For the food stalls around the square, it’s a bit of a gamble as the rent on pitches is pretty chunky. It was good to see a first-time trader in amongst some more familiar and established players – Whitmuir, Laughing Stock and others – in the shape of Meat Hook.Showcasing hot dogs made from local Scottish lamb, beef and pork, this sounded a pretty good idea to me. Their Scottie Dog is doing brisk business, apparently, but I was drawn in by a Moroccan spiced one called Rock the Kasbah (£4.80). I added a warm potato salad (£1.50) for good measure.
Cooking everything to order means there’s a little wait while things are prepared, but this was fair enough. Both items were served simply of a piece of waxed paper. This was a bit of a logistical challenge, but there was a free table nearby so I could quickly sit down and start munching.The merguez hot dog packed good flavour and the brioche bun had a lovely lightness to it. The star was the potato salad, which was packed with aromatic fresh mint, lovely crunch from spring onions, and nice tang from a mustard vinaigrette. It was really good.
The only real gripe I had with the place was pricing the fried onions (£1) and condiments (50p) as additional items, when they could readily have been included in the overall price of the hot dogs. Such are the pressures of high-rent pitches, I suppose, but this detail is likely to annoy a good number of patrons.
So overall, I was well impressed with Meat Hook. The potato salad was first rate and the hot dog was prepared to a really good standard, too. The minimalist packaging may prove a challenge to handle at busier times, but it’s a place that’s certainly worth a visit when you’re visiting the festive fun.