Tuesday, 22nd October 2019
EATING OUT Article
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This Month's Magazine
The WXPG food review - The Connoisseur Club - Estepona

The WXPG food review - The Connoisseur Club - Estepona

Nordic Royal Club – Res. Nueva Atalaya - N340 Exit at CC. Diana Opening Hours: 19.00 to 23.00 (closed Tuesdays) -

by Edwin Gladstone

REGRETFULLY THIS RESTAURANT HAS CLOSED DOWN

The food reviews are not advertisements. We visit a different restaurant every month, we pay for the meal and we comment and give points as honestly as we can for the benefit of our readers.

Having received a good report from one of our readers, we thought that this month we should investigate this restaurant and see for ourselves. We had not heard of it before because, although it is easy to find, it is tucked away off the beaten track.

The staff
As we arrived we were warmly welcomed by Frank, the manager. He was very pleasant and polite and invited us to sit in the lounge area with a glass of cava, to give us an opportunity to look at the menu in comfort. This seemed like a nice touch, however we decided to stay at the bar and seize an opportunity to have a better view of the restaurant and talk to Frank, if we had the opportunity. 
 
Atmosphere
As I walked in, my first impression was that it reminded me of some restaurants I had visited when I was in Stockholm. Clean, neat, and simple in design. Each table neatly laid out, cutlery and clear crystal glasses all placed in exactly the same position on all tables.    The premises are large and they also include a terrazza for the summer, I got a feeling of space, which I welcomed as I do not like other diners to sit too close. I also liked the fact that, had I chosen to, I could have ordered from the lounge and see the chef prepare my meal while having a drink. Yes, there is a full view of the kitchen from the lounge.  

The Menu
The menu is not very extensive; it does not need to be because of the type of cuisine, but it does comprise starters, main courses and desserts and it is changed with regular frequency. This also makes the 2 course meal at € 16.95 or 3 course meal at € 21.95 rather an attractive proposition (available only between 7 and 9 p.m.). The cuisine is described as innovative, which means that each dish is the result of the chef’s own creative imagination.

Wine List
Not the typical run of the mill wines that everyone knows by name or sight, what they offer is a fair selection of the better more refined quality Spanish wines. We were quite pleased to see that in addition to the usual “real” champagne and cavas, there was also a small selection of “good” ports, which is something that you rarely see in Costa restaurants. I was always partial to a glass of port after a good meal. The house wines, red or white, are excellent, we tried the white Synera. It is light, crisp and very pleasant but we did choose a bottle of Baltasar, which was featured in our last edition, now I can tell you myself that it is really good. 


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*Key: FBA = First Bite Appeal

Starters
As we sat at the table waiting for the meal, we were pleasantly surprised with a small appetiser and the freshly home made bread and side mustard seed butter.

Soup of the day
This came in what I first thought was the serving bowl. Extremely well presented to suitably match the rest of the dĂ©cor I described. FBA – I had to check again and ask if it was really made from sweet potato and coconut milk. I would never have guessed it. It was light and creamy. Difficult to describe the flavour other than to say that it was extremely pleasant to the taste buds, I can honestly say that I have never experienced the taste before, and that is certainly the result of creativity on the part of the chef. I just polished it off and enjoyed the pleasant after taste that lingered on even after a few sips of wine.     
Team score – 9/10

Paté
Again, a generous portion of liver patĂ© presented in a largish white dish, accompanied by the classic toasted bread. But appearances can be deceptiveÂ… FBA – It was no ordinary patĂ©. I could detect some cumin as one of the ingredients used to complete the flavour and it married splendidly with the crisp toast with a difference. It was the sort of flavour that you imagine you taste when you are really hungry and are looking forward to your meal. Again we found that the flavour tends to linger on the palate even after a few sips of wine, which is a pleasant experience. 
Team score – 10/10

Main Courses
Braised leg of lamb

Although it sounded boring, I was soon put right for this restaurant seems to provide flavours that so far I had not experienced. FBA – It certainly looked like lamb off the leg and placed on a centre display of mash potatoes with some spinach. Well it was not potatoes it was celery and apple mash and it I was light and fluffy. The meat and sauce were out of this world, each morsel seemed to melt in the mouth, filling the palate with a new experience. I most definitely will order this again.
Team Score – 10/10

Tiger Prawns
A good portion of large Tiger Prawns in garlic butter, served with some red and green frilly lettuce and a fennel fricassee. FBA – No I have never heard of that before, but I was certainly glad to discover it. The fresh prawns and the fennel and the salad were a perfect match for each other. Again it is the flavour that made this dish unique.
Team Score – 9/10

Cheese Board
Did you think that cheese & biscuit is boring? Wrong! The GoatÂ’s cheese was bettered with honey and the dull Brie was spiced up with a stuffing of truffles. This was brought in for us to try. I mean what more can you ask for inventiveness? If you like cheese & biscuits to round off your meal, you will like this even better, but get a glass of Port with it and make sure that Stilton is included. Team Score - 10/10

Desserts
At this point we just could not go any further, however Frank was good enough to bring us a tiny sample of their stem ginger & coconut cheese cake and the chocolate mousse, just to try.
the flavour.   All I can say is that had I had a full portion of it and not the cheese I would have probably given them both 10 out of 10.
Team Score – 9/10

Summary
The mastermind and chef behind this restaurant is owner Stuart Crook. He calls his cuisine innovative and I think “quite rightly so”! Every dish I tried brought acquainted me with a new flavour. While the ingredients are basic everyday fresh products, Stuart would seem to paint with flavours as a painter would paint with colours. Which explains the success of his catering service.
This restaurant deserves to be discovered as it deserves success. Good service, excellent food, reasonable prices, clean, friendly and spacious. It is the sort of restaurants I wish there were more of on the Costa. You will not be disappointed. I am informed that every last Friday of the month there is on offer a five course dinner with five different wines for each course at a reasonable €50 per person. In addition a traditional 2 or 3 lunch is served every Sunday with live Jazz at €20 pp (€25 for 3 course).



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