My husband is a trained chef, I love to cook and we know our food. We have owned and run highly rated restaurants in the past life before we moved to Spain. With this in mind we rarely if ever leave a poor restaurant review.
We are foodies. We eat out regularly in 'menu del dia' cheap restaurants and in Michelin rated restaurants and anything in between both in Spain and on our travels abroad.
I can unreservedly say the food we were served on Thursday at lunch time was inedible and we left most of it. To add insult to injury the cost was double what we are used to paying for excellent lunches in our part of the Costa Brava which by most standards is an expensive area.
The 'menu at €30' had no choice but we were assured it was very good by the very attentive waiting staff. It most definitely was not.
After one mouthful of the starter I decided that tinned vegetables mixed in heavy catering quality mayonnaise was not very appetising.
The next course was a monk fish crepe. Sadly the fish, which was scarce, in the crepe and most definitely not monk fish. The sauce covering the crepe was congealed and cold. This we also left.
The main course came with four medallions of pork fillet well enough cooked but coated with the grease from the pan to which no emulsifier had been added.It most definitely was not a sauce. This was served with 'mashed/pureed' potato which looked as if it had been regurgitated. Disgusting. I ate two of the four medallions which were tender but the greasy 'sauce' defeated me and gave up.
At this point I was still hungry but didn't even want to try a pudding. My husband did. He had Crema Catalana to round off his €30 menu. Something which at the lower end €12 menu is commonplace.
He said the coffee was good. This was served with a dry spongecake.
The building is lovely, the staff impeccably trained in the old school way which is sadly lacking in some restaurants but appreciated in more classic establishments. This has obviously been a very famous restaurant in its day and I have no doubt there is a clientele which have been dining here for many years. Maybe the proprietors are happy with the business they are doing. When we were there this Thursday lunchtime there were 9 other people. A family of four with a small child and two other tables of two made up the entire lunch trade in a very large restaurant with space of well over a hundred guests.
Maybe the owners of this restaurant need to dine out at lunchtime and see what other people are offering for half the price. They might also look at what places like Pa i Raim in Palafrugell are offering for their €22 'menu' which is considered 'pricy' locally but is superb.
We expected to be wowed for €30 we most certainly were not. Did we complain? We were asked if everything was OK we said not really. The waiter didn't ask why not, just walked away. It was obvious that it was not, as plate after plate went back uneaten.
Perhaps we should have had the a la carte. Yes, perhaps but the meal would have cost well over €60 pp for lunch which for us is a treat. For that there is a 10 course tasting menu at NU in Girona which is superb.
It is such a pity that somewhere that obviously was great in its heyday has become so sadly lacking in todays restaurant world with excellent young, progressive chefs.
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