May 042018
 
PREMIUM PLUS,              MORAIRA                 96 617 73 87

 ★★★★☆ 

‘Premium Plus’ means better than average

The name is not helpful: it tells you nothing about what the restaurant is trying to achieve.  Everywhere is ‘premium’, and adding a ‘plus’ to it says very little. But that minor carping comment aside, this restaurant is rather better than anticipated.

It is situated in a row of bars and restaurants, ending with the establishment called ‘Fishy Fishy’, situated close to the centre of Moraira along the road leading to Calpe. Our initial concern was with parking: Friday is market day in Moraira but we need not have worried. By two o’clock there was parking, free, right outside the restaurant, until five p.m.

We had the choice of sitting on the outside terrace but chose to dine inside, where we were further away from a large party. The interior was pleasant, if a little dark, and we  were greeted with a glass of cava each, complete with a selection of summer fruits floating (or sinking) in the glass. Not bad at all.

The menu del dia is priced at €24.20 and that gave us a choice of half a dozen starters (soup, salad with goats cheese, Caesar salad, liver parfait, seafood cocktail and gambas).     

Four of us chose the Menu (excellent  gambas – firm, tasty, and not oily – and a tasty seafood cocktail) while two of our number saved their appetites for the main course. There was a welcome little amuse bouche to start with, matched by a lovely home-made lemon sorbet between courses.

                                   

For the main course some of us had an excellent rack of ribs, beautifully cooked. One of us chose the salmon and pronounced it ‘good’ while another  chose the pork fillet. The others selected steak, in one form or another, including a rib-eye  for which he paid an extra six euros for the privilege. We could also have had chicken or duck breast, so there were no complaints about menu choice.

If there was a weak spot it was the desserts – two of us selected the chocolate mousse and ended up with an overpoweringly sweet concoction which had very little to do with chocolate and rather more to do with meringue pieces and a lot of artificial whipped cream. Maybe we should have stuck with the ubiquitous creme catalan, or the cheese tart, or even the dreaded brownie. One of us selected the cheese board – it looked varied and interesting.

After the meal we had coffees and were offered chopitos of a dark muscatel – on the house – but the lure of a decent brandy (Torres, but not on the house…) proved irresistible to some.

What made the meal was that the price included half a bottle of house wine, and especially as that house wine was not just ‘OK’ but excellent. If you judge an establishment by the quality of their house wine, this was very, very good indeed. For white wine lovers we had a sauvignon blanc, with a Finca Los Trenzones label, and for the red a 2017 Rioja roble called Cueva de Lobo (€12.10). Well received, and quickly put away!

All in all, a very decent meal which thoroughly deserved its four stars. The owner, a Turkish man from Bulgaria, is also responsible for the bar a couple of doors away called, simply, ‘Premium’ and although he seemed disappointed not to have got five stars, we think he did rather well. Cost p.p. €28.

MR   77

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