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Spatched review: I’ll be back to this new Dublin restaurant with its droolingly delicious chicken

This Rathmines restaurant dishes up fabulous fried chicken with wines and cocktails

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Address: 221-223 Rathmines Road Lower, Rathmines, Dublin 6
Telephone: n/a
Cuisine: American
Cost: €€

When Stanley Tucci makes a Negroni, he uses twice as much gin as he does Campari and Vermouth, quite a departure from the classic equal parts ratio favoured by my resident cocktail slinger. We’re musing on the ratios because the two cocktails in front of us, a Negroni (€9.95) and a Mojito (€8.95), seem slightly less potent than you would expect. Although this could well be down to the level of practice that went into creating casa mia cocktails over the past two years of back garden confinement.

It makes for pleasant drinking. It’s pre-made, one of WineLab’s cocktails on tap, bringing a certain level of sustainability with its refillable kegs rather than glass bottles, and also a certain level of cost savings. There’s no need to train or employ someone specifically for drinks, which given the current staff shortages makes quite a bit of sense. I check on the WineLab website and find the Negroni is 14.9 per cent abv, and the Mojito is 10 per cent. So, good if you’re watching your units of alcohol, less so if you’re expecting that first cocktail of the evening buzz.

Spatched, the Rathmines, Dublin 6, chicken joint which launched at the end of April, applies much of the sustainable principles it employs at its neighbouring sister restaurant, Sprezzatura. So, as well as cocktails and wine on tap, the menu is accessed via a QR code.

Essentially, it’s fried chicken and it comes down to whether you’d like it in an Amish bun or served as bites, €7.95 for either option. Then you pick the sauce you want to go with it, either gravy, Spatched classic hot sauce, or a truffle sauce (don’t be expecting anything other than truffle oil for this price), and any other bits you’d like to add for a small cost.


It’s a smart, brightly coloured room, fairly compact with seats along the front window for some of the best people-watching in town, and there are also booths for larger groups at the back. Everything is set up for a quick-turnaround experience, but there’s a solid focus on getting the fundamentals right. That means the chicken here is free range, which is a bit of a rarity around town.

I’m sure Amish buns were originally meant for far gentler things than the heart stopping plate of food that arrives before me. It’s doing what it can to contain the flood of American cheese sauce and Parmesan fonduta (for an extra €1.45) that has erupted over burnished craters of batter-encased chicken.

A bit of technique has gone into the “dredge and batter” mix of styles — part Nashville, part Korean fried chicken — but there is only one route of attack with a beast this size, and it is with a knife and fork. The deboned chicken thigh has been wet brined for 24 hours and the flavour really shows in each mouthful that combines its succulence with the soft cakey bun, the crispy batter, hot sauce, pickles and the gooey mess of the cheese sauce. You really wouldn’t want to be going anywhere special after eating this. The large bowl of fries, dusted with red pepper and Japanese togarashi (€3.95), goes some way towards mopping up what tumbles to the plate. A chilled Wicklow Wolf Arcadia Lager (€6.45) is suitably refreshing.

The chicken pieces, in the same batter, turn out to be much more manageable to eat but I would opt for the hot sauce rather than the gravy, which true to its American origin is like a thickened chicken soup. Our jalapeno cornbread (€4.95) arrives mid-meal. Had we planned properly, we would have had this before the fried chicken but despite a pile up of food on our table, this is one thing we simply have to finish. Strewn with coriander leaves and a few sesame seeds, it is light, and open textured, charred on the outside to add a bit of crunch. It is far superior to the usual dry-ish corn bread you get in the US, my American husband/cocktail maestro informs me.

Spatched is not the sort of place you head to for a big night out, unless, perhaps you’re ordering the 5-litre jug of those cocktails for €250, which despite being significantly below Stanley Tucci strength, may take quite some time to get through. It is however, the perfect place for droolingly delicious fried chicken. Better still, there are promises of a brunch menu. I’ll be back.

Dinner for two with two cocktails and two beers was €58.05

THE VERDICT Really delicious free-range fried chicken

Facilities Smart, with recycled-paper toilet paper

Music The Eagles, The Doobie Brothers and good sounds

Food provenance Manor Farm and Rings Farm free-range chicken; Jane Russell sausages; Littlecress micro greens; Cais na Tire and Toonsbridge cheese; veg from Cullen’s in Wicklow.

Vegetarian options Vegan option only, plant-based vegan chicken burger from Plant-It

Wheelchair access Accessible, with accessible toilet

Corinna Hardgrave

Corinna Hardgrave

Corinna Hardgrave, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes a weekly restaurant column