We were in Killarney on New Year’s Eve to meet someone off the train. We went early in order to mooch around the town for a while. Of course we were there at lunch time and I remembered having heard of a restaurant where you paid what you thought the food was worth. A quick search of Google and we managed to locate the premises in New Market Lane.
The room is small and furnished in a shabby-chic way. Some of the tables were old school desks complete with inkwells. The chairs were a mixed lot too and some of them were quite comfortable formal dining chairs. An old black and white vampire movie was projected on one of the walls. And on the opposite wall was the open kitchen area.
We were greeted by a very friendly young man who showed us to a table and gave us menus to look at. There was not a lot on offer but the place is small and with no fixed price I didn’t expect a huge menu. There was soup of the day (parsnip and apple), a few different bruschettas, three different types of pizza, some salads and a dish of the day which I have already forgotten! We ordered pizzas. I opted for the bacon, mushroom and thyme one and Mr W chose the Serrano ham, rocket and Parmesan one. We asked for tap water which was served, chilled, in a bottle. They don’t sell wine but you can bring your own.
The pizzas arrived within fifteen minutes of our ordering. The base was thin and crispy with some bubbling of the dough (all good!). The tomato sauce struck me as being a bit to runny but it tasted fine. The topping was sparse enough there was a hardly one medium-sized mushroom on the pizza and the bacon was pretty meagre too. Mr W also thought his pizza was a bit short on the toppings. The flavours were good. We weren’t supplied with cutlery – just pizza cutters – or napkins. Seeing as the pizza sauce was so runny this was a major drawback.
To finish Mr W ordered coffee and I asked for a hot chocolate. The coffee came in a big cafetiere and there was easily enough for two people. I also received a very generous jug of hot chocolate and an enamel mug. I wasn’t too impressed with the mug as memories of burnt lips on camping trips flooded my mind. I only half filled the mug and I was very tentative when drinking from it. Fortunately the mug didn’t conduct the heat too much and I survived the hot chocolate without any medical emergency.
Unfortunately I didn’t notice one of the most novel dishes on offer. Soup in bread. It wasn’t until I was halfway through my pizza that I noticed it on their blackboard. I was cross that I missed it especially when I saw it being served to another customer.
The decision on what to pay involved much debate. We had eaten pizza recently in Skinflint Dublin and the pizzas cost a little more than ten euro. We thought we’d pay ten euro for each pizza even though if we’d had such meagre toppings in Dublin, at that price, we would have been quite unhappy. We thought €2.50 for each drink was fine considering we only wanted one cupful of drink. In the end we left twenty five euro in the box to and also a tip. In hindsight I think a tad we were too generous.
This ‘Pay As You Please Restaurant’ is a novel concept and definitely worth supporting. The local community appears to have embraced it as a lot of the customers were repeat visitors and many of them were of more mature years.
(Photos from Pay As You Please Facebook Page)