bread drizzled in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, a full-bodied merlot, tantalising tapas and succulent fresh fish. sounds delicious doesn’t it?
there is very little I don’t like about mediterranean food and sampling the local offerings is the highlight of every holiday to spain. on my most recent and very brief trip to la manga i dined at my favourite restaurant amapola at the hotel principe felipe.
think big plates, small, and beautifully presented dishes full of flavour, eaten outside on the terrace overlooking the manicured golf course, while soaking up the view as the sun goes down. gorgeous.
whenever i’m on holiday by the sea i try to sample as much fish as i can and there was plenty on offer on the menu.
i opted for a salmon filet in a sesame crust with kaffir lime champagne emulsion in ginger and yuzu caviar. it was just as amazing as it sounds.
we also ordered iberian ham and a red mullet pancake which both looked pretty tasty too.
my meal continued with a fishy theme and i also enjoyed seared tuna with wasabi-inspired tempura. the fish was cooked to perfection, slightly brown on the outside, deliciously fresh and fleshy pink in the middle.
the cod proved popular at our table and arrived sat on a bed of garlic potato puree accompanied with a variety of fresh vegetables. the clean plates paid testament to the taste.
what kind of supper would end without something sweet? i like my deserts decadent, rich and gooey so the chocolate coulant and vanilla ice cream ticked all the boxes on my pudding wish list.
in previous years a meal in amapola would lead to a hectic night in the piano bar dancing along to brian chapman – who would get the guests singing and swinging along to classic, and rather cheesy tunes like sweet caroline.
for old times sake we paid a visit to the bar, but brian was noticeably absent – it was a quieter crowd too.
we were seated outside on the large terrace in the perfect spot for people watching.
while the menu was a more traditional than innovative, i was pleasantly surprised by the unfussy food.
i couldn’t decide between two starters so i enjoyed a savoury crepe stuffed with smoked salmon and avocado in a brie sauce and the sushi.
steering away from traditional spanish fare the french onion soup and prawn tempura were also ordered to start with hake supreme and cod to follow.
generous portions, well presented and the food was extremely reasonable – not sure why we haven’t been before but i know we will be back.
my trip was short and sweet but my other favourite restaurants in la manga include la cala, a seafood restaurant nestled on a cliff-top with stunning sea views and excellent lobster paella and la bodega – a firm favourite for delicious spanish tapas.
you can see a full list of restaurants here.