Pre Dinner drinks and Dinner
This is when we come in to our own. We love a good evening meal whatever it might be called. For us, it’s our night out. I scour the reviews, the menus and thee photos like a I’m undertaking a military strategy and read them to a disinterested G. When it comes to meal planning, I’m the organiser.
Pre dinner drinks at the Suitopia hotel Rooftop Bar. I’ve documented the downside but the view is great.
The advert says its floor 30, the lift, 29 but who is counting?
Our absolute favourite pre drink place: The Caviar Shop: https://www.caviarshops.com/
This is like a small deli with a few tables. He serves the most divine Caviar, smoked salmon and cava. A glass and a tapas of one Caviar or salmon: 3€! Insane and scrumptious. I wish we had availed ourselves of these fishy delights earlier in the holiday. We passed every day and the owner always greeted us. Finally, we took the plunge. We ate impressive morsels of fish eggs on rye or eggs and smoked salmon of the finest quality. Plus the owner told us about his time in Spain and his life before in Russia. He’s interesting and he knows his fish!
Then the main Act: our restaurant choices. The good thing is I’d eat at anyone of them again. There’s lots of nations represented in Calpe and most want to serve steak. Luckily, we like steak. So, in no particular order…
Restaurant El Andaluz: https://www.facebook.com/El-Andaluz-RestauranteArroceria-Taperia-Calpe-1693521447541649/
We went here twice which gives the idea of how much we liked it. It was recommended by the hotel and, on an extremely busy Saturday night, they found us a table. The predominantly Spanish clientele indicated quality as well people being prepared to queue.
The wine was cheap and good. The tapas were huge and divine. We ordered four to be followed by lamb chops. Far too much. The tapas were more like media. I’ll be tarting up my padron peppers from Waitrose with some tiny lardons. Service was a bit eclectic but the fact we returned says it wasn’t an issue.
Our second trip later in the week was for paella, a full marisco one and it was awesome. Again it was huge. We couldn’t finish it!
Exceptional value…really. Neither bill over 50€ for two with drinks and so much food.
The Dutch Places: Steakhouse and Por Que No? Not names often associated with Dutch restaurants and not our first choice on the short Calle Jardin. However, despite recent reviews that choice was most definitely closed and being transformed into a Buddha bar of sorts. Sudden closure can be an issue in Spain. Margins are tight and tiny and even seemingly popular places disappear overnight.
We were drawn towards the plastic figure of a cowboy and an evening dinner of under 12€ for 3 courses. Wine a crazy 8€ a bottle. And unlimited ribs too.
It wasn’t busy but it was Monday and unusually dank but there were other bodies. The meal was fine despite mediocre reviews. The steak was a decent size, cooked well. In fact, we couldn’t understand how this could be so little valued whist Tango with its shocking service got great reviews. Hard to fathom taste.
Across the road, was the sister restaurant, Por Que No although we hadn’t worked that out until the lady that served us appeared at this place’s door too. Another great offer here was the 9.90€ for 3 courses. It was Shrove Tuesday so my starter of spinach and cheese crepe was apt. G’s mixed grill offered a decent plate of meat. The food was straightforward, hot and well served. The mum and daughter were a lovely and attentive couple. Plus, the place was packed.
These both represented excellent value. The BBQ place was really child and budget friendly. The other like a grandma’s house with sofas and 1980s décor. Homely Dutch.
Continuing with our cheap Calpe eats, we dined twice at a Chinese restaurant, Chinatown, causing us to harmonise, “Won’t you take me down to Chinatown?”.
Our Valentine’s Day dinner is in the blog, our first visit was motivated by lots of places shut on a Sunday and it was our lone rainy day. What a friendly place! What a ridiculously cheap place! I’d agree the food was not like UK Chinese but why would it be? Spain and spice don’t sit well together so curries and chillie dishes do not have the potency of UK ones. However, the hot and sour soup packed a punch for sure! The staff help to make the place with friendly and happy service.
All the cheap deals seem to include a bottle of wine as an incentive. This is never a bad thing. It’s very much a Costa Blanca ex pat thing but, if it works, why knock it.
Finally, our last night out at Kanaii: http://kanaiia.com/main/language/en/home-3/ was divine as the blog documented. The whole place was a food event and worth every euro. In the excitement of great grub, I couldn’t remember my card PIN number and I was locked. Luckily, delving into the depth of the joint fund purse, I managed to scavenge the 81€ but, aside from some cents, there was no tip to be had. Add to this, I’d wanted to treat G. Ah well, at least we weren’t doing the dishes.
Overall, Calpe Cuisine worked well. From ex pat fry ups and cheap roasts to a range of international places and excellent Spanish restaurants, Calpe has it covered.