Wexford Town is blessed with a diverse range of good places to eat, among them Richard and Emma Lett’s contemporary Indian restaurant above the Crown Bar, where stylishly simple, colourful décor, authentic cooking by a team of chefs from South India, and hospitable, well informed staff has proved a winning a combination.
Quality china and glassware on dark stained wooden tables, fresh flowers, and big mirrors all create a good first impression in the nicely understated room, which has a view of the harbour and sea from window tables along one side, and cosy booths and banquette seating on the opposite wall.
And, as they are taken to their table and immediately offered iced water and menus, arriving guests are charmed from the outset by the warm welcome offered by the delightful Indian staff. Comfortable leather chairs, good lighting, and pleasantly low music also all bode well for a relaxing meal.
Well designed menus offer a combination of traditional Indian classics and more contemporary specialities, and are clearly defined into starters and eleven styles of main course; each is explained simply and clearly, with a choice of chicken, beef, lamb, king prawns or vegetarian under each heading.
There’s also a choice of heat for each dish, according to personal preference, but the emphasis is on aromatic combinations of herbs and spices, which makes for great depth of flavour.
Everything is freshly prepared and the very helpful staff will guide you through the menu and offer advice – in fact you could confidently leave the choice to them once you’ve discussed your preferences.
Excellent dishes that we can happily recommend include starters Chilli fried squid (stir fried squid rings with red & green chillies, fresh ginger, garlic, lime juice and Indian spices, about €8.50) and Aloo Bonda (lightly spiced Pakora battered spinach & chickpea potato cakes with tamarind & date chutney, about €7.50); also mains of King Prawn Dopiaza (cooked with red and spring onion, fresh ginger and green chillies, around €17.50) and Saagwala lamb (in a spinach curry with fresh ginger, garlic and Indian spices, about €16.50), served with excellent Pilau rice.
The meats are Irish, everything is beautifully prepared (including the wide range of accompaniments offered – various styles of rice, breads, raita, poppodoms etc) and prices are very fair.
Although Indian cuisine is not known for its desserts, some traditional sweets are offered (such as Carrot Halwa, a combination of grated carrot, saffron, cardamom, sultanas and cashew nuts, served with vanilla ice-cream, about €6.50; Mango mousse; and Kajhoor pancake - stuffed with dates, cashew nuts, sesame seeds and vanilla ice cream, about €5.95); otherwise, most of the desserts are western – lemon tart, brownies, ice creams etc – and the after dinner drinks range from various coffees (including Irish coffee) to herbal teas.
Like everything else at this agreeable restaurant, the short wine list offers good value and, along with wines well chosen to accompany spicy food such as German Riesling, there are several beers, including Cobra, and lassi.
Delicious food, lovely well-informed staff and great value sum up this restaurant. No wonder it is so popular - and there is now a sister restaurant in Kildare Town:
(over Cunningham's Bar) Tel: +353 45 520 455.