Calpe Cuisine: dinner/supper/tea

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.
https://www.granhotelsolymar.com/en/hotel-in-calpe/suitopia-family-holidays/feel/sky-lounge-bar/
The advert says its floor 30, the lift, 29 but who is counting?

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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.

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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.
http://www.calpeonline24.com/info/steakhouse-texas-calpe-steakhouse
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.
http://porquenocalpe.com/

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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.

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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.

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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.

Calpe Cuisine

Calpe is a feast of food. Restaurants abound. All types of cuisines and all types of prices. Much revolves around deals: blackboard specials, happy hours, straightforward fodder. However, there’s some great deals, unexpected quality and posh nosh.
As it is food, my happiest hobby to make and eat, I am going to try a change of narrative voice…try the direct tone…

Breakfast by the beach
Aside from our efforts in the Suite, there were two favourites: Bar Arenal and Bar Chirungita both selected because their sea views were grand, Spanish and they were popular.

Bar Arenal: good service and a menu that mixed Spanish breakfasts with a type of fry up. The most unique item was a ham and cheese toasted sandwich with a perfect circle cut out and filled with an egg like an alien space craft landed in a sandwich. Good café con leche on the ample outdoor seating.

El Chiringuito Bar: we first went here for cocktails, 4€ specials, served complete with a paper parrot. That’s when we saw the breakfast deals and decided to try. This menu was more extensive and the scrambled eggs bloody lovely. I do think I need to try making them with olive oil. The place is built like a very large beach shack which gave us that holiday feeling, just as well as we were on holiday.

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Evening cocktails, not brekkie!

Suitopia: sweet dreams

Accommodation: bedding down in style.

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Suitopia. New. Luxury. Trendy. Fresh. The colour scheme, furniture and furnishing: excellent. Double sink and double shower head, so no arguing about the first shower…or is that our thing? We had a suite with a sea view…ish. 8th floor. We could see the Mediterranean well enough, but not an uninterrupted view. Any lower, the room would have been in the shadow of other blocks of flats all day. I’m not sure this would have made me as bucolic.

It was February so, with the exception of the heated small infinity pool, all other pools were closed. Our terrace was large enough to keep us entertained during our stay and beautifully furnished. Lighting: I don’t normally get excited about lights but they were stylish. The hotel had lots of techy touches: USB ports, HDMI sockets, good sized TVs…lots of thought had gone into the presentation.

We didn’t need the blow by blow account of every hotel facility when checking in, just the bloody key. G sat down and waited as every aspect of the hotel was explained to me. We’d travelled: we wanted the bloody key. The free drink at the bar, a nice touch. The room had free water, fruit and chocolates. Every day in reception, a fridge was filled with juices, water, pastries, yoghurt and fruit. It was occasionally replenished twice, but the hotel was filled with elderly Nordic and Germanic types so, in a true sunbed legacy, speed and timing were of the essence for the freebies.

The hotel sells itself as child friendly but this is an odd promotion as all the decor indicates otherwise. I’m not certain how well the suites, with their cream leather sofas and glass tables, will withstand pre school visitors armed with a crayon. The rooftop bar was lovely and the views stunning but again claims to be child friendly. Really it was not. It was very much geared to adults with chill out seating, a DJ deck and an emphasis on alcohol. Weeping babies and four year olds running amok across the cocktails and cava seemed out of place. The hotel had another bar right next to the children’s play area why not confine them to there?

The Spa. I loved the saline water pools even though my iPad refused to recognise my finger print after an hour in there. Though, I couldn’t understand why this was promoted as child friendly in the mornings. The speed of the jets would have sky rocketed a six year old into orbit. Saunas seem an odd pastime for babies. It appeared that, whilst the facilities were very much designed for adults, the hotel was at pains to stress children could use everything. We indulged in a massage which was just OK. However, the price considering that this was a hotel was fair.

Overall, this is a lovely hotel. Our rate in February an absolute steal especially as it included our airport transfer. We’d easily stay again but not in high season where the winter wrinklies escaping the nastily cold Europe winter will be replaced by hoards of children and I know I’d get quite fractious.

Finally, the hotel’s colossal height has caused controversy amongst locals.. Seems several upper floors shouldn’t even be there. There’s rumour and gossip of back hand deals, greasy palms and general naughtiness. However, I reckon those upper floors will remain safely standing.