The craze that is the spice bag has come and… well, em, stayed.
What we once thought would be the phase to end all phases, has stood the test of Asian-food-but-not-really-Asian-food time, and is now being considered as Ireland’s national dish.
‘Notions!’, I hear you cry.
If that’s your frame of mind, then you clearly haven’t tried one of these Ir-Asian fusion delights. We’ve listed just how and where you can change this, by pointing out the best spice bag spots in the whole country. Now all you have to do, is choose…
1. Sunflower Chinese, Templeogue, Dublin
Rumour has it that these guys invented the holy grail that is the spice bag, and because of this, the Templeogue haunt has bagged (geddit?) itself quite the loyal, spicy following. And at only €6 a pop, how could you not?!
Their produce is known throughout the land as the tastiest and filthiest, in the best way, of course.
2. Golden House, Trim, Meath
Yet another tasty hub of Eurasian fusion cuisine, situated in the royal county of Meath, Golden House is as high end as its name suggests, providing some truly cracking food.
Their spice bag comes in at a very reasonable €6 as well
3. New World, Bagnelstown, Carlow
Carlow is not often considered the world of decadence, but New World Chinese takeaway don’t do things by halves.
Home to spice bags and spice boxes alike, New World love a challenge, and their work is only getting better. Their small spice box, with drink, comes in at €10, and is deep fried to perfection.
4. Ho Wun, Dunboyne, Meath
They sell their tasty bags of happiness at the very reasonable price of €5, served with your choice of either plain chicken or chicken balls, with the option to pick up a can of your choice for an additional 50c.
They also have on their menu, the mega Spice Box with shredded chicken, chips, chicken balls, wings, ribs, chicken pieces with curry sauce and two cans of soft drinks for just €20. Could this be the most reasonably priced food hub in Ireland? We think so.
5. Jalan Jalan, Newcastle Road, Galway
Coming in at €6.50, this is our most expensive spice bag to date, but the people have spoken, and it is apparently worth it’s weight in beige.
Word on the street is that Jalan Jalan’s secret weapon is their ludicrously tasty and crispy chicken. They’re famous for providing peak service each and every time, somehow without making the chips soggy.
Just how do they do it…
6. Peony Inn, Athy, Kildare
€5.80 will get you all you want and more in Athy’s local hotspot, the Peony Inn. In here, they favour the alternative, and potentially more accurate, term ‘Spicy Bag’, as opposed to the more mainstream version.
One begs to differ, however, does that mean the bag in which it comes in is flavoured too? Who knows.
7. Ping’s Chinese, Lanesboro, Longford
And now we’ve got Longford coming up the rear (who’da thunk it?), providing one of the best spice bags this side of the Shannon.
The secret to their success, apparently, is using the freshest of chilis, and serving the chips piping hot. Can’t argue with that logic.
8. Rickshaw’s, Deansgrange, Dublin
Rickshaw’s is considered one of the spicy big dogs in Dublin, and its hoards of fans have told us why. Their chips are soft yet crispy, and full of flavour, their chicken is marinaded in a sweet teriyaki tasting sauce, the veg is sweet and juicy, with a good ratio to chicken, and the spice is scattered beautifully.
You’ll get all this for €7, which some may think is madness, but that price does include a full bag of prawn crackers.
9. Four Seasons, Clonmellon, Westmeath
A delightfully pleasant little bag, that racks up to €6.50 with a can of your choosing and sauce. And just look at that portion size – we reckon that’s definitely worth the money.
Going here will surely bring you four seasons of utterly gluttonous happiness.
10. Foo Lok, Blanchardstown, Dublin
Going one step further than the rest, Foo Lok in Blanchardstown have dubbed their spice bags ‘Singapore Spice Bags’, in an attempt to make them sound as Asian as they possibly can. Well, someone has to.
Their meals are particularly spicy – so do with that information what you will.
These delicious bags of spice retail at €6.
11. Mr Wong’s, Cavan Town, Cavan
In here, a ‘spicy bag’ and a can of your choice will cost you €6. And despite its distinct lack of green pepper, this satisfyingly big portion is a hit with locals and tourists alike. The chicken is plentiful and the chips are beautifully spicy.
Sure that’s what life’s really all about, right?
Did we leave out a must-try? Let us know in the comments.