Jun 212019
VENTA ROJA,        LLIBER           965731039


Gastronomía inglesa

We have eaten in Venta Roja on numerous occasions, including 2016 and 2013, as it has changed hands many times over the years. It is situated in a substantial building in the Lliber vineyards on the CV750 road between Benissa and Jalon.

The new owners, John and Tina Allsopp, have operated other restaurants in the Costa Blanca and took over at Venta Roja in early May this year. The restaurant is vast and includes a large terrace for outdoor dining.

The menu del día now costs €17.95 for three courses and a drink. For starters our party selected  homemade pate and tomato soup before moving on to the main course options of fresh langostines, pork loin with pepper sauce, steak and ale pie and fish and chips. The cuisine had a definite English feel to it.

The house wines, both red and white were called Viña Martín from Rioja and priced at €8.95.

Some of our group had apple pie with ice cream or lemon meringue for dessert. The rest opted for coffee and chopitos of brandy which were provided by the house. Apart from one member, we were satisfied by our experience at Venta Roja which cost €27.25 p.p.


KK 61



May 102019
CASES-DE-SANT-JAUME,         BENISSA         691557733


Off the beaten track

This hotel/restaurant is hidden away down a country lane several kilometers outside Benissa on the way to  Pedramala and Benimarco in an area known as Paratella. Apparently the owners are having difficulty in obtaining permission from the authorities to have signage erected on the main roads which is unfortunate.

The restaurant itself is most attractive and comfortable with great views over the surrounding countryside. We were the only customers for lunch. The menu del día costs €18.90 with supplements for some of the dishes.



There was a choice of three starters, three main courses and two desserts. The starters were mushroom soup, melon and serrano ham and shrimp cocktail (€1 +) – all quite acceptable.



These were accompanied by the house wine, a red and a white from Catalunya called Marques de la Concorda (€10.90).

Our host decided to trade up on the red and selected an interestingly named Rioja called ChitÓn (€15.55).

For main course we were served Entrecote with pepper sauce and vegetables (€3+), dorada with garlic and chips and pork fillet with mushroom sauce and vegetables. Unfortunately the plates were not heated and most of the dishes were overcooked.

Cases-de-Sant-Jaume is a delightful venue but has a real challenge in getting on the map. Our sortie there cost €35.68 p.p.

PH  65


Feb 012019
LA RACCHETTA,            CALPE         692652595


GAME for a SET meal at La Racchetta?

La Racchetta is Calpe Tennis club´s restaurant and welcomes club members and non members alike. The restaurant was recently taken over by an Italian group and is building a reputation for SERVING a good value (just €10.50) menu del día which changes daily.

Our lunch had a distinctly Italian flavour starting with Parmigione, a kind of aubergine lasagne. Also on offer were lentil and chorizo soup or potato salad.

For main course we chose Italian hamburger and chips, Rigatoni (vegetable macaroni) and griddled chicken thigh.

The wine was a light Alicante red from Villena (12%) and included in the price of the menu del día.

The choice of dessert was limited to ice cream or fruit so most of our party opted for coffee and as it was a cold day we warmed up with some Soberano –GAME, SET and down the hatch!


The décor of La Racchetta is somewhat Spartan and the room can get quite noisy although in warmer weather it would be possible to dine on the terrace outside.









NET price p.p. €14.14

MH 67


Jan 112019
EL KARMALET,            JALON          966369619


A bit disorganised

There have been a number of restaurants located at this corner of Calle Judas just off the  Plaza Mayor in Jalon in the past, the last being Barrio Fiesta which closed in 2013. El Karmalet opened at the end of 2018, just about a month before our visit.

The restaurant has been redecorated with one wall in the bar area completed covered with an interesting black and white photograph of Jalon in days of yore. In fact it was in the bar that we had lunch although there is apparently a pleasant dining room with a fireplace in the back of the building.

There was a menu del día on offer and priced at €12 but it was uninspiring; a salad, followed by ham with melon or courgette soup followed by a main course of either chicken breast or fried fish. We all decided to go á la carte.


We quickly discovered that many of the dishes listed on the menu were not available and so our starters were caramelised goat´s cheese salad and a tasty courgette soup.



Our host ordered bottles of a Rioja Crianza 2013 from Don Jacobi (€14) which went very well with the lunch.



The main course selections were all meat dishes, two of them using beef from Avila.

There was a T-bone steak weighing almost 900 grams that two of our members shared (and just as well as it cost over €33) and an entrecote (€14.50) which was pronounced very tasty. The lamb cutlets (€13.50) had to be sent back to the kitchen for reheating and this was just symptomatic of the disorganised service.

We concluded with coffees and chopitos of brandy kindly offered by the house, but we came away believing El Karmalet can develop into a better restaurant than it was when we lunched there. Cost p.p. €30.88

SL 64


Dec 092016



Paradise lost…..and rediscovered!

After a rare, but prolonged spell of dank, gloomy and depressing weather, the rain Gods called a truce and a chink in the heavens could be glimpsed through the clouds above the Vall de Pop. Our host interpreted this as a sign to enjoy some “de vino” intervention and whisked us off to Paradise –the Restaurante El Paraiso, to be precise.dsc01592

El Paraiso is located on the CV 715 at about one kilometre from Parcent driving in the direction of Col de Rates and Tárbena. Although we had been here some four years earlier, Paraiso has recently reopened after being closed for almost two years. The new hosts are a husband and wife team, Manolo and Svetlana.dsc01593

There are two menus del día on offer priced at €12 for 3 courses including wine or €18 for 3 courses excluding wine. Most of us chose the €12 option and one of our party decided to go for the €18 menu.dsc01581


For starters there was a heavenly cream of pumpkin soup and a very rich tomato broth which suited the wintery weather. The more expensive menu offered a selection of tapas including huevos rotos.

All main courses carried a supplementary price and both the pork knuckle (€4) and entrecote (€4) were moist and tender although the entrecote was subjected to extra time on the grill. dsc01583








The shoulder of lamb carried a €6 supplement but unfortunately it turned out to be dry and overcooked. When this was brought to the attention of Manolo, he was aghast and immediately waived the supplement and offered a dessert from the €18 menu in compensation. The final main course selected was slow cooked veal cheek from the €18 option and was declared to be delicious. A general criticism was perhaps the rather meagre selection of vegetables which consisted primarily of onion.

As to the wine, the €12 menu included the Alicante wine called Alcanta from the Bocopa Bodega near Sax. It was judged to be acceptable but rather light both in body and strength and our host kindly agreed to trade up to a 2013 rioja crianza called Pergamino (€13) which was an excellent choice.

Our lunch was rounded off with coffee and a house offering of Hierbas de Pego. Our lunch in paradise cost €22.65 p.p.

MH 67

Oct 142016
CA MARIA,          JAVEA         965793083


Started well…..



Avenida Marina Española is the pedestrian walkway linking the road from Arenal and the port area of Javea. There are numerous restaurants along this strip and our club has previously lunched in two of them, Piri-Piri and Calina.dsc01380



We lunched al fresco on the terrace which allowed us to observe the eclectic shapes, sizes and states of dress or undress of the promenaders.

The menu del día cost €15.75 including a half bottle of Batanes (€12) from Campo de Borja.

Before our starters arrived we were served fresh warm rolls with alioli.


The starters included delicious stuffed peppers, toastado with mushroom and bacon – also very tasty, as well as stuffed aubergines. The final dishes were acceptable croquetas and a too salty salteado.dsc01370




There was then a very long gap in our lunch, possibly 30 minutes or more before our chosen main courses arrived. All four were dry and/or overcooked. These were duck in an orange sauce, dorada or sea bream, chicken with a curry sauce and a pork dish.



Why the delay?

Our desserts included apple tart, cheesecake and ice cream and although they were enjoyable, our overall lunch experience was one of disappointment. Together with coffee and brandy the cost p.p. amounted to €23.60.

KK 61                                                                    scan_20161016

Mar 252016
CAFETERIA L´ASSUT,                    JALON                 966481011


Bland L´ASSUT 001


Our lunch club is proud of the fact that we will explore any venue in the Marina Alta in the hope of finding a great place to subsequently bring our partners with confidence. Cafeterias however have not featured very often and unfortunately our experience in L´Assut was not encouraging.
L´Assut is located on the corner of La Teulera Commercial Centre, nearby the iconic Bar Aleluya and opposite the Tourist Office and site of the famous Jalon Rastro.

The high ceilings of the cafeteria provide a somewhat barn-like ambience. The service is friendly and efficient and a TV was showing a bike race throughout our lunch. Most of us opted for the tapas menu which was priced at €12.50 + IVA for six tapas and a glass of wine.

One of our group opted for an Argentine entrecote priced at €15 and was very pleased with his choice.



The tapas however, although freshly made using good quality ingredients, with the exception of a delicious dish of mushrooms, were frankly bland and uninspiring.L´ASSUT 006
The house wines were from the Marina Alta area and branded Seleccion Finca MS; the white was just 11% alc/vol and the red an acceptable 13%. L´ASSUT 008


Our host however traded up to a delicious Rioja crianza called Lopez de Haro (€13.75)
When we asked about the choice of desserts we were advised we could have flan or flan, so we had coffees and brandies instead.
The cost of our middle of the road lunch was €18.40 p.p.

MH 65    L'Assut Jalon


 Javea  2 Responses »  Tagged with:
Dec 042015
IBERIA,                                   JAVEA                         965996716




This self-styled gastrobar is located at 9, Calle de San Buenaventura which is one of the narrow streets running close by the Church in Javea oldtown. The restaurant area is tiny with seating for about twenty patrons.


Our host had been lead to believe there would be a menu del día on offer for around €14-15 but this proved to be premature as our server explained it would come into effect the following week. What was on offer was a tasting menu of tapas priced at €30, not including drinks, a Christmas menu for €65, or one could chose individual dishes from the tapas menu.
None of us felt up to splashing out on the Christmas offer but instead most of us tried the tasting menu.007
A delightfully presented tomato with cream cheese was served whilst we waited for the first course. In fact the presentation of all of the courses at Iberia is really creative. An oriental Russian salad with tuna and trout caviar was followed by deep fried cod and octopus served with creamy potato and red pepper.
The meat course was slow cooked pork belly with pumpkin puree. Our host selected a Galician white called Montenova (€16) and Finca Luzon from Jumilla (€13).

The desserts chosen were toffee cheesecake and a brownie with an unusual red ice cream.

Overall, a beautifully presented, but rather pricey lunch and we need to return to Iberia to try the new menu del día to be able to judge this gastrobar against its peers. Cost p.p. including coffee, brandy and a tip: €39.
RH 67   iberia 1 Iberia 2

Apr 182014

ARMELL,    PEDREGUER      965760898




Located between Pedreguer and LaXara at Partida Albardenera 58, this restaurant was probably originally an oasis in the countryside, but holiday homes have encroached the groves of Almond trees and the area is now quite suburban.


Armell has pleasant rustic dining areas inside the restaurant but the outside terrace where we were directed to was not particularly inspiring, with white plastic tables and chairs under the cover of a corrugated roof.

DSC00373There are two menus del día priced at €10.50 for fish and €13.50 for meat.  We started with a selection of tapas –shrimps, spring rolls, a very vinegary salpicon and delicious peppers stuffed with crab. One of our group had the soup of the day, a disappointing thin affair with some stringy noodles. The salad was composed of large chunks of vegetables.


The wine chosen by our host was not available so we had to settle for a Verdejo Rueda and a very young Ribero del Duero, both branded Sitial and priced at €8.

For main course we had calamares a la romana which were very fresh and moist. The chuletas de cordero were pronounced good but the pork fillet was dry. The desserts were all bought in rather than homemade.

Total p.p. including coffees and brandy amounted to 19.76

LdD  62

card 001     card 002


 Calpe  No Responses »  Tagged with:
Jan 102014

TASKLEO,  CALPE  965832620



Cosy and good value, but…


January and February are generally the least pleasant months, weatherwise, in this part of Spain. So it was nice to walk into a warm cosy restaurant, already fairly full, on Calle Portalet 10 in the upper part of Calpe on a cold and blustery January day. Restaurant Taskleo has rustic wooden, almost tudor style, beams on both the outside and inside walls.

The menu del día is competitively priced at just €12.00 for three courses and includes a half bottle of the house wine called 1000 Hojas, a joven from Rioja.


Our lunch got off to a promising start with an unannounced tapa of jamón ibérico and almonds, which we enjoyed with the Cune Crianza Rioja 2010 that our host had kindly selected (€10) instead of the house wine.


For starters we chose a dish of mushrooms and scrambled eggs and huevos rotos, a wonderful Spanish dish of mashed up fried eggs, with some rashers and potatoes.   DSC00156


Unfortunately two of the main courses did not live up to the early promise; both the magret of duck with cranberry sauce and the pork fillet with pistachio sauce were dry. The veal cordon bleu was pronounced a success.


The desserts were homemade and enjoyable and we had cheesecake and a biscuit tart, followed by coffees and brandy. All but one other table in Taskleo was occupied by Spanish lunchers so the noise level was noticeable.

Cost p.p. €17.13


LdD 61 1 Taskleo