We’d clocked this place when we were wandering along the “Geranium Walk” and thought it would be good for a bit of a special foody treat. Situated in the grounds of the Jardin Tropical Hotel, it looked smart and its menu seemed a million miles away from the run of the mill touristy restaurants in the area. And we don’t mind spending big money on a great meal – dinner last year at Alain Roux’s Michelin 3 star Waterside Inn at Bray was over £150 a head. That was worth every penny. The El Patio is much cheaper, of course, but it isn’t as good value, unfortunately.
There wasn’t much of a welcome. In fact , there was nothing of a welcome. We were ignored by four members of staff at the entrance and it was only on button-holing one that the reservation book was checked for us and we were shown to a table. Not a great start to what the restaurant’s advertising describes as a “special luxurious evening”.
There was a good choice of bread on offer. And the freebie soup was an absolute belter – a light seafood broth with finely diced king prawns, peppers and mushrooms. Unfortunately, the food was downhill from there onwards. Lobster salad was described as coming with mini organic lettuce and a seaweed vinaigrette. Certainly there were some chunks of lobster but the organic lettuce was nothing more than some mixed leaves that may easily have come from a supermarket pack. The vinaigrette seemed nothing more than a normal vinaigrette – but there was some battered, deep fried greasy pieces of seaweed. It was something of a disappointment, as was the salmon salad, described as coming with “dilled Canarian cheese”. Well, it was some pieces of smoked salmon, wrapped around a tasteless mousse – much in the fashion that the supermarkets sell packs of “party food” at Christmas – and some of the salad leaves.
My main wasn’t too bad - a decent portion of monkfish, albeit somewhat overcooked. Also on the plate, a few cockles, a scattering of tiny vegetables, couple of tomatoes and a decent fishy/winey sauce. My partner’s plate was also better than OK, as far as it went. Sea bass, with a salt crust, with a lemon, wine and pine nut sauce. But no veg; no carb. The sort of plate that makes you wonder about getting a bag of chips on the way home.
Perhaps needless to say, we didn’t trouble them with dessert.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.