Review: Wings / Edinburgh


Location:  5/7 Old Fishmarket Close, Edinburgh, EH1 1RW


As you might have seen from other blog posts, I recently moved to the land of tapas. My new policy for life is that if you remember something from Scotland in the warmer climes of Spain then it’s most definitely a good thing.

Wings is on the list and is actually more of a cross of Andalusian spirit and Scottish gluttony than you might think. The southern region of Spain prides itself on small portions accompanying a meal: they’re normally free of charge with an alcoholic beverage, but the size of the portions mean you can have a happy balance of good food and a drink.

Wings is a dedicated wings restaurant which operates on much the same principle: six chicken wings per bowl available as dry as you like to soaked in an innumerable selection of sauces. From nothing at all to medium to outrageously hot, alcoholic to marinaded, they’ve got everything covered and you’d be hard pressed to be disappointed by the offering.

The selection is divine, and whoever devised it should be applauded. The quality and quantity of the wings themselves are excellent, with two or perhaps even three bowls being more than filling. If you’re looking for a beautiful mix, ‘The Skywalker’, ‘Peppered Emperor’ and ‘French Bee’ are a personal favourite.

The setting is a hole in the wall in the best sense. Tucked down an Edinburgh side street off the Royal Mile,  it’s a hidden gem embellished with pop culture adornments; walls composed of graphic novels to Star Wars and 90s memorabilia all over the place. It is a cross between a den and a café and benefits from it: the food is communal and there is a charmingly lazy Sunday morning feeling about the place.

While noticeably busy, we went on a Sunday with a booking. The footfall has clearly increased from its early days and it is wise to call ahead to reserve a table. The basement, something I’m convinced is a hidden treat, is a retro gaming hub, with an N64, a Sega Mega Drive and other consoles in little alcoves. Couches and tables also double as more space, and the environment, if a little hot, is chilled. Of Sunday’s reservation, we all must have spent four hours there with attentive staff making sure were fed and watered.

For the more daring, Wings has a “Suicide Challenge”. The name is apt. “Attempt at your own risk is an honest disclaimer. One of the first times a friend and I went there we’d had a bit to drink and baulked at the so-called ‘wall of flame’. Despite the pleading of a very nice waitress, we knocked our order down to a single, pipette sized drop of hot sauce. Pinkies at the ready and we each sampled it. Fresh hell on Earth would to kind, I felt like I was on fire. The matter got worse when I accidentally put said finger in my right eye as I was wiping away sweat and tears. I thought I was blind.

A table of your rugby types behind us found great humour in this and proceeded to order exactly what we’d had. Before long you had eight people of varying physical stature looking like they’d been tear gassed. Be warned, but a testament to the culinary skills involved.

A wonderful place in a quirky atmosphere with an unrivalled speciality to match. One of the city’s best treats, particularly if you’re coming home after ten months away.

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