I know I shouldn’t admit to things like this, but Saturday mornings very rarely take me in the direction of the Castle Terrace Farmer’s Market. This has more to do with my usual Friday night pursuits than any indifference to the gathering, but the long and short of it is that I’ve never sampled a hog roast roll, before. As an aside, despite living in Scotland for thirty of my thirty four years, I’ve never sampled porridge, but that’s something that will be rectified, in the next week or two.
Anyhoo, today was the day to address the previous lack of pulled pork in my life, so I took the short trip up the road to Oink, on Victoria Street.
Having criticised The West Room and Urban Angel for having menus that lacked focus, recently, the menu at Oink provided the perfect antidote. You get porky goodness from the window pig, in three sizes (piglet, oink, or grunter), served with stuffing or haggis, chilli or apple sauce, on a brown or white roll. I dare say they’ll serve you a beverage of your choice, but aside from that, that’s the totality of their menu.
The brainchild of a pair of Border farmers, seeking to showcase their high-quality ingredient in a simple and straightforward way, this winning formula has been delighting Edinburgh patrons in not inconsiderable amounts, since the summer of 2008.
I was welcomed in to a busy shop, on my visit, with customers filling the few sit-in seats. I was for the takeaway option, so once quickly spun through the drill, a dance that the chap must have danced on thousands of previous occasions, I tootled my way back to the office, to munch on my meaty morsels.I’m not sure entirely what my expectation were, but upon examining things I found that I was back in similar territory to my regular irregular burger quest, so I was judging on roll, meat and condiments.
The meat was soft and succulent, but a notch off being truly satisfying. The roll was pretty ordinary. The idea of using haggis as a condiment appealed to me greatly, but it was a very quiet, whispering background note to the overall grunt of porkiness. The apple sauce was fine, but didn’t add much.
Overall, I quite enjoyed Oink. I like their schtick, the clarity of their vision, the simplicity of things. Theirs is a very commendable, sustainable model, one that others could and should be following to showcase our fabulous locally sourced ingredients. But is the food worthy of the adulation that’s routinely heaped upon the place? Nah, not for me. The verdict on pulled pork is that I can take or leave it.
Blythe scores Oink:
3.5/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
3/5 for setting
giving an overall 13/20
I ate: an “oink” pulled pork roll (brown), with haggis, and apple sauce
I drank: nothing
I wore: a lilac shirt and tie
Total bill: £3.60