Going down to see Libby & Mark of Indian Ocean has become one of our favourite trips, not only because the food is fantastic, but it’s just lovely and so very friendly. This is a family run business for the past twelve years, with old fashioned hospitality values, and it’s heartwarming to see how the regulars are nearly part of that family now
Set in a stunning location overlooking the harbour, they have taken full advantage of the view by putting in picture windows the full length of the premises. There is also the outdoor dining area which they have developed over the past couple of years, and I am told that on a summers evening diners queue for one of these tables.
Inside the décor is classic with dark wooden floors, lantern style lamps and authentic Indian pictures set along the walls. On the cold Friday night that we visited the restaurant was already buzzing, with groups of friends and families enjoying the atmosphere.
The Waterford Greenway has made Dungarvan more accessible than ever and a town already oozing with culinary delights - including The Tannery, 360 Cookhouse and excellent Italian food in An Seanachai out the road - is experiencing a whole new level of business.
While browsing the menus we were presented with a plate of poppadoms and a choice of dips including onion chutney, chilli sauce, mint sauce and my favourite mango pickle plus a large jug of iced water with mint.
The wine list is extensive with a lot of old favourites, and we went with Libby’s recommendation of an organic New Zealand Marlborough Maui, it light, refreshing choice which I thought would complement the strong flavours from the food.
The early bird offers three choices of a starter and main course for €16.95; €17.95 & €18.95 and is available Monday to Thursday from 5-7pm and 3.30-7pm on a Sunday. There are also options for vegan and gluten free.
At this stage we would certainly be considered regulars and I definitely have my favourites on the menu now but trying not to be a creature of habit I opted for something new, or perhaps old, as there is a great selection of classics.
I started with the prawns on Puri, a new adventure for me. I wasn’t sure what to expect, it was a delicious serving of baby prawns in a delicious vegetable sauce presented on Puri bread. It was a lovely combination, and light is spite of the bread. Keisha went with a classic chicken tikka as a starter; a sizzling dish cooked in the clay oven and always a good choice, the chicken cooks quickly in the oven and comes out moist and tender. Both dishes hit the spot, and reminded us why we love visiting.
For mains I went with tandoori garlic prawns, a low fat option and a new addition to the menu since our last trip. A generous serving of 6 succulent king prawns cooked to perfection in the super hot Tandoor, they were coated in spice flavour without being over powering. Keisha decided to try one of their hot specialties, a chicken garlic chilli masala. The chicken was moist and tender, prepared with a combination of green chilies and spices, it was a pleasant tingly without being too hot.
The mains were served with a boiled rice and pilau rice and I had my favourite Peshwari naan, it is simply delicious, topped with sultana and almond it has a lovely sweet flavour that complements the heat and flavour of the spices.
Indian Ocean prepare fresh food using authentic Indian and local produce, the views are lovely and the staff very friendly. We highly recommend you visit next time you are in the South East, you won't be disappointed. Just tell them Catherine from Taste of Ireland sent you!