: Busker Andy Gregory picks out his favourite places to grab a bite to eat or enjoy a cheap pint during the Edinburgh Festival.

Oh and by the way, no one seems to be able to give me a clear answer on what brown sauce actually is. All people say is “It’s great on chips”. Yes but what’s IN it? Perhaps it’s for the best I don’t know so I can continue to enjoy it. Ignorance is bliss.

Over the past four years I’ve been at the Fringe I have made it my mission to try as many local delights as humanly possible. From haggis, to scotch pies and even chicken tikka masala.

I’ve eaten that many animal products in this country I’ve started to call my lower intestines “Noah’s Ark”.

I’d like to take this moment personally thank the central fish and chippery near Bristo Square for their continued help in my research as to what can be heated and eaten.

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Edinburgh during August is probably my favourite time of the year because for some reason us performers think we are indestructible. We believe we can consume as much street vendor food and cheap alcohol as we want with no consequences. Whether it’s the Thai food at Assembly Gardens, or the Nachos at Gilded Balloon’s Loft Bar, you can often have several dinners in the one night as you wander from venue to venue.

READ MORE: 7 of the best places to enjoy a whisky in during the Fringe

In the last two and a half weeks I have eaten upwards of twelve huge and delectable burgers at the Underbelly Pasture. I don’t know what they’re putting in those things but I just don’t care. I can recommend the spicy one. It’s amazing.

But if you’d prefer to not eat on the street like a common person and instead eat sitting down in a restaurant like a common person, I would send you to Checkpoint. They serve until super late and have a great selection of simple homely meals as well as incredible what I would call “rich people

It has that nice vibe of classy, yet you feel like you could get pretty drunk in there without making a fool of yourself. They make this great chicken broth thing that makes me feel like I’m eating healthily. It goes great with beer.

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So what’s my favourite thing to eat here? Thank you for asking.

My absolute favourite place to dine in Scotland is not typically Scottish I’m sorry. It’s Ting Thai Caravan in Teviot Place. It’s cheap, trendy and has an open kitchen so you can see how fresh they are making it.

I mean it’s down criminal how delicious it is. There is always a line down the street but this place is so worth it. Also, I don’t want to directly objectify anyone, but just about everyone that works there is quite good looking.

It truly adds to the all round ambience. Food just tastes better from hot people.

Look I don’t know what else to say really. Get out there, see some show and have nine meals a day.

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• This year is Rhys' fourth stint at the Fringe, find out where you can see him here.

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