When there’s a line coming out of a shop selling roast meat, you know that it’s impossible to walk by. Oink are specialists in hog roasts, reputedly some of the best in Edinburgh. We stopped by at their popular branch at Victoria Street for some lunch.
Now I say branch, that’s because Oink have shops not only at Victoria Street but also Hanover Street and nearby Canongate. It seems that Edinburgh natives can’t get enough of roasted pig in a bun. Luckily when we arrived at Victoria Street, the line wasn’t too long.
In the window, you can see the pièce de résistance, the whole hog. Shredded up and placed into buns that come in three sizes – piglet, oink and grunter. Piglet is almost like a slider in size and more geared towards children. Oink is a perfect medium and grunter is for those wanting a serious amount of meat. We stayed in the middle.
The space in the shop is extremely tight. Very few seats are available and many people choose to take away. The ordering process works like this – first, select your size of sandwich, your stuffing (choose from regular sage and onion or haggis) and then your sauce(s). Dead easy.
There’s also the option of having crispy crackling on the sandwich. To be honest, you’re out of your mind if you don’t get some on there, so be sure to do so. We grabbed a couple of drinks (Coca Cola and Irn Bru) and were informed that for the addition of either shortbread or crisps we could make a meal deal for £7.50.
With us being in Scotland, we just had to have shortbread. Deal done. Down the street we went clutching our goodies and by pure luck we found a bench right in the centre of all the madness to enjoy our food.
I had gone with mustard mayo on my sandwich while Ali had opted for apple sauce. For me, the sandwich was alright. The sauce was good, the meat seemed a bit devoid of flavour – certainly nothing for The Rib Man to worry about. The haggis stuffing didn’t really taste of much either.
The apple sauce and pulled pork combo fared a lot better. The sweet sauce worked a lot more in harmony with the meat. I would lean more towards this combination of flavours if we happened to stop by at Oink again.
The major highlight of the whole experience was that crackling. Wow! This stuff is like shards of pork flavoured glass. Loads of flavour right there and very moreish. The shortbread was also baked beautifully and came with a rich,buttery flavour – yum!
For the price, the food wasn’t bad. Does it justify the rave reviews though? I’m not so sure. Oink is quite clearly very popular amongst the locals and tourists in Edinburgh but for us it falls into the ‘it’s alright’ category. Maybe i’m just being a grunter…
Opening Times: Monday – Saturday 1100-2200, Sunday 1100-1900 (or until the pork runs out)
Nearest Train Station: Edinburgh Waverley