Apr 072017


On top of the world

This establishment rewards those who have made the effort to drive deep into the mountains above Orba. Those lucky enough might also be rewarded by the sight of cherry orchards in bloom in April.

The restaurant itself is a renovated staging post and has plenty of charm and character. The large outside space accommodates al fresco dining as well as ample car parking just over the road. The location and views are quite remarkable.

The menu del día is priced at €14 which suits the country location with a selection of hearty dishes. Our party of seven chose from a range of starters including: salad, traditional sausage with a meat, spice and honey filling, cocas, chicken livers and a delicious homemade tomato soup.

Six main courses were on offer and we selected three; oven cooked lamb, confit of duck and wild boar stew.



For pudding the usual flan and tart were on offer but most of us opted for a delicious chocolate brownie.


Wines were not included in the price of lunch but the house wines, both priced at a reasonable €8, were most acceptable – a red Marnes and a white Verdejo.

A word of warning regarding payment; there are no facilities for cards so bring cash! Our adventure in the mountains cost €21.92 p.p.


JS 77     


Mar 242017
LES ARCADES,              ORBA     965088445


Outstanding value

It sometimes pays off to go down a backstreet to find a restaurant offering great value food and drink. This was certainly the case in Orba where our host brought us to No. 2 Calle Canonge Sendra which runs parallel to the main street.

From the outside Les Arcades looks like a modest local bar and curiously it does not display its name, but inside there is a small restaurant with a cosy atmosphere and given the cold weather, a welcoming log fire.

Les Arcades offers a menu del día for just €10 and this includes an amuse bouche, pan y alioli, three courses, a half bottle of house wine and coffee.

There are five options for each course. The amuse bouche was a plate of delicious fried mushrooms. Our host decided against the house wine and instead selected a Rueda Verdejo called Castillo de Aza and a Ribero del Duero called Lelón both priced at just €7!

For our first course we selected entremeses, onion soup and a rustic pate. All good.

The main courses selected were roast pork, roast chicken and merluza à la romana. All really fresh and tasty.

Desserts were apple strudel with cream, profiteroles and strudel with ice cream. Delicious.


Our pleasant lunch was completed with coffees and brandy, all for a remarkable €17.33 p.p.

LdD 77





Feb 172017


Genuine article

Taverna llorenç-botero is located in the heart of the village of Senija at Plaza Ayuntamiento 13.

The restaurant is small in size and the walls are decorated with paintings, plates and other bric-a-brac which create a great atmosphere.

The menu del día costs €10 and consists of six courses of tapas, a main course and a glass of wine. Our tapas courses included Russian salad, followed by a homemade Tortilla, hard boiled egg with anchovy, patatas bravas, baby broad beans and fresh salad. All delicious.

For main course we had pelota, meat wrapped in cabbage accompanied by stock. Again very tasty. The house wines were both from Utiel Requena and called Capellana, priced at €6.



All in all, a very pleasant lunch, in authentic surroundings. Cost p.p. €16.87

SL 78



Jan 202017
RESTAURANTE TAVINO,              CALPE      965832667


Paradise for wine loversDSC01619

Tavino is located in Calle Blasco Ibanez, one of the streets running off Gabriel Miró in central Calpe. The street is full of restaurants but Tavino is noteworthy for its small al fresco area outside complete with a sign declaring  “A paradise for real wine lovers”.

Inside the restaurant the décor is classic but at the same time modern and attractive. On a cold, wet January day the warm muted ambience was welcoming and inviting.



At the bar area Tavino boasts a state of the art dispensing unit offering a wide selection of wines by the glass in perfect condition. At the rear of the restaurant is a bodega/wine shop with a limited range of quality wines.



The menu is extensive and although there is no advertised menu del día, there is one available on request at a reasonable €12.50 for three courses, excluding drinks and one of our group opted for this.  DSC01627

For the rest of us we selected deep fried camembert and calamares á la romana for starters and salads, schnitzel and pork cheeks for main course.

Our host did not scrimp on the wines, selecting a Rueda Verdejo called Rey Santo (€15) and a Rioja Crianza called Jaldum (€16.80).  We completed our meal with a Ribero del Duero called Silvanos which cost €4.10 per glass.



A very enjoyable lunch with excellent wines in comfortable surroundings, costing just under €33 p.p.

JS 77

Jan 062017


Planet rebrandeddsc01595

When we last visited this restaurant in April 2015 it was called The Planet and had recently been taken over by a British couple who had very successfully operated the Paraiso restaurant further up the Coll de Rates road. At that time Paraiso was rated the number one restaurant in Parcent by TripAdvisor.





Victoria operates as a restaurant and pub and we decided to have our lunch in the pub area as it was more lively and warm on a cold January day.

The extensive menu del día now costs just €12.50 and offers a choice of five starters, main courses and desserts as well as a half bottle of wine. There was a more extensive menu priced at €18 and that was what most of us chose from. Before our starters were presented we were served a delicious Stilton cheese and brocolli soup on the house.


We selected Thai fishcakes, deep fried Brie with cherries, stuffed mussels, hot chicken and bacon salad and Italian style stuffed mushrooms. The presentation was particularly impressive. Our host decided to trade up from the house white for a Chardonnay ( €8.50).

Our main course selections included fish and chips, duck breast with berry sauce, and chicken wellington. The red wine selected was Pata Negra from Peñades (€8).

Desserts included apple crumble, chocolate melt with raspberries, flycatcher ice cream cocktail and a creative lemon chiffon with a raspberry stiletto. All creatively presented.dsc01611

Certainly the cuisine at Victoria is every bit as good as it was when our hosts operated Paraiso and together with coffees and brandies our enjoyable lunch cost €24.38 p.p.
SL 75

Dec 022016
BASE CAMP,          CALPE     965831833


Top Indian cuisine in Base Campdsc01571

Base Camp is a well established Indian/Nepali restaurant located at km 1 on the Calpe to Moraira road. It is easy to locate being next to the Bed Centre and a few doors away from the landmark bar called “Grizzly´s”. There is plenty of parking in front of the restaurant.

The outside has the appearance of a normal Indian restaurant with a small terrace for al fresco dining. Inside the restaurant is decorated with ethnic fabrics and impressive murals.dsc01577

The à la carte and takeaway menus are extensive and there are three menu del día options priced at €9.99, €16.99 and €26.99 for two people sharing. When we visited Base Camp it was a rather miserable winter´s day and we were the only customers; no doubt business would be brisk in the evening. Regardless, the atmosphere was warm and friendly although we did have to request the background ethnic music to be reduced in volume.dsc01574

We decided to select the €26.99 menu for two and thoroughly enjoyed savouring the starters of kebab sheek, chicken tikka, vegetable pakura and samosa. These were followed up by main courses of two varieties of chicken and two lamb curries accompanied by potato side dishes, naan bread and deliciously cooked rice. There was a choice of mixed ice cream for dessert or coffee.


To complete the authentic Indian experience were large bottles of Cobra beer (€5.50) and some of us opted for a perfectly acceptable Marques de Teran Rioja (€13.50).

Service was efficient and attentive without being obtrusive and the cost p.p. for this very enjoyable Indian lunch was €26.49.

JS 78

Nov 182016
BROU,       PEDREGUER      965761173


A hidden gemdsc01542

After aperitifs in the Musical Bar (owned by the local band in Pedreguer), we made a stroll to Brau which is located on Carrer Cova Santa 2. The restaurant serves a menu del día at lunchtime and tapas in the evening.

The price of the menu is determined by the main course selected and ranges from €16 to €19, not including drinks.dsc01543

We started with two tapas –ensalada de roast beef with a tartar sauce and sardines with aubergine on a crepe base. Both delicious.

For main course we all selected meat dishes although a cod option was available. The Rabo de Toro was cooked to a turn and as good as we have tasted. The entrecote was also highly appreciated and plentiful.

The wines selected by our host were a white Muga 2015 (€16) and Bobal en Calma (€14) for our red.

For dessert the group split between Turron with crème brulée sauce and a mix of chocolate “goodies”. A worthy culmination to an excellent meal.


Our thanks to our attentive hostess Leo for whom nothing was too much trouble. Brou has all the attributes to be sustainable success, but you need to find it! It is well worth the effort.

RH 79

Oct 212016
PEPE Y ESTRELLA,                JAVEA       965791910


Pepe good for cuatro estrellas!


dsc01383There are several restaurants at the port end of Avenida Mediterráneo that one could easily drive past, but at no.42, not far from the landmark bar Montgo do Bongo, is a real find.


Pepe y Estrella has a patio that looks onto the Mediterranean and this is where we chose to have lunch. On inspection, the interior of the restaurant is indeed very elegant.dsc01399





There are effectively three menus del día, priced at €15, €16.50 and €18.95 according to the choice of main course. Included in the price is a half bottle of house wine; the white from Tierra de Castilla was branded Tapas, whereas the red was branded Vega Libre and produced in Utiel Requena. Both were rather thin, which was not surprising,  as the alcohol content was a modest 11.5%,  so our host kindly switched to magnums of Crianza 2011 Gloriosa from Rioja which were competitively priced at €25 per magnum.


For starters we chose gambas al ajillo, steamed mussels, gratin scallops, Greek salad and a selection of patés – all excellent.dsc01393

Our main course choices included pork fillet with a mushroom and goats cheese sauces, chicken cooked in a curry sauce and the pork dish called secreto barbacoa – again all delicicious.dsc01394

Desserts were flan, crema catalan and assorted ice cream. Pepe y Estrella came within a whisker of earning five stars and perhaps if we had lunched in the elegant dining room rather than on the patio, we would have awarded the extra few points required…

A thoroughly enjoyable lunch costing €25.25 p.p. including coffee.

scan_20161022RH 79


Oct 072016
NOU PORTET,           MURLA            865777619


Getting better


When we previously reviewed this restaurant back in December 2012, we awarded three stars and noted “Now good, could be great”; the new owners of Nou Portet have succeeded in gaining an extra star.dsc01360

Located at km 23 on the CV 715, which is the road between Alcalali and Orba. The restaurant is an attractive building situated amongst Olive and Carob trees and has an extensive outdoor patio.




The menu del día is priced according to the main dish selected and in our case was in the range of €14.90 to €16.90. including a glass of wine.

Our starters included a very flavoursome goat´s  cheese salad, puff pastry with vegetables and brie, chicken liver pate and a salad. All good and accompanied by freshly baked warm bread rolls.dsc01350

On the wine front, our host selected a red Somontano called Vinas del Vero (€12) and the Verdejo from Rueda called Analivia (€12.50).

Our choices of main course included goulash, pork fillet and barbecued ribs. Most of us skipped the ice cream dessert and indulged in brandy with our coffee. Cost p.p. for a most pleasant lunch €25.04.

JS 75                     scan_20161011              scan_20161011-2


Jul 222016
EL RANCHO,                     JAVEA          965771126


Lunch in the shade

Caretera del Portixol lies inland and to the south of beach area of Arenal and at number 34 is the restaurant El Rancho. It is deceptively spacy both inside and out and we chose to lunch outside, but sheltered from the sun.

The menu del día costs €15.95 including a half bottle of wine. The menu is extensive and of good quality. The wine called Nurviana is very acceptable and from Navarra.

Our pleasant lunch in the shade cost €25.27 p.p.

JB 79