The food reviews are not advertisements. We pay for the meal and we comment and give points as honestly as we can for the benefit of readers. The points relate to quality and price according to the standard of the restaurant. We try to visit only restaurants which we believe are worth reporting on.
*Key: Price: M - Dress Code: SC
|*FBA = First Bite Appeal||*Price Code (excl. drinks):
L = 15 - 30 Euros
M = 30 - 60 Euros
H = 50 Â– 100+ Euros
CC = Casual Comfortable
SC = Smart Casual
F = Formal
Any one who likes a good charcoal grilled steak will agree that there is no better place than a real Argentinean restaurant, so we were quite happy to discover that El Estribo has just opened in a prime location, in Sabinillas at walking distance from our office. The choice this month is obvious.
We had not booked but a pleasant young lady showed us to a vacant table that she thought we might like. We found the waitresses extremely attentive, polite and the service efficient, but not hurried. What is more, they were smiling! It was just right and we felt comfortable and well attended to at the same time. We were even asked if the food was to our liking.
The pictures and the display of Â“mateÂ” (traditional tea) containers on the shelf by the entrance ensure that the Argentinean theme is clearly understood. The whole layout is modern, clean and very neat. The restaurant is clearly intended for the better type clientele. The chef and his built-in charcoal grill are visible from the dining area and I thought it is useful that the cook can see who the food is for. I wondered about summer and the heat, but then I noticed two air conditioning units plus the fact that one can also sit outside on the paseo with an uninterrupted view of the sea.
I thought the menus themselves were well presented; they reminded me of the hard covered art books designed to show paintings. Of course the main feature is meat, especially beef, however there is on offer something for every taste: Starters, salads, pork and lamb, pasta and even some fish.
There is a fair choice of Spanish wines, featuring whites, reds and rosÃ©. It was interesting to see a small selection of Argentinean wines which looked quite appealing. The wine prices seemed at par with any well priced restaurant.
While waiting for the meal which we were offered a delicious cheese and herbs paste spread with small toasts; it was not long before they started serving the meal.
This is described as grilled Italian cheese with tomatoes, oregano and olive oil. FBA Â– Served sizzling hot, the oregano and tomatoes blended with the cheese into a delicious aroma that was difficult to resist. A special type of provolone cheese is used, grilled on the charcoal. It was a much larger portion than I had anticipated; nevertheless I found it impossible to leave any on the plate.
Team score Â– 10/10
Empanadas Argentinas de Carne
Mini pasties filled with meat. FBA Â– Â“ChimicurriÂ” sauce was served in two small dishes, one hot the other not. The idea was to cut through the crusty pasties and pour some sauce over them. Certainly should be tried, we enjoyed it.
Team score Â– 9/10
The main course did not include side vegetables, then I realised that for a mere Â€2 one can order from a fair selection of vegetables to oneÂ’s own taste. I thought it was rather preferable than being given no choice as in most places. We chose the Spinach a la Creme and the Garlic Mushrooms. Each was more than enough for the two of us and although they blended beautifully with our steaks, we just could not manage it all.
Team score - 9/10
This is quite simply a charcoal grilled sirloin steak FBA Â– We could not believe the thickness of this largish steak. We had asked for this to be medium to well done and that is exactly what it was, spot on. The texture and taste of the meat was superb. It was really tender and it certainly had not much fat at all.
Team Score Â– 10/10
Typical Argentinean Beef Steak.
Well to me this was another charcoal grilled, very thick, fair size steak. FBA Â– I had asked for it to be medium to rare. Guess what! It was spot on again. In my book this means a very good chef. I selected the red wine sauce which I poured over the steak and then ensured that each morsel was well dipped in it. It was impossible to fault it; it was tender, with perfect texture and hardly any fat. It is making me hungry as I write this.
Team Score Â– 10/10
Pancakes with Dulce de Leche.
Pancakes filled with Dulce de Leche and garnished with some fresh cream. (Caramelizing sugar and milk, results in a spreadable brownish cream that is traditionally named Dulce de Leche). FBA Â– The idea of filling the pancakes with this traditional cream results in a rather pleasant and very sweet experience. I firstly mistook the taste for honey, and then realized that it was more like something between condensed milk and golden syrup. If you have a sweet tooth this is definitely recommended.
Team Score Â– 10/10
Dulce de Leche Mousse
Served in a glass cocktail type cup and decorated with an orange slice. FBA Â– Only after tasting it I realised that it was and unusual kind of mousse. In fact I even asked my partner if she thought it had honey mixed with it. It was the Dulce de Leche that made each spoonful taste even better than the previous. If you are on a diet do not even try this because you will not be able to stop until it is all gone.
Team Score Â– 10/10
At this point we were offered a couple of Chupitos on the house.
Paseo translates into promenade and the promenade by the sea in Sabinillas is a very nice location. Although there are other Argentinean restaurants elsewhere on the Costa del Sol, I canÂ’t think of one that has such a wonderful view with the added bonus that the prices are quite competitive compared to other similar Argentineans restaurants elsewhere. Perhaps I am rather fond of a good and well prepared beef steak, but I really do think this restaurant is difficult to fault.