Aaaand … we’re back. Holidays and real life took over for a while but the quest for good value eats resumes here.
We used to live just off Clanbrassil Street and I used to work on Montague Street so the Camden Street/ Wexford Street area is familiar territory. It’s changed hugely since then but it still retains some of its atmosphere with its vegetable stalls, small butchers, Go West clothes shop and Travel World, an excellent travel agent that has served us very well over the years. Devitt’s pub on the corner of Camden Street and Pleasants Street used to be called the Cusack Stand and was one of our firm favourites.
The area now caters for a massive nightclub crowd at the weekends, drawn to The Palace, (situated in an old cinema building where bits of The Commitments was shot in the very early 1990s) and a few late night eateries have opened there recently. I’ll write about Burritos and Blues in a later post as it does a slimmed down burrito for under a fiver.
I was driving down Wexford Street recently and the words ‘noodle box’ caught my attention. I just had that feeling, looking at the outside, that it might be somewhere worth exploring for this blog.
Two of my customary dining companions weren’t available. The big lad’s in Britain taking a Masters in Physiotherapy and the young lad was taking part in some high-end karate training session. The young lad is pretty good at the karate. A few weekends back he was part of the Irish squad at the JKS World Karate Championships in Edinburgh where he performed very well.
The spouse, happily and fortunately, was in town shopping and agreed to eatforafiver with me.
The Old Town Café Noodle Box is located half way down Wexford Street on the left as you’re going into Town. It’s surprisingly big inside, with about seven or eight 2-person tables on the left and tables for larger groups on the right. The kitchen area is at the back. The restaurant is clean, roomy and plainly decorated.
There’s a menu in the window, more in a leaflet holder just inside the door and others scattered around the tables. The menu is divided into four sections: Old Town Regular Boxes (noodle dishes), Old Town Rice Boxes, Old Town Malaysian Boxes and, oddly, Old Town Italian Boxes.
Prices range from €5 for some of the noodle boxes to €7.50 for some of the Malaysian meals. There are also some bits and pieces for under a fiver as you’ll see from the menu (for the full menu, click > here).
The spouse opted for the Lo Hon Box, comprising ‘thin egg noodles, tofu and Asian vegetables, wok tossed in special soy sauce’. I went for the Teriyaki Chicken Box, ‘thick egg noodles, chicken, prawn and Asian vegetables tossed in our teriyaki sauce’.
You order at the kitchen counter and, if you’re eating in, take your preferred table. I forgot to mention that it’s also a take-away.
We ordered, paid over the tenner to the nice man behind the counter, sat down and waited. The food didn’t take long. Contrary to the name of the restaurant, the food comes in bowls, on a tray, with chopsticks (not the disposable ones), a fork and a serviette.
The spouse’s food came first:
It was steamy hot. The spouse tucked in with gusto and gave it the thumbs up. It was nicely flavoured, with cucumber, broccoli, baby corn, tofu and onion, and a good heap of noodles, as you can see.
My Teriyaki Chicken box came soon after:
Thicker noodles, three or four big prawns and plenty of thin slices of chicken. The sauce had the sweetness of teriyaki but ‘teriyaki-flavoured’ might have been a more accurate description and it was a little salty for my taste.
That being said, I’m not complaining. It was a good wholesome feed for a fiver and there’s plenty more on the menu to bring me back, outside the budgetary constraints of this blog. It was also nice to eat with substantial chopsticks.
So, if you’re in Wexford Street and you’re a bit peckish for Oriental food, I’d say ‘go for it’. Good value, clean premises, friendly service. What more could you ask for?