When I came across a place in Dublin on the internet that was advertising a fry for €2.99, I knew it wouldn’t be long before I tried it out.
I normally love a good Full Irish after a night of heavy drinking but in the back of my mind I knew that it might not be safe to try this particular plate on an already dodgy or weak stomach.
And I know that’s completely judging a book by its cover but as Judge Judy’s and my father’s favourite catchphrase goes, “if something looks too good to be true, it probably is.”
I was just skeptical from the get-go. It’s like if someone offered you a pint of Guinness for less than €3.
Your initial reaction would be ‘yayyyyy, cheap Guinness’ and just as you were about to take your first sip, you’d stop and say ‘what’s wrong with it’.
And my initial thoughts were only further confirmed by the look of the place from the outset.
Again, I don’t recommend judging a book by its cover but when I stood outside the door of this place, I honestly felt like hopping back in the car and having weetabix.
But, Kung Fu Buffet in Phibsboro is about a 30-minute drive from my house and the food inside probably cost as much as the petrol getting me across the city.
It didn’t look dirty or unpleasing, it just looked like a late-night takeaway place that you’d go to for a kebab after a night-out that you’d regret the next day.
I had really crucified the place before I had ordered.
I was greeted by a picture of Bruce Lee on the wall as I wondered if I had to order at the counter or sit down and wait.
The waitress at the counter soon made up my mind for me by asking “breakfast?”.
I asked for the regular breakfast at €2.99.
I’d normally opt for the ‘Jumbo’ option – as seen below – which was going for €5.99 but all signs so far had told me to do an Italian job on the place. Get in and get out as quick as possible and unharmed.
The cleanliness of the place was established within a minute of us being there.
The minute the waitress had put the order through, she was going around wiping down tables and the deli down the back.
The place was spotless but in fairness, she had time to do all that cleaning considering nobody else was in Kung Fu Buffet at the time.
The food was out in less than ten mins, tea, toast and all the works.
The rasher wasn’t burnt but it was gone beyond crispy and heading in a bad direction.
The egg was nice and runny and the sausage tasted good as did the white pudding. I opted to give the beans and mushrooms a miss but they are also included in the €2.99 price.
I’d have gladly substituted the baby potatoes for an extra of everything else too, they didn’t add anything to the brekkie and I ended up leaving most of it behind.
There was just enough tea for one cup and the most enjoyable part of the fry was the two slices of toast I had saved for the end.
Listen, it’s not a memorable fry. There’s a reason why the regular breakfast costs less than €3.
It’s the type of place where people on the go, go into for a ‘rough and ready’ type of meal.
The likes of builders who are looking for a 20 minute break, they want to be in and out before the clock reaches 10:20 to get on with their work.
It’s not terrible – as I expected it would be – and it’s not great but nothing ever suggested it would be.
It just is what it is. It’s a meal you’d digest in less than five minutes and wouldn’t think about for the rest of the day.
For just a few euro, It did the job. I left the place with nothing to complain about but nothing to recommend either.
If I was in the area again though and was absolutely starving, I’d have no problems rocking inside and ordering the jumbo for €5.99. My mind – which had been unfairly decided by my eyes before I had actually eaten anything – had changed.
But in saying that, it wouldn’t be my first choice.