Posted By Kerri

As we’ve already mentioned, Stephen and I have just come back from a week in Spain. We went to Mijas in the south of Spain and were lucky enough to be surrounded by a number of very good restaurants (which we largely found via this brilliant and very useful website).

We didn’t take our camera out with us most evenings so had to rely on my camera phone, sadly not all the pictures came out very well but here’s what we have.

On our first evening, we went to El Mirlo Blanco, which was a lovely traditional Spanish restaurant in the centre of the village of Mijas. We had seen it on our first visit to the village and had decided that it looked like just what we needed. It was a lovely evening (all of them were) and we would have liked to sit outside on the terrace, but sadly it was full and we had to sit inside. The menu was very traditional and specialised in dishes from the Basque region. For starters we ordered jamon (very good!) and “prawns with garlic” which were excellent – lovely, tasty, non-rubbery prawns in very garlicky butter. For mains we had spider crab (txangurro) which came in its shell, flaked and mixed with cream and cheese, and also salt cod cooked Basque style (with tomato, red pepper and garlic).

The next evening we visited Venta la Morena. Finding it was non-trivial; we asked the man at the hotel reception to mark it on a map and he marked it about two miles from where it really was. We found it eventually though, just as we were convinced that we were lost and were about to turn around and go back. This place was huge and specialised in barbecued meats. For starters, we ordered asparagus (I was already feeling the need for vegetables, but the asparagus was inevitably white, bottled/tinned Spanish asparagus which I didn’t enjoy hugely) and chorizo. For main course, barbecued pork loin (tasted very good, but quite a lot like a barbecued beef steak) and grilled sole (lovely fish, well cooked, with loooooads of garlic); both came with chips that weren’t that great.

On Wednesday night we ate at Cortijo Hnos Alba which was just down the road from our hotel. We arrived at 9pm to find only a couple of tables seated which meant we got a great table and were greeted with a basket of bread and some wonderful peppery oilives. The restaurant staff didn’t speak English but we managed to order some mussels and some Galician-style octopus. Stephen enjoyed the octopus which was served on top of some potatoes and generously sprinkled with paprika but I found the paprika to be rather over-powering. My mussels however where probably the best either of us have ever eaten, they were perfectly cooked with very little flavouring but tasted wonderfully mussel-y and just like the sea.

We followed this with whitebait (the biggest, fattest and tastiest whitebait I’ve ever had) and turbot, which was simply served in large chunks (nice and meaty but a bit “rustic” with some of it cooked well and some of it undercooked and loads of large bones) with some potatoes and some rather mushy mixed vegetables that had probably been in a tin five minutes earlier – tasty fish but a shame about the attention to detail.

On Thursday we visited Casa Navarra, which is again a traditional Spanish restaurant where the staff spoke very little English and we had to do a fair amount of pointing and gesturing. In the foyer of the restaurant is a cooler cabinet full of huge racks of beef ribs. For starters we had white beans with clams (nice, but seemed rather a wintery dish) and some grilled peppers with olive oil which were rather good. On the menu was a “big beef chop”, which we figured must be a beef rib of the sort that we’d seen in the foyer. We ordered it and were told that it was a minimum of 700g, so we said we’d share it between us. When it arrived it was 900g, which was quite a lot of beef but we stuck to our task and finished it. It was nicely cooked but quite rare in parts considering that we’d asked for it “medium”. It was covered with a lot of nice crunchy salt. Accompaniments were a small lettuce and onion salad.

On our last night we ate at Valpariso which had been recommended to us by a friend and also appeared in the guide I mentioned above. It was a fabulously over-the-top restaurant which had a brilliant atmosphere. We were greeted with a glass of Cava and a selection of nuts, olives and breadsticks. We drank in the bar while browsing the menu and were able to view the entire (and not small) restaurant.

Stephen chose the baked crab and avocado to start which was delicious, the avocado was lightly cooked and there was lots of succulent crab meat:

I opted for the baked aubergine with tomato, basil and cheese which both us enjoyed. The balance of vegetable to cheese was just right given the lack of vegetables we’d consumed and was a great way to start off the meal:

I then chose the pork cooked in cream (apparently Pele’s favourite dish) and while tasty, was slightly too rich for me:

Stephen ordered the suckling lamb leg which he ate in almost complete silence, a sure sign he enjoyed it:

Although both of us were completely full we had no choice but to order dessert as the Flamenco dancing had just begun. Stephen went for cheesecake and I went for ice-cream, both of which were brilliant and devoured despite our fullness. On asking for the bill, the waiter shook his head and returned a few minutes later with two more glasses of Cava which we enjoyed but were wary about since we had an early flight the next morning. We left the restaurant to the sound of Tina Turner and the idea that the evening had only just begun.


Jul 12th, 2008

3 Comments to 'Spain'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Spain'.

  1. Darren said,

    Wow, sounds meat-tastic. 🙂

  2. Yep, we had the same experience when we went to Spain in 2003 – even the dishes under the vegetarian section had ham in them. 🙂 I’m glad you’ve had a great time, welcome back,


  3. Kerri said,

    It was meat-tastic and unfortunately it was all really tasty so we were powerless to refuse!

    Thanks Caramella 🙂

:: Trackbacks/Pingbacks ::

No Trackbacks/Pingbacks

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.