Extra Portions - by Fiona Jennison
Some days I am glad I traded Ibiza for the Costa Blanca. Although the Café del Mar in Ibiza is famous worldwide (thanks to Jose Padilla´s amazing music) I never liked it. Hoards of people crammed like sardines clapping the sunset like demented sea lions with overpriced drinks. The Café del Mar in Moraira is an elegant, contemporary venue with stunning sea views, a lush garden, and the same music, albeit usually without a DJ, without the crowds.
It's so smart that you would be forgiven (I forgave myself) for assuming that eating there would be out of the average price range. It's really not. Speaking of range, there is plenty of it on the two menus, both available day and night. There is a simple menu with very affordable salads, sandwiches, classic tapas (the meatballs are very good), burgers, delicious home-made chips and “platos combinados” for only 10€.
Then there is a more upmarket menu again available day and night, with interesting starters such as scrambled egg with prawns, garlic shoots and mushrooms, or peppers stuffed with cod. The mains include grilled fish, steaks, chops, lamb shank, and a range of fabulous seafood and Valencian paellas including a lobster version.
Monday nights are very popular with the English older crowd with live pop/ rock music, so dig out your dancing shoes and start the week in style. The interior feels a little like a luxury yacht, with boaty railings and funky ceilings, and has a private dining room with sea views ideal for birthdays etc. There seems to be a custom in the ladies bathroom of applying lipstick and kissing the walls. No idea why I mention that really - just amused that it seemed to have caught on. I didn't leave my mark. I think it must be an urge that happens after a few wines.
Somewhere to go whatever the occasion. A simple lunch by the sea, or a special celebration. The place makes you feel a million dollars but you don't need to have a million dollars at all.
Fabulous place for a wedding. They even have an iron 'bandstand' for the happy couple. It will have to wait for me and my mystery man though. He is being extremely mysterious…
Café del Mar Restaurant and Bar, Ctra Moraira-Calpe,
km 1.21, Rada de Moraira. Telephone: 96 574 5356.