Travels with a Gourmet

a food lover's travels, memorable meals, culinary trials and gastronomic experiences

Good friends from Dubai, Kira and Ole plus their daughter Carolina, are here for a week and so we all went out for dinner and decided to try another chiringuitoTaberna del Alabardero beach club. The main restaurant is in the hotel on the road to Ronda but they also have their beach restaurant at the very end of San Pedro beach right beside the Nuevo Reino.

We arrived before early, around 8:30, before the reserved tables at 10:00 p.m., and were seated right beside the beach in one of the outdoor tables. I had first been to this beach club several weeks ago when my son and I attended a leaving party for one of his classmates. The kids spent the afternoon at the pool while the mums sat around and had tapas and drinks till the sun set.

This time around, we were going to try their full menu. We started off with some fried aubergines with salmorejo (a thicker gazpacho made with tomatoes and bread) and a plate of calamares along with a tomato and onion salad. The kids had a gambas al ajillo (my son’s favorite) and some chicken croquettes with fried potatoes. We then opted for two types of paella – a vegetable version of the more traditional saffron-flavoured rice with artichokes, flat beans and asparagus and the arroz negro made with squid ink and pieces of squid and cuttlefish.

The starters were very good – the aubergines were crispy and went well with the cold salmorejo, the calamares were o.k. but we might have fared better ordering the baby squid (chopitos) which would have been more flavourful than the squid rings. Both paella’s were served at the same time and were fine – the black paella was good but nothing special and the vegetable paella, although good, was garnished with overcooked vegetables. I had heard many rave reviews of this place and was disappointed with the lacklustre dishes we were served at the beach club. Perhaps the food at the main restaurant in the resort on the way to Ronda is better? We finished our main courses then and shared one dessert – the chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream which was fine.

Service was a bit harried as well with the staff serving the tables in the main restaurant first and then appearing outside whenever they got a chance. The children had a fantastic time though with the bouncy castle that was on one side of the garden which is where they spent most of their time after finishing their dinner. Next time, we can try another chiringuito until we find a contender for best paella to beat the one at Playa Fantastica.

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