For someone with an elephant memory when it comes to food and restaurants, our visit to Maribel surprised me. I thought I’d been there before but as soon as we pulled into the car park I realised, horror of horrors, I’d never stepped foot in it! So time to try somewhere new.
The restaurant is on the La Manga estate on the way to the West Course (golf course) and is pretty large with views across to the shining Mar Menor.
A quick glass of Cava at the bar and it was time to order. When we sat down sliced, freshly made tortilla was presented to us…one of my favourite and simplest dishes and absolutely delicious.
I spotted the jamon leg sitting on its stand on the counter as soon as I walk in. I often talk about how I’m going to carry one of these home (complete with stand) one day…until I tried to lift one, that is. This jamon is just fabulous, so when I saw it on the menu I had to ask: “The jamon, is it that jamon?” – pointing to the counter. When the response was yes, my decision was made.
I got to watch the waiter cutter my delicious thin slivers and scoffed a whole plateful of this flavoursome, melt-in-the-mouth delicacy.
Other starters were equally well received, like a traditional scrambled egg and prawn dish, fantastic garlic prawns and a plate of smoked salmon with all the trimmings.
We all ordered fish for our mains and were in for a treat. Maribel is something of a restaurant for ceremony and tradition and the fish was all prepared on a trolley that was wheeled up in front of us. The traditional sea bass cooked in salt was cracked open and filleted and my grilled sole expertly deboned. It was sweet and perfectly cooked.
And then we had to have pudding – recommended by Dave’s daughter (we were dining with Dave and Val), we ordered the crepes. Out came another trolley with a built in hot plate (how I’d love one of those to whip out when necessary) and our waiter proceeded to put together the delectable concoction in front of us! Let’s just say we kept our waiter busy with all the various dishes he had to prepare and cook for us.
Maribel is a really fun place with lovely food that is really exceptional value. I’m actually quite horrified that in all the years I’ve been going to La Manga I’ve never eaten there! Well I’m certainly going to remedy that in future, it’s a regular on our dining out list now. My dinner there even inspired me to do my first review on Trip Advisor!