Restaurant: The Olive Grove
Location: Custume Pier, Athlone, Co. Westmeath
Type: Casual dining
Date of visit: 11 Sept 2007
Since two days ago, the sun started shining without any hesitance. And, the weather has been just marvellous until today. Weather man said we will be getting continuous sun-injected-happy-hormone for the next 10 days. That’s a positive weather report nonetheless, be it true or not.
Weather aside. You see, I make bimonthly trip to Midland to visit my parents, and I never thought of exploring the dining scene back here as Dublin is the place to be for food adventure, and so I thought.
I did hear quite some good recommendations online and offline of this restaurant ( situated beside River Shannon in town) for the past one year, but was never motivated to try it out. After all, home cooking was all I enjoy when I see my dad and mum.
Since it’s a Fri, it’s sunny and to take parents out of the kitchen for a change. Bebe decided to treat us all to this restaurant without further ado for lunch.
Smoked haddock and sweetcorn chowder €6.50
This was such a tasty soup, the seafood flavour was checked in. Heavy cream was used, and the consistency was not too thick nor too watery. Homemade bread was just lovely, came with a buttery hint.
Chicken goujons, homamade chips and garlic dip (today’s special) €10.95
After seafood chowder as appetisers,we were actually overhelmed by the huge portion of these main courses. For the same price in Dublin, you could only get 1/2 of the size served here. I’m serious.
The spicy goujon coating was crunchy with juicy and tender flesh inside. Oh the homemade chips …
Honey & Paprika Chicken Sandwich (open top) €7.95
Didn’t actually expect a large piece of butterlied chicken fillet served as an open sandwich, another pleasant surprise! The honey & paprika seasoning did not come through unfortunately, the chicken was a tad overcooked which contributed to a bland dish all together. Mayonnaise drizzled on top came to reconcile for the lack of flavour at this point.
However, the two thick homemade brown bread was soft and warm, truly comforting.
Fish pie €10.50 (chips add on at €2)
Oh yes, the homemade chips were chunky, fluffy and soft inside with fat-flavourful coating outside. One of the best chips I have tasted so far.
Fish pie was huge! At the bottom, the same flavour of seafood chowder as tasted earlier stood out, only difference was the additional salmon chunks. Thick topping of mashed potatoes baked with cheese was naturally comforting, I used them to soak up the seafood juice at the base of the dish.
Total damage was €65.85 for five persons. I say this is definitely a place I would return to for a casual family meal. There are seats available at al fresco area (on a balcony) overlooking River Shannon. Nice view.
Reasonable prices that comes with large portions, I couldn’t agree more with this welcoming restaurant!