With my mind wandering, and my belly grumbling, this Tuesday lunchtime, I decided to try something different to fill that hole burning through my stomach.

Having seen many do stories like these in the past, I decided it was my turn to spin the wheel of fortune and delve into Reading’s lowly rated food outlets.

Originally attempting to try Chicken Base on Wokingham Road, a chicken shop with a one-star food hygiene rating, my disappointment was there for all to see as the shutters were firmly down on my approach.

Not content with a McDonalds or Burger King, I ventured further into town to find my fix of funky food.

Upon a quick scan online, I came across my next target, Bays Peri Peri.

Although not one-star, this two-star rated establishment is the lowest in the immediate vicinity of the town centre, making it a strong option.

According to the food hygiene report made in October 2021, the cleanliness and condition of facilities and building, and the management of food safety, were all generally satisfactory, but hygienic food handling required improvement.

Not completely unaware of the chicken takeaway, I had made a few late-night stops in the West Street eatery after a messy night out on the town.

Reading Chronicle:

However, being in an unfit state to soberly assess the produce after a skinful, I felt it was time to try it again.

On this particular bleak lunchtime, there was a decent amount of trade already tucking in, with only two of the six booths left to choose from.

I perused the menu and settled for a chicken burger meal, with fries and a can of Sprite.

After 10 minutes of waiting for the frozen chips to cook, I was given my meal and sat down to tuck in.

The first thought that struck me was how much the bun had been warmed, making it incredibly soft.

As much as I hate a stale bun, my initial thought was that it was too well done and made the burger difficult to eat.

That being said, nothing could fault the food.

The burger, spiced to my liking after being asked at the till, was delightful and the chips were just to my liking, they had a crunch unlike some of the floppy excuses for chips at McDonalds.

Like a losing boxer, my towel was thrown in. I was defeated by the burger but not for the want of trying.

Reading Chronicle:


Overall, I was very happy with my lunch, which for £6.50 I felt was a fair price.

The décor could do with some updating, but when most of your trade comes from drunk students at 3am, I could see why maybe they thought otherwise.

Without being an inspector, rooting around the kitchen and generally making a nuisance of myself I could do no more.

I left with a full stomach and a much smaller hole in my wallet than I was expecting…happy days!