The Dubliner – 100 Best Restaurants mission continues. I was shopping with my daughter and, having spent most of the morning in Forever 21, we needed a break and something to eat. Picky eater that she is meant there was no point in trying places like Wolfe’s on Capel Street or Kimchi on Parnell Street. I certainly wasn’t going to go to MacDonalds so I decided we’d try The Kingfisher on the corner of Parnell Street and Parnell Square. This wasn’t one of the places that I was looking forward to trying but as it is on ‘the list’ it has to be done. I’ve passed by it occasionally and have never been tempted in. So it was with some trepidation that I undertook today’s task.
There were some tables available when we arrived although none of them were clean except for a table for six which I didn’t think we should occupy. We chose a corner table and the waitress came with the menus and a cloth to wipe down the surface. The menu was choc-a-bloc with nineteen seventies food items. It was like being in a time warp. Further scrutiny revealed that the place opened in nineteen seventy six. It seems that the menu was set in stone back then.
As neither of us were starving we opted to share a plate of scampi and chips, a glass of tap water and a vanilla milk shake. The water and the milk shake arrived promptly but I waited ages for my scampi. I was getting a bit cross as I could see customers who came in long after we did getting their jumbo sausages and chips, quarter pounders or liver with bacon and mash. For goodness sake how could scampi take so long? I consoled myself by deciding that the sausages and burgers may have been precooked and reheated and that my scampi was being made freshly. When, eventually, it arrived I was pleasantly surprised. The prawns were dipped in a lovely light batter, almost as light as tempura. And the chips were homemade and piping hot. They were served with a wedge of lemon and tartare sauce. And they were tasty – in a seventies kind of way. I was very lucky to get a taste of the milkshake as my daughter’s concept of sharing is quite skewed. The shake was sufficiently thick but not so thick that I might strain my tongue muscles trying to suck it up. But by the time I was finished eating the savoury food the shake had disappeared!
Dining at the Kingfisher is like taking a step back in time. Yet, clearly, there is a market for this kind of eating as the place was very busy with many regular customers known to the staff. However, I wouldn’t want to dine here on a regular basis. There is just too much deep frying going on. Ten hours later I was suffering from indigestion and heartburn.