Indian Ocean restaurant Dungarvan - family run by Maroof Humayun for over ten years - has built a reputation as one of the best Indian restaurants in the south east. Set in one of the most stunning locations overlooking the harbour, they have taken full advantage of the view by putting in picture windows the full length of the premises allowing customers to enjoy the wonderful view
Indian Ocean is divided into two main eating areas, with a reception area in the centre allowing customers collecting food to wait in comfort, and enjoy a cup of coffee. The décor is classic with dark wooden floors, lantern style lamps and authentic Indian pictures set along the walls
We visited on a Friday evening and as always the atmosphere was buzzing, it has gotten to a stage now that no matter what night of the week we visit it is always busy, which to me is a great sign, especially in a small town like Dungarvan where there is a large selection of places to eat. Even when the restaurant is full service is never compromised - if anything the professionalism and team spirit of the staff shine through. As we were working our way through the menu we enjoyed a plate of poppadoms with a choice of dips – onion chutney, chilli sauce, mint sauce and my favourite mango pickle plus a large jug of iced water with mint.
The team are constantly working on their menus to ensure their customers have the best experience, making them stand out from all the rest. I think this time they have really perfected the offering with a fine a la carte offering as well as an early bird and set menu with a choice of dishes covering all areas of Indian cuisine from sizzling Tandoories to beautiful Balties plus a wide choice of low fat options for those watching their waistlines . The early bird offers a starter and main course for €15.95 and is available Monday to Thursday from 5-7pm and 3.30-7pm on a Sunday. The set menu is based on the number of people sharing and is priced at €24.95 each or €19.95 for the vegetarian option
They have perfected their wine list with a wide choice from all corners of the globe to include more than ten whites and the same of red priced from €21.95 for the CA Maritta pinot grigio to €34.95 for a New Zealand whale tail pinot noir and a good selection of half bottles for €13. I chose the Chilean Vina Morande sauvignon blanc for €23.95, a crisp citrus flavoured wine while Fred was happy with a couple of bottles of Heineken and Keisha enjoying her orange juice. With a wide selection of bottled beers, alcopops and spirits there is something for everybody including an Irish stout or red ale from the local Dungarvan brewing company
At this stage we would certainly be considered regulars and each time we enjoy more than the last. I definitely have my favourites on the menu now but trying not to be a creature of habit opt to try something new. We started with a mix of starters to share, adopting the tapas style of dining including seekh kebab, lamb & chicken tikka, onion bhajee and a selection of vegetable and meat samosas. Presentation was beautiful and the fusion of flavours were so authentic with just enough for all of us to have a taste and our palates excited to move onto the main course
For mains I had the tandoori king prawns which came with a special sauce - remember to ask for the special sauce as to me this makes the dish - while the others had chicken Tikka Masala and lamb makhani which was prepared extra hot at his request. The prawns were fiery but gorgeous, while the Tikka did exactly what it said on the tin. The mains were served with special fried 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 compliments the flavour of the spices, and Fred had chilli, cheese & onion naan which really was a discovery
We were all happy and thoroughly enjoyed the evening; for me this is one of our favourite Indian restaurants and is just like visiting friends. Indian Ocean prepare fresh food using local ingredients, 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!