I doubt that Jurassic Park would have been such a box office smash if the scene with Jeff Goldblum skidding off in a Jeep had involved the pursuit of an angrily slobbering chicken.
Yes, the common chook, as one of the closest relatives of tyrannosaurus rex, hasn’t been served that well by evolution (even if, as studies recently showed, this predator was slower than previously thought).
I wonder what the chicken’s great-great-great-grandparents would say about Spatch, the new restaurant that’s opened on Edinburgh’s Hunter Square? First off, they’d probably kick over the rotisserie, which wafts its seductive scent through the entrance, before tearing up the potting-shed-style interior, pruning a few diners’ heads off, then moving on to the local Nando’s.
Thankfully evolution has worked out for humans, we thought, as a gammy-legged pigeon gazed though the window at us, and we ordered a shed load of poultry-based produce.
In the pun-friendly style that’s almost obligatory in fast food joints at the moment, we went for the Cluck Norris (£11.95), which made one of our group of three homosapiens very happy. It was an extremely salubrious chicken burger, with a white roll-like soft bun that sandwiched a clod of thigh meat, a whole shredded barbecued drummer, around three long sticks of
It was an extremely salubrious chicken burger, with a white roll-like soft bun that sandwiched a clod of thigh meat, a whole shredded barbecued drummer, around three long sticks of sweetcured bacon, plus the prerequisite lettuce, tomato and mayo. The Brucie bonus was a coaster-sized-disc of golden crispy chicken skin, skewered onto the lid.
The Brucie bonus was a coaster-sized-disc of golden crispy chicken skin, skewered onto the lid.
As their namesake and, thus, their thing, we were reasonably happy with the spatchcock chicken (£15.95 for whole bird, which we had, £8.95 for half), which was chopped into six hunks and featured a lemon and herb baste (or you could have smoky bbq).
However, the smoky charcoal smell of their in-house rotisserie didn’t really translate when it came to the actual meat, which was slightly nondescript.
It did need a bit of moisture and condiment action, so we were glad of the trio of sauces (£2.50 in total) – the roasted garlic, avocado and lime, and, our favourite, mainly because it was the only one that tasted of much, a jammy pineapple and bourbon.
When it came to the crispy cauliflower wings (£3.95) – aka battered florets, as cruciferous vegetables can’t actually fly – we had been seduced by the spicy sauce, rather than house bbq or piri-piri.
“I know nuclear hot sounds strong, but it’s not really,” said our lovely waiter.
We like a challenge. Or not. Ah. Ma. Gad. Our throats and internal organs were stripped. The heat. This is what it must have felt like for the dinosaurs when the volcanoes erupted.
Anyway, no frightful surprises when it came to the grazeable crunchy pencils that were Parmesan bread-crumbed green beans (£3.95). We also liked our set of four pleasingly gooey-centred matchbox-sized mac and cheese bites (£3.95).
The chips (£3.95) are chip-shop style, which I like, as it reminds me of when my family would get a fish supper and I’d always be the saddo who’d go for the chicken version. (And ALWAYS, a pickled egg on the side). Better than skinny fries, I’d say.
Those who don’t like comedy shaving foam style squirty whipped cream shouldn’t bother with dessert. We were scunnered by vast clouds of the stuff in a vase-sized jar, dappled with splotches of caramel.
This sugary squelch comprised the baby-food-esque “banoffee pot” (£5.95), where ‘nana appears only as a decoration. (Maybe there was more in the jar, but we got bored of guddling about with our stumpy spoons).
The US-style strawberry shortcake (£5.95) featured slightly less cream, though still too much. It was used as the cement, along with halved strawberries and dragon’s blood, between two slices of char-lined madeira sponge. Un-enthused.
Still, I’m sure this place will be popular amongst the Nando’s crew, who are a few Ice Ages younger than me. Chicken is, after all, the most popular meat on the planet (apart from when it’s unevolved and wants to bite your head off).
Maybe they should do a remake, Jurassic Peck: The Revenge, starring Cluck Norris.