Sarsfield Street, located off New Quay in the centre of Clonmel is home to Indian Ocean. New management took over one year ago and the transformation is incredible in terms of service, the quality of the food and overall atmosphere. As you enter the restaurant there is a comfortable seating area to wait for takeaway. A corridor leads you down into the main dining area; an intimate room with red tea lights in the windows, dimly lit spots overhead and a large mirror on the back wall giving the impression that the room is much larger than it is. The atmosphere is relaxed with low Indian music playing in the background. All tables are fully set, with red table cloths and a candle on all the tables, giving a feeling that you are somewhere special.
While we were reading the menus a jug of iced lemon water and a plate of poppadoms’ with four different dips were brought to the table to nibble on.
There is a choice of four menus to choose from, an early bird menu which offers two courses for €14.95 and is available Monday to Thursday from 5-7pm and from 3.30-7pm on a Sunday. A set menu is available daily at €22.95 per person for 2 courses, or a special shorter menu for €17.95 each for 2 courses, and of course there is the a la carte. This is an extremely large selection of dishes to choose from, divided between appetisers, a choice of eleven from €3.95 for a soup to €7.95 for a tandoori mixed meat platter; then sizzling tandoori courses serving chicken, lamb or king prawn. I liked that it highlights a choice of low fat options, so if you are trying to lose weight there is something for you. These dishes can be served as a starter from €5.95 or as a main from €12.95.
You will find all the Indian favourites from Korma to Vindaloo, with a choice of meats and seafood. The wine list is broken down into regions from New World, France and Italy, with full bottles starting at €17.50. There is also a decent choice of bottled beers at €4.50 each with everything from Budweiser, Heineken to Cobra and Tiger Beer. On the night we decided to share a bottle of One Tree Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand at €24.95.
When it came to the food we decided on a choice of mains and starters to share – the starters we went with were Seekh kebab; a spiced minced lamb sausage, skewered and cooked over charcoal, a sizzling chicken Tikka and chicken Chaat coated in a rich mango sauce. For mains we shared chicken tandoori, tandoori king prawn with a special sauce, a lamb Jalfrezi with onions, tomatoes, peppers, green chilli and fresh coriander. In the interest of research there was funigreek and a touch of lemon, a chicken Makhani in a mild creamy sauce with butter and a chicken Kashmiri in a creamy mango sauce with mixed fruit. These were served with pilau rice and two different naan breads; a sweet Peshwari with sultanas and almond slices and a garlic and coriander.
Hard to get through them all, but there were plenty of flavours and textures, and the food were of a high quality. We liked the Indian Ocean; they serve good food, honestly and well made with nice service in a pleasing room. What’s not to like.