Monks, nestled on the quiet harbour at Ballyvaughan has the distinct advantage of being situated in the middle of one of the most spectacular locations on the planet, the Burren.
Not only is this famous spot in one of the best coastal locations, it is also already famous for that one dish that everybody, Irish or otherwise loves, Seafood Chowder. If Monks, all rustic charm and open fires, served nothing but their Chowder, they would happily serve diners from far and wide. This meal in a bowl is a thing shrouded in secrets and varies so much from place to place. A bad one is, well, never worth going back for, but Monks get that balance of rich creaminess, chunky fish, shellfish and a perfect silky texture. Have one hefty bowl and a pint, and an Ideal, simple Irish dining experience is yours.
Happily the hungrier diner won’t have any trouble being satisfied as the menu extends to delectable, juicy mussels, crab claws in garlic butter, salad of black pudding and bacon and a punchy dish of prawns cooked in chili, tomato and garlic. Fresh oysters are by the half or dozen when in season. More famous dishes include their fishcakes and an excellent bar-food snack of an open crab sandwich with classic Marie-Rose sauce. Bigger appetites are well served with steaks and honey roast duck. The seafood linguine in white wine sauce is full of flavour and coats perfectly cooked pasta.
Monks serves what their customer wants; fresh fish, warming dishes to fuel the bellies of walkers and day-trippers. It is that excellent combination of bar and food that rarely hits the spot. Excellent food rounded off with delectable homemade deserts and ice cream made for a great reason to return.