Holidays and Other Excursions

Tag: MarBella

Nerja 2 – Restaurant Jacky

Thursday 12 March 2015

Having had a relatively long day on the Wednesday we had decided that Thursday would be a relatively quiet day and so much of it is spent displaying large amounts of unsightly white flesh to the sun in the hope that it might decide to go a slightly less white colour.  And it gives me a chance to catch up on sundry listening such as the rural fly on the wall documentary – The Archers – plus a related podcast entitled Dum Tee Dum.  The former is at present coping with the aftermath of the Great Flood without the assistance of Noah and an Ark to save the animals and it will all be forgotten in the blink of an eye.

Having done her research my wife has booked us into the Thursday night dinner at Restaurant Jacky where the chef provides a single (and ever changing no doubt) menu for all diners.  Eight courses plus white and red wine. €22 each plus 10% tax plus a tip.  My wife left a total of €60 at the end of our dining experience which more than covered the bill and a decent tip.  This was the best value for money ever I would suggest.


This was the menu for the evening and obviously needs a little translation.  Bouchée a la reina is a simple vol au vent containing a tasty combination of chicken and mushroom in a sauce.  A great way to start.  And good enough to justify mopping up the sauce using some bread.

Crema de calabaza led to some discussion at the time as to content of the soup.  Later use of modern technology provides the answer – a large winter squash which resembles  a pumpkin.  I had the opportunity to eat half of my wife’s portion as she was already concerned about the size of the meal, initial portions being decently sized.

Even we managed to work out that foie gras was next on the menu; this came with morello cherries.  Whilst not the best we have ever had this was very good.  It is one of the few foods not to my wife’s taste so I was able to have an extra half portion of this as well.  About here we were asked how we wanted the steak cooked and made our usual choices – medium rare for me and medium for my wife.

The next course caused the upset of the evening.  We asked for an indication of the meaning and were advised that it was “sea horses” which meant that I again got to eat much of a second portion as my wife believed it.  The correct translation is “sea urchins” and I found it quite tasty – just a good sea soup.

The sorbet was raspberry with seven up.  On the sweet side for me – but I did try it and it was certainly setup to do the job that a sorbet should; my wife was able to finish it off.

All the way when our glasses seemed to be going down they were topped up – only with white wine at this stage – but without obvious limit as we go through the meal.

We could translate the next one – white fish in a green sauce and that was an accurate description.  A nice solid piece of fish and a green sauce!  My wife’s comment was “Yum” and I cannot disagree.

The steaks were not large (but we were pretty full by this point in any event) but certainly of good quality and tasty with a good mushroom sauce.  To accompany the steak we are poured a glass of red wine; unlike the white there are no top ups on this – but then at these prices it is all amazing.

And to round off the meal a piece of cake with chocolate on the top.  Simple – but nice; again I relinquished much of this.

After eating so much I felt more like some fresh air rather than coffee and so we decided to head back towards our hotel.  However during the meal we heard at least one table book for next Thursday and another table discussing that the last time they were all together was in the same restaurant – I think most of the voices were English!

On the way back to the hotel we had to pass MarBella as mentioned earlier this week so we wandered in and through into the chill out bar at the back.  Time for a liquer coffee for my wife and (in my case) a Johnnie Walker Black Label whisky.  And another one a bit later.  When I first reached an age to drink I was told how you could only buy Black Label abroad with Red Label (supposedly markedly inferior) at home.  So I still make a point of digesting some Black Label when the opportunity arises.  The next stage is to avoid a hangover!

Summary report on the restaurant – the best value for money bar none plus the best food at any price this week.  I really cannot understand how they can afford to produce such an excellent meal at this price without losing money.  Absolutely outstanding and recommended to anyone going to Nerja.


Monday 9 March 2015

The day opens slightly overcast – have we made a mistake?  Down to level four (this hotel is slightly confused, reception is on level six and the pool is accessed from level five but is actually up some steps; far from ideal for the disabled, although there are ramps and lifts to get around) for breakfast.  The choice is amazing and everything I eat is good or very good.

Porridge is my staple breakfast and is readily available here.  Then a fried egg with bacon and mushrooms.  Good coffee and fruit juice and today is off to a much better start than yesterday.

We then descend to level zero again and take to sunbeds with the intention of getting brown; this is accompanied by either reading, listening (the last week of The Archers has been very wet) or snoozing, with occasional turning to prevent anything getting too burnt.

By mid afternoon that is enough for one day so the late lunch is now an ice-cream from the shop selling “sin azucar” – without sugar.  Another wander around a different bit of the town shows a variety of shops and restaurants including a Japanese tenpanyaki which I am advised by my wife who has been here before was not here last May when she visited.

My photos of the Balcony of Europe are here

This evening we are not eating in the hotel but are instead going around the corner.  We emerge from the hotel into the main square as the church is emptying.  There has been a funeral, huge flower displays  and we respectfully wait until the funeral cars depart with the entire church attendees following behind.

Our destination is MarBella which is an interesting place.  Approached from the front it looks like a nice place to sit in the shade in the main square; but as we wish to see the entertainment later (flamenco) we enter and are shown to a table; then the poor waiter moves us because he needs to build a stage for the entertainment.  Then after some discussion we move back so that we can see the new stage.  But MarBella is deceptive.  Whilst we eat (see below) people walk in and through the bar where we are sitting to look at a terrace and then come back out again!  We had not seen this and so a bit later we wander through – and there is a nice enough courtyard and then a bit further on there is a well appointed chill out bar and then beyond this there is a huge dining area with wonderful view out to sea!  It could be the Tardis as it is definitely larger on the inside than the outside.

Dining options are varied.  A Gastronomic menu is offered for €22 or there is extensive carte at a variety of prices, although generally higher than most of the neighboroughing establishments and indeed several times during the evening we heard potential and actual diners complain about the prices – but that is simply because of the low level of prices around the town.

My wife convinces the slightly reluctant staff that she should have the mushroom soup from the Menu Gastronomique even though it is not on the ordinary menu.  As usual she succeeds.  I chose to start with a delicious shellfish soup – after all by the sea one should eat fresh fish.

In my case I choose to follow this with a leg of lamb – which turns out to be much larger than I had expected.  On the other side of the table a filletted sea bass is delivered and we both enjoy our main courses.  Empty plates are a sign of the enjoyment of the eaters.

A bottle of red wine (Marques de Caceres) accompanies the meal.  Subsequently we consume a glass of the house red (not so good) and a decent cup of coffee whilst we enjoy the flamenco display.  The group consists of two male guitarists and a female dancer who dances the last number in each set.  The younger guitarist is particularly good.

We wander back to our hotel.  A good start to our holiday.