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



Nov 082013



Quaint but tiredDSC00044

Much of the centre of the sleepy inland town of Castell de Castells is pedestrianised and at 13 Calle San José there is a quaint restaurant called Hierbas. A series of long narrow rooms, with walls and ceiling covered with bric-a-brac lead into the dining room. This proved to be the most atmospheric part of our lunch, as we were the only customers.DSC00048


The team providing lunch was an unusual combination of English chef and a Spanish maître d’ which undoubtedly accounted for the selection of some of the dishes on the menu del día.


There were two menus del día available, priced at €10 and €12 plus 10% IVA, and we all chose the former. The alioli was accompanied by delicious warm bread and fresh salad.

For starters we chose creamy tomato soup, spring rolls and deep fried boquerones (anchovies) – all acceptable. The main courses selected were cottage pie, chicken breast with a rather bland pepper sauce and lamb cutlets that were a bit on the dry side. It has to be said that the French fries were outstanding.DSC00052


The house white was a vino de mesa called Conde Noble and as it was a bit dull our host traded up on the red for the reliable Rioja Crianza El Coto (€12).


We concluded our lunch with a chocolate brownie, almond ice cream and almond cake.

Price p.p. €15.40

MH  63                       Hierbas 001





Nov 012013



Pure theatre


It’s not often we get to have lunch in a theatre, particularly in a small country town like Parcent in the Vall de Pop. The Coop Agrícola in Parcent has a Local Social founded in 1915 that houses a bar/restaurant in a substantial sized theatre. The ceilings are high, the walls tiled and the acoustics deafening when the room is full of locals chattering away.


Apparently the running of the restaurant is for four years and we arrived for lunch when the new management had just that day taken over, so we were anticipating a bit of theatre. To be fair the new team of father and mother and their two daughters coped well.DSC00034DSC00036


There was no printed menu, however we were advised that there was a choice of three starters, three main courses, three desserts and a half bottle of wine for €11. In fact if it hadn’t been a holiday (All Saint’s day), but a normal weekday, the price would have been a remarkable €7.50.   


We started with deep fried calamari rings with salad and grilled liver with salad. Both simple but tasty dishes.


For main course our choices were grilled fillet of pork and grilled chicken, both served with fries. Again simple but good.


Finally for dessert we had an excellent cheesecake and tiramisu. The wines selected were a disappointing Airen from the Felix Solis stable called Peñasol and a pleasant Rioja called Crin. As there was no price list we calculated that the wines cost €6 a bottle.


El Progrés offers remarkable value in an unusual setting and after the new team have settled in, they should do well. Cost p.p. €12.50.


LdD 62         





 Jalon  No Responses »  Tagged with:
Oct 112013

RIU RAU,        JALON    966480506


Delicious food, pity about the wine and listless service DSC01201

This long standing family run restaurant is located by way of a ford across the Jalon River from the Tourist office and adjacent bars and shops.

We last lunched here four years ago and although the inside of the restaurant is tastefully decorated with antique agricultural implements, we instead chose to lunch outside under the canopy of the extensive terrace.



There were a few tables already being served but it seemed to take an age before the lone server turned his attention to us and provided us with menus. Unfortunately he took off before we managed to get an order in for a drink whilst we perused the menu. When we finally managed to obtain the wine list from him, it transpired that choice of white wine was restricted to Vall de Xaló or Bahía de Dénia, both from the Jalon Cooperative; all other whites were out of stock. 

We did order a bottle of the said Co-op´s red, also called Vall de Xaló and fortunately there was a red Rioja in stock and our host promptly ordered the Conde de Valdemar Crianza (€15.50). DSC01204

The menu del día ranges in price from €12-18 (+ 7%IVA) according to the main dish selected and includes four courses as well as pan alioli and the dreaded Jalon wine.

The first course was a selection of three tapas – cocas (mini pizzas), albondigas (meat balls) with really delicious tiny broad beans and a dish of peppers, onions and aubergines.

There followed a pumpkin soup or salad and the main course. Our selection included beef in a red wine sauce, roast pork Riu Rau, monkfish with almond sauce and grilled lamb – all well prepared and tasty. DSC01209

The desserts included flan, fig tart, both homemade, ice cream and fresh fruit salad. 

It has to be said that the food was delicious and good value but Riu Rau was let down by the lack of a choice of wines and torpid service. Total p.p. €24.34. 

MR 66                                                                                      Riu Rau 001