Best Full English Since Gary Wilmot's Wedding

I’d have that three times a day if I could, but I’d be dead.

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All-Day Brunch from ASDA Wembley’s Café

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When you eat in the in-store café of the massive ASDA in Wembley, you just expect greatness. You expect quality. You expect gourmet.

However, their “All-Day Brunch” offering failed to live up to the weighty expectations of fine-dining that comes with the ASDA name.

The ASDA café ethos is transparency. There are no secrets from the customer. They don’t hide their food away in a refrigerator or cook it freshly to order behind some sinister kitchen door, away from the public eye. Oh no.

Everything was cooked hours ago (and as ASDA Wembley is open 24 hours, it might even be days ago. Meat is like wine, it gets better with age) and left in a bowl for you to see, in a bain-marie with nothing but a piece of glass separating you from the delicious food that is kept at a temperature that meets the legal requirements to be classed as “warm.”

And it’s not just for you to see, there could be hundreds of people who have seen those same individuals items of food before they eventually end up on your plate.

I ordered an “All-Day Brunch”, because it was close to noon and a fry-up should be able to be ordered on demand at any time in the day, like an ambulance (in all of the UK), a fire engine (in all of the UK) or heroin (exclusive to Scotland).

The beauty of the bain-marie system is being able to choose exactly which items you want (because the beauty of the bain-marie system sure-as-shit isn’t the quality of the food). I asked for the crispiest bacon on view as, my theory was, if I eat the more thoroughly cooked rashers, there was less chance that the bacteria living on it would survive to, in return, eat the lining to my guts and poison my blood.

Most of the customers in the ASDA Café Wembley are sat on a table by themselves, staring at their shopping trolleys full of groceries opposite them (substituting in the role of a “dining partner”) to act as a deterrent to other customers who might steal out of them.

One exception was a woman (full tracksuit in a shade of freshly burnt flesh pink), her gentleman-friend (full tracksuit in a shade of shadowy alley where a night stabbing has taken place black) and a baby. The female was yelling to her mother in the food queue, with culinary recommendations.  “GET THE CHICKEN KORMA, IT’S FUCKIN’ LOVELY ‘ERE. DON’T GET IT WIFF RICE THOUGH, RICE IS SHIT. GET IT WIFF CHIPS!”

When I stopped admiring the clientele my attention was drawn to the carnival of dried out fried food before me.

The bacon like the scab over a war veteran’s bullet wound, the eggs like they were ejaculated onto the plate by a syphilis sufferer, the sausages looking like they’ve had a bad fake tan job and the mushrooms colourless and wrinkly like half of an elderly gentleman’s bollock.

And it was just as good as it looked.

I really enjoyed it as I often find that food can have too much taste or have a resemblance of moisture to it.

But not the ASDA Wembley Café All-Day Brunch.

Blander than an Emeli Sande album track and as dry as the mouth of someone who was binge-drinking extra-strength cider the night before.

Belissimo.

To really improve it, I made sure everything was drenched in the juice from the beans. The baked beans had the satisfying taste of cost efficiency. You know when you’ve bought an 8p can of value beans and they aren’t terrible. And you realise “I’ve got a real bargain here, these taste almost like normal beans and some mugs spend up to 60p on a tin of Heinz. The flash cocks.”

And all this for 4.50! So that’s the score that I’ll give it. 4.5.

Out of 10,000.

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The Full Irish from Vito’s Café, Ruislip.

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So, as a treat today, I took a half day off of work and combined breakfast and lunch (in what I believe is being called “lunkfast”) and had a fried breakfast. I attended the establishment with my wife and my son (because eating cooked breakfasts is a family day out, people make out like Disneyland is the be all and end all but you can’t get a decent black pudding for love nor money in that shit-tip).

We went to Vito’s Café on Ruislip High Street. It’s a café based on the high street of Ruislip owned by a man I assume is called Vito (I never saw any men working there so “Vito” could be a fictional figure, the Little Chef had a similar marketing strategy - you’d be surprised to find out that they actually employed very few midgets as cooks).

I ordered the Full Irish (number 6 on the menu – they number all the food items on the menu, a tactic used by some Chinese restaurants as people often have trouble pronouncing the meals and don’t want to embarrass themselves trying. I asked the waitress for a “number six” as I wasn’t 100% sure how to pronounce “full Irish”). It came with bacon (x2), eggs (x2) sausages, (x2) beans (x43 approx.), fried onions (x21 approx.), fried potatoes (x11 – not approx., I counted and double-checked) and a choice of white or black pudding.

I’m a bit of a maverick/bad-bastard and refuse to let a stranger, especially one who I wasn’t sure wasn’t a work of fiction or not, give me an ultimatum so I demanded both white and black pudding. They folded like a pack of cards and gave into my demands instantly for a surplus charge of 60 pence. The meal had been ordered and I was already holding a mental advantage of a crucial food order victory over them.

You’ll notice from the accompanying photo that there are tomatoes on my plate, but I haven’t listed them as an item included in the Full Irish. Let me explain. Please, let me explain, you’re being unreasonable. My wife’s order came with tomatoes and she doesn’t like them, so I had them. Under no circumstances must you assume the Full Irish from Vito’s Café on Ruislip High Street comes with tomatoes. If you order it, you can ask, but after my battle of wills over the white and black pudding suggests it isn’t a certainly you can get them included.

The meal itself was beautiful, absolutely divine. I loved it. (In terms of taste, I didn’t actually fall in love with it, no one at BFESGWW has designs on meals besides wanting to eat them. I cannot stress that enough.) I really enjoy black and white pudding… and that’s why I ordered them.

The only disappointment was that the sausages were a touch on the bland side for my liking and the eggs weren’t as runny as I’d prefer. But I didn’t ask for runny eggs, so how were they to know? Vito isn’t a mind reader, even though he’s a figment of our imagination and his super-powers aren’t clear.

I’d give the Full Irish at Vito’s Café an 8/10. Why? Because I can. Get over yourself.

Filed under Ruislip Vito's Cafe Full irish