Whilst lay on a beach sunbathing it suddenly occurred to me that I’d been in Spain for 6 days and not eaten a paella yet! With no idea how or why i’d let it happen I immediately set to rectify the situation.
I was in the quiet, fishermans village of L’Ametlla de Mar and thankfully didn’t have to venture far. The first restaurant I came across ‘L’Alguer’ was literally 100m above the beach, peering through the windows it looked very respectable and they proudly advertised their listing in the Michelin guide. A good start.
It got better when I spotted a ‘Menú del día’ (Menu Of The Day), a 4 course set menu in which the main course was ‘Paella marinera’ (seafood paella). Happy with my detective skills I returned to my spot on the beautiful beach to catch a couple more hours of sun.
At lunch time I made my way back to ‘L’Alguer’ and took an outdoor table with a gorgeous view.
Before the first course arrived we received a basket of bread and both traditional and tomato aioli.
The first course ‘Amanida verda’ (green salad) arrived quickly. It was dull and uninspiring at best. Far too much boring iceberg lettuce, with grated carrot and half a hard boiled egg, no dressing or seasoning. It was only saved by the flavour packed tomatoes and olives.
Course 2, ‘Musclos vapor’ (Steamed Mussels) was also basic. Just a plate of mussels which I do love but would’ve preferred in a bowl with some sort of broth or at least their own juices. They were well cooked though and enjoyable enough.
Of course it was the paella I was really here for and it arrived impressively in a very large paella pan. Generous portions were served at the table by a friendly waitress. Whilst not the best paella i’ve ever eaten I enjoyed every mouthful, it was full of all the right flavours; garlic, saffron, paprika etc.. and packed with well cooked fresh seafood, particularly the langoustines which where fantastic.
Dessert was a simple trio of ice creams compressed together. Again unremarkable but perfectly enjoyable, especially given the heat.
Whilst the food was basic there was nothing wrong with anything and it’s worth remembering that we ate from a set menu which was excellent value at just 17€ for 4 courses. The paella was good and worth the money alone. Having looked around the village later it appeared dining options were limited and I doubt we’d have found anywhere better anyway and it wouldn’t have had such a beautiful view.
Date Of Visit: 31.08.2013Follow @FoodGeekUK