Buffet is becoming more and more popular in Dublin - Greek, Chinese, Indian, Thai, you name it. Try the Moore St. Mall for more curry than you can eat for 5.95, but avoid 'that place' in middle Abbey Street (the only time I've ever seen a number 2 in a urinal...). Since we Irish aren't generally too well practiced at eating from buffets, here are my top tips for surviving the ordeal:
1. Easy on the starch. You're never going to maximise your protein score and cost to the restaurant if you load up on spuds, rice and noodles. Take the bare minimum and go.
2. Water only. Cheapest option. Be careful to monitor your intake so you leave plenty of room for other things.
3. Only 1 trip allowed. Sounds strange, but it is true. Whenever you go up for seconds, you only get stuff that you didn't fancy the first time around. You won't enjoy it and you will hurt your belly. Listen to the voice of reason.
4. Everything on 1 plate. As a corrollary of 3 above, you must have all starters and desserts on the same plate as your main course (obviously at the same time too). Any other approach marks you down as a namby pamby. This means no soup. You'll just have to live with that.
5. You must try to fit some of everything on offer onto your plate. If there is anything you don't like, don't worry, that's what the curry sauce is for. Curry sauce can even sort out the most bland of the desserts, so is your best friend.
6.If you are a vegetarian, don't bother. The whole point of this exercise is to hit them for as much meat as possible, so your efforts will be in vain. Go home for a cheese and tomato sandwich seasoned with mayonnaise and your own sense of self satisfaction.
7. Don't go near anything that is being held at less than 60 degrees Celcius (140 F for the yanks). Favour the places that have a glass panel between the customers' smelly gobs and the food. This is your only hope of avoiding 'unscheduled toilet breaks' on the way home.
8. Although filling pockets with spring rolls, samosas and the like is generally frowned upon, it can be a useful means of procuring substenance for the last bus and should be practiced as a matter of course.