I was recently invited to lunch down at “Sur”, on Mojacar Playa. (Turn left at the Comercial Centre and it’s about 1 K along, on the left. Just near Neptuno).
As I arrived, I was parked the Mazda on a bit of gravel next to the road, praying that nobody would take the corner overly fast and hit it. I scurried in, across a rather dilapidated patio (lovely in summer, no doubt, but surely you can still sweep up the leaves in winter?) and into the restaurant.
It’s a rather strange shape, the main room is quite small with several large tables, and a small partion has been made outside for smaller tables. It’s actually quite well thought out, as larger parties can make a noise in the inner partition without annoying the more intimate tables in the second part.
I originally thought it very spick and span, until noticing a large splash of something (wine?) all up the wall next to where I was sitting. It seemed dried on, always a bad sign. I was also sitting next to the window into the kitchen, but a friendly chappie spotted me, waved, and closed it. It troubled me no longer. Instead, I was distracted by a loud, skinny American lady across the way who spent 20 mins explaining why American actually won the Vietnam war. God knows what she was on about, but my innate politeness prevented me from correcting her on a few points.
The other arrive, and we started to peruse the menu. Now, first off, the menu del dia (12€) was, in a word, terrible. It contained not one thing that I wanted to eat. It didn’t even go together, I remember thinking that the main courses jarred terribly with the starters. Sadly, I left my (stolen) copy there, so I can’t remember what was on it. Still, the very attentive waitress (high marks to her) assured me it changes constantly, so no point parroting it out. We did, however, have to ask for the a la carte, which we eventually ordered off.
The menu attempts to hit a high standard. The dishes sounded nice, yet technically difficult. For example, I chose as my starter a “Mango, palm heart and duck breast salad”. When it arrived, the palm leaves were fried (fair enough), the mango still frozen (bloody horrible), the duck delicious, and the lot swozzled under what I assumed was syrup for a soft drink, but turned out to be a dark soy sauce reduction. Sorry, but a dark soy sauce reduction? With mango and palm leaves? Are you insane? I was very nearly sick on the spot. Still, everybody else seemed to enjoy theirs.
Even though Mr J,’s starter looked like a crepe, although it wasn’t. Not sure what it was, but it’s not a crepe.
We did ask for wine, expecting to see the wine list, but instead a bottle of Sonsolles turned up, unprompted. It was quite nice for a house wine, and we proceeded to order more.
My main course was actually better than I expected after the dogs dinner of a starter. I ordered the “secreto Iberico” (Iberian Secret), a cut of pork baked in salt.
It was quite decent. Mr J. ordered fish, which he seemed to enjoy. (I believe it was gallopedro, and it was a lot better than the one we had in Neptuno the other day. Cheaper, too). Little B. ordered the steak, and while tough, was nicely cooked. S. ordered the cheese and turkey burger, which was… peculiar.
No flan for pudding. Will these people never learn? Instead, a very nice Orujo.
We left sated, yet I still have the feeling that their menu aims a little higher than they can reach. Still, it seemed popular, so they must be doing something right.
SUR restaurant, Mojacar Playa.
Avda del Mediterraneo, 387, Mojacar Playa, Almeria.
Tlf 950 615 487.