June 2010 – A more modern review has been posted here: Neptuno Beach Bar, Mojacar Playa.
It’s the 16th of November 2009 and at midday it was around 26ºC. Perfect weather for a paella on the beach.
Let’s be honest. The weather is perfect. No wind. No clouds. The sea is so calm that even I, with my chronic sea sickness, would consider venturing out in it. If it were not for the incompetence of the townhall and the Junta’s tourism department we would be inundated with tourists. Instead parking is ample and roads are empty. The police that plagued us in the summer have, as there is noone left to fine, gone elsewhere.
So we closed the office and skipped off down to the beach. Off to Neptuno.
Neptuno is a large beach bar / restaurant situated on the beach. A large wooden building with nice pleasent outside chairs and shading. Quite a few birds fluttering about.
Neptuno has a large rowing boat full of sand outside where they roast sardines. (Sometimes they burn them). Usually they are delicious. We didn’t have any today, no real reason why.
The food in Neptuno is not ecstatic. It is not mouth watering and it is not pants wetting. However, it is consistent, unlike so many places in the area. You know you can have a decent (if slightly wet) paella, with trimmings and salad, maybe some fish, and a bottle of plonk, and be happy.
It is also not terribly expensive. They do not increase their prices 200% in the summer; they do not rip off the tourist. Instead it is consistent, year round, tasty and happy. It is also on the beach.
If it is raining, you can sit inside and water does not drip on you, instead you can see the rain plink into the sea. If sunny, you can sit outside. If windy, you can sit on the opposite side in the lull.
They do, rather annoyingly, charge a basic for bread. €1 per head. These things get on my nerves. If you asked me “would you like some warm fresh bread and ali oli?” I would say Aye! and damn the expense. Deliver it without warning and slip an extra euro on the bill and I feel ripped off. Sadly, this is something that is becoming ever more common across Spain.
A mixed salad, which is large and ample, costs €7. A Paella costs €11 p.p., min two people. No reservation needed. A beer €2,50, a G&T €5 and a cheap Navarro rosé (Palacio de la Vega, I believe) €11.
The paella was not, today, perfect. It was not quite wet enough to be caldo, it was not dry enough to be paella. The meat was somewhat stringy. But the taste was nice and we finished it.
€64.80 for three, excluding the G&T’s.
Neptuno Beach Bar.
Playa del Descargador s/n, Mojacar Playa.
Mojácar Playa. Turn left at the Parque Commercial towards Garrucha, about 600m along on the beachside. You can’t miss it.