Howth is synonymous with seafood for most visitors, and there are plenty of good places to choose from if that is your fancy - but this attractive and reliable Pakistani restaurant on the harbour front provides the variety that every town needs and, when something different is called for, it could be just the ticket.
The welcome is warm and courteous, and helpful staff are quick to make customers comfortable and explain the menus, which - unlike many Asian restaurants - are not over long. In contrast to most neighbouring restaurants, the main emphasis here is on poultry, beef and lamb (with meats listed as 100% Irish).
There are some fish dishes, but they tend towards exotic imports (tilapia, warm water prawns) rather than the local catches - although you may spot an appealing spicy alternative to the traditional battered cod in Tali Machli (deep fried cod fillet marinated in lemon juice, ground coriander, cumin powder ground floor with plum and chilli sauce).
Most dishes will be variations on familiar styles - tandoori, jalfrezi, biryani - and, although the cuisine in general is known for its rich flavours and spicing, there are contrasts. Take two chicken dishes for example: Murgh Sindhi Biryani, is typically spicy, whereas the traditional Murgh Badami is a subtle aromatic dish, in which the chicken is cooked with fried onion, yoghurt, cloves and coriander and finished with Kewra (flower) water and almonds.
Vegetarian choices make a change from standard offerings in so many restaurants, including starters like Makhni Aloo Tikka (mashed Irish potato cakes cooked with garlic and ginger and pan fried) Bakri Paneer (spicy goats cheese wrapped in filo pastry served with pineapples and tomato); and main courses such as Saag Paneer (fresh spinach simmered with cottage cheese and flavoured with garlic and black pepper, finished with pine nuts).
Long opening hours and good value make this an appealing restaurant to call into without a reservation - their Sunday lunch deal is especially good value, offering a number of options, including Okra Tali (a two course meal for just €11.50), or casual dishes for as little as €6.95, and the early dinner is also a snip.