Chix, Edinburgh, review - is their fried chicken worth leaving the house for?
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Feel free to slap my wrist, as I am a very naughty restaurant reviewer.
This newly opened fried chicken joint, which recently jumped ship from Bonnie & Wild at St James Quarter, was on my list, but I forgot to visit.
Then I passed by on the 44 bus, and spotted its yellow and red livery at the Haymarket Station end of Dalry Road.
Once I’d got home, I remembered that there was a review to write the next day, but I couldn’t be bothered to make the pilgrimage. I’ve got a few excuses prepared, see below.
It was the last day of a busy time at the Edinburgh Festival and my legs felt like tights filled with sand. I couldn’t be bothered to get my socks and trainers back on - the laces, such a faff - or to refresh my House of Wax-esque melted face of make-up. I also had a very important appointment with an especially vacuous Netflix series. The sofa has been missing me. Takeaway it was. I’m sure you don’t mind, even if I don’t have a doctor’s note.
As far as ambience goes, let’s just guess that Chix’s service is excellent, and it looks pleasant enough from the outside. Apart from the eating part of my job, that is the extent of my investigation. I await my Pulitzer.
I didn’t visit this place in its former location, so I’m new to their combination of fried chicken and dips. I do know that the business was set up by Ed Cresswell, who was previously chef de partie at Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck, and his business partners Max Murray and Ellie Gallacher.
You can order their grub through Uber Eats, and I chose a whole selection. My only sadness was that the tempting-looking waffle fries, and the ordinary ones too, dropped off the menu just before I ordered. Maybe there was a potato heist in Dalry that day? Give them back their spuds.
Still, we were consoled by a helping of five of their classic chicken tendies (£7.45), which were pretty good, with a craggy and fuzzy russet-coloured Southern Fried coating and snow white and sturdy tenderloin meat inside. The dips are what really elevated these offerings.
There are 13 to choose from, and we went for three: the Cali gold (£1.50) - a clingy honey mustard - as well as a lemongrass heavy and granular Polynesian curry coconut and lime (£1.50) and the lightly hot and muhammara-ish Peruvian spice version (£1.50). I enjoyed dipping between them, to keep things jazzy and interesting.
We’d also chosen the top-of-the-range truffle Chix sandwich (£16.75).
It’s twice the price of their standard chicken in a bun, presumably because of the shaved black truffle ingredient and the truffle mayonnaise, but my diva of a dining partner is worth every penny. Although he would have liked to have been “punched in the face” (his words, not mine), with a stronger truffle flavour, he did enjoy the soft bun, and the huge wad of chicken, fricassee salad and salty and nibbly bits of crispy chicken skin. This option made us feel upwardly mobile, although we’re most definitely on a downward trajectory.
Since there was zero chip action, we’d felt obliged to go for sides of pickles (£1.50), mac and cheese (£5) and raw slaw (£2). They were all a bit fancier than we’d anticipated. The coleslaw featured very thinly shredded cabbage, carrot, radish, onion, chives, parsley, chervil, dill and a cleansing vinaigrette dressing. While, the gherkins were springy green bollards with a mildly astringent vinegar and threads of dill.
The vegetable contingent might have cancelled out some of the lardiness of the deeply cheesy gouda and Parmesan clad macaroni, with its crunchy topping of breadcrumbs. Probably not.
There is no pudding on their menu, but we had some ice-cream in the freezer and I’d bagged one of their tangy grapefruit Jarritos (£3.50) to raise my blood sugar levels and keep me awake until my rock ‘n’ roll bedtime of 8.34pm.
And I ate and drank everything in front of the television, with my baffies on, which everyone knows makes everything taste 17 per cent more delicious. I am the Jabba the Hutt of sybarites, and I’d like to have every meal in my living room until I’m fully recovered from my festival shenanigans.
I’ll just call Chix whenever I get hungry, and pray that I get to eventually sample those waffle fries.
25 Dalry Road
How much? Dinner for two, excluding drinks, £37.20