Dinner for a tenner

Everywhere you look there are deals to be had for eating out but Charlie Chan’s new menu in the Royal Villa in Oranmore must be the best value out there. His 12 most popular main courses with a choice of chicken, beef, pork, or prawns cost €10 including rice, chips or fried noodles.

Ten starters all cost €4 each, and six desserts all cost €4 each, no hidden extras or supplements. He has also slashed drink prices to €2 for a bottle of Carlsberg or Budweiser and €12.99 for a bottle of wine. The white is a very good Pinot Grigio and the red a more than acceptable rioja. A decent size glass of either wine is €3.50. 

So what is the quality like? Are the portions smaller than usual or has he decided to import cheap meat/chicken? Because I see this as a pretty remarkable price structure, I asked him directly. All the meat is from Co Galway, the chicken is from Co Limerick, and the prawns are imported as normal.

I arrived at 6.30pm midweek and was surprised to see people leaving as well as arriving. Charlie starts serving at 5pm and people call in on their way home from work for a quick main course.

I ordered the spare ribs for €4 and the prawns in satay sauce with fried noodles (as in the picture ) for the €10 dinner offer. The ribs were melt in the mouth and a generous size; in fact they were so tender I asked how they were cooked. They are marinated overnight and then slow cooked for two to three hours.

The main course was a big portion and, while the prawns and sauce was very good, my favourite dish in Royal Villa over many years has been the fried noodles. I have tried many times to cook these at home, but without the big gas stoves and mega high temperature of a commercial kitchen it is very hard to get them just right. If you have not had Royal Villa fried noodles I suggest you order them on your next visit.

The offer is available from Sunday to Thursday inclusive, from 5pm to 11pm, and on Friday and Saturday from 5pm to 7pm. There is also a 10 per cent discount off take away, great prices in what must be one of the most tastefully designed restaurant interiors in the west of Ireland. The deal is only available in Royal Villa Oranmore, phone (091 ) 790823.


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