Visiting Down The Hatch felt a bit like being in an episode of that American show – Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. If you haven’t seen it, it’s basically a guy that travels across America in search of the little unknown places cooking up amazing food.
I’ve been visiting South Queensferry for the best part of twenty years. Anyone who lives in Edinburgh knows it’s the place to go on a sunny Sunday afternoon for an ice cream and unspoilt views of the, now, three bridges.
Never before have I driven beyond the main street and underneath the Forth Road Bridge, so I’d never discovered Port Edgar, a pretty little working marina.
The marina is situated between the newly built (still in progress) Queensferry Crossing and the Forth Road Bridge. As you can see from above, you can get some great views.
Down The Hatch is little more than a corrugated iron shack. It was previously a traditional Scottish cafe, but Neal who hails from Canada, took over the business a few years ago and brings with him some Canadian and American goodies to serve alongside some traditional Scottish fayre.
Inside is cosy with chunky wood tables, a couch area with a fire, and of course a hatch at which to order your food.
The menu features a Scottish breakfast, morning rolls, an avocado dish, plus burgers and the Philly Cheese Steak you can see below. It’s a good menu that will please appetites across the generations. For the foodies among us, it’s all about the specials though.
Each day Neal cooks a signature dish with an American or Canadian flavour. Alongside this is the traditional Canadian Poutine which I believe is now a daily feature of the menu.
The special the day we were there was ‘Carne Asada Fries’ – a huge portion of fries smothered in seasoned steak, avocado, pico de gallo and cheese sauce. It was more than enough for lunch. Other specials include Lobster Mac, the New York Reuben, The Hatch Fish Burger, and my most wanted – Southern Fried Butter Milk Chicken and Waffles. I feel like a Pokemon collector – ‘gotta catch ’em all’.
Neal insisted we also try a milkshake, so he literally sat beside us while we drained the Oreo version. Only joking, we barely needed encouragement, these milkshakes are as good as anywhere in Edinburgh!
Down The Hatch was a great discovery, I can’t wait to take all the family, there really is something for everyone here.
Down The Hatch
Location: Port Edgar Marina, South Queensferry
Price: Carne Asada Fries £8.95, Poutine £5.95
Good for: Great Canadian and American specials