Sandwich bar by name… sort of sandwich bar by nature…well during lunch hours it is anyway. For breakfast and dinner this place is serving up the best home cooked Irish fare this side of Donegal. I had never heard of Mooney’s until an Icelandic (yep, I said Icelandic… not Irish) guy at my work told me about it. He told me that every week night Brian (if you go, you will meet him too and feel like an old friend within 5 minutes) and is wife make a different dish every night that is available along with their traditional stews. My ears pricked up when he mentioned that on Thursdays they offer “chicken curry, chips and rice” ($12.50). Hot damn! A 3 in 1!
Although I do believe it is popular throughout the UK as well, this strange food combination is something I became familiar with when I was in Ireland. When I was first offered chips with curry sauce at a fair in Armagh I thought it sounded disgusting. Oh how wrong I was. It is so much better than any other sauce you could put on chips, including that mayo the Dutch use. I went to Mooney’s specifically to try their “3 in 1” and as soon as I took that bite of a chip drenched in curry sauce I was taken back to that moment I had first tried it. It’s not a curry like you’d have from an Indian restaurant, it’s something like what your mum would have made in the 80s… let’s call it “generic curry flavour”; probably made from curry powder rather than the individual spices. It is homely and lovely and the chicken breast pieces were as tender as a hug from Gran.
I visited Mooney’s twice. I’m not just going to leave you all with just a review of chicken curry, chips and rice! That one meal had me sold for another visit for breakfast. Their fry up has people lining up on weekends and a steady stream of construction workers during the week visiting; some for a taste of home.
The Full Irish ($15) that Andy ordered was a big plate of bacon, eggs, beans, sausages, black and white pudding and it came with a mug of tea or coffee. The sausages were good quality. They come from a trusted Irish butcher, the same one who provides the black and white pudding (they say “pudding” but its more of a sausage). Whilst this is not for everyone, you have to remember all the herbs and spices give these puddings of meat, bread, oatmeal and suet an earthy spiced flavour. The difference between the two is the black pudding contains the blood which gives it colour rather than a flavour. Long straps of back bacon graced the plate with an over easy egg that had the most perfect runny yolk enveloped in a thin egg white crust. This was a proper fry up fit for a king!
At only $10 the breakfast roll was real bang for your buck. Filled with bacon, egg, sausages and black and white pudding, it was almost the Full Irish in a fresh crusty roll. I topped it with Guinness HP sauce, which seemed appropriate. I am not normally a fan of HP (much to Andy’s disapproval) but the Guinness took away some of that vinegary flavour I don’t particularly like. Sadly I couldn’t finish the roll but Andy happily took the left over sausages from it – they were that good.
If a meaty fry up isn’t your thing, Mooney’s also have a veggie option ($12.50) made up of tomatoes, beans, hash browns, toast and a mug of tea or coffee.
Brian and his wife put in a huge effort to keep as much as possible “home made” for their little sandwich bar. The food is made with love and a real desire to give locals a taste of Ireland and the Irish a taste of home. I have it on good authority that Brian makes the best soda bread in town, so make sure you ask for a slice to mop up any sauce left on your plate.
Now that the summer months are creeping in the meals on offer for dinner are changing slightly, although I am assured by Brian that the chips and curry sauce will still be on the menu. One thing you can be sure of is that you’ll always be able to get a decent fry up for breakfast here. You’ll leave Mooney’s full and happy and with a “cheerio” from Brian or one of his friendly staff. And as the Irish say… It is really good craic like.
Mon-Fri 7am – 7pm, Sat-Sun 8am – 2pm Originally published on WA Today 8th Nov 2013