The White Moose Cafe don’t like food bloggers, or least they pretend not to like food bloggers. I don’t blame them; I don’t like a lot of them either, yet the fact remains that they have made their feelings known very publicly and barred us troublesome freeloaders from their modest and shy little cafe under the hotel they also own. But I wanted to go and see what the fuss is about, so I dropped them a polite little tweet;
They never responded. How rude.
Undeterred, I decide that I can’t be in Dublin and not go. We’d already booked the best restaurant in town, and the place voted as Ireland’s best breakfast. We’ve targeted the highly rated bistro and drinks at the place they say is the city’s best cocktail bar. How can we not go to the world famous White Moose Cafe? If I’m not allowed to be there I’ll have to go in disguise. Here is me inside the cafe wearing an eye patch and fake moustache;
They never suspected a thing. The Fools.
We order at the bar; two drinks, a full American (a full Irish with pancakes), and something called a breakfast burrito. I ask if the eggs are free range: they don’t know (my guess is not judging from the pale yellow yolk). The table we sit at is filthy, cleaned some ten minutes after, mere seconds before the food arrives and some five minutes before the drinks do. It’s not a great start. Maybe they should spend more time looking at the detail in their cafe than plotting the next social media publicity attack.
What follows is a breakfast that the ever polite Claire describes as ‘inexcusably bad’ but I will say is a fucking shambles. I was expecting mediocre; some kind of very average food made popular by very clever marketing. The reality is far worse than that. The Full Irish is a disaster; cheap sausages that taste of very little, the tell-tale sign of cheap bacon injected with too much water as an unappealing white residue. Chunks of black and white pudding have been overcooked so much they crumble to sawdust under the pressure of a fork, whilst cheap horrid beans have been warmed up in a microwave. The poached eggs are pale but at least competent, the same with the hash brown. A spoonful of mushrooms that have the texture of slugs; half of a tomato. We have toast but no butter and still no butter when we ask. Pancakes on the side are stodgy and bring on a diabetic coma. The burrito is just some of the same shit rolled up in a tortilla with the addition of jarred salsa and a snotty ‘avo cream’ – a turn of phrase that can fuck itself almost as hard as the notion of ever coming back here.
We pay, thus distinguishing ourselves far apart from the bloggers, and allowing a full opinion to be broadcast. I never really took their latest attack personally; it wasn’t aimed at blogs like mine, and I could see it for the cheap marketing trick it was. But it does open them up to criticism against their own business. Had we had this experience at a nondescript cafe I would have wrote it off and paid for another elsewhere. But The White Moose? They attract business via a clever marketing campaign and should have been able to back it up. The food is, for a lovely Irish term I heard repeatedly, shite. The service not much better. And when those breakfasts come in at a touch over 25 euros for two it’s pretty unacceptable. Do they care? I doubt it. The idiots paying for breakfasts and brunch here are nothing more than a byproduct for the t-shirt sales, marketing tours and Snapchat income. My guess is that this is real reason bloggers have been barred. They don’t want the world to see just how bad it is.