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“Horrid, horrid, horrid, horrid. Terrible service. Awful food. Avoid.” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of La Fontanilla

La Fontanilla
Price range: $13 - $26
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view, Business meetings, Kids, Families with children, Local cuisine, Romantic, Special occasions, Large groups
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: The Restaurant proposes the traditional cuisine of the region, based on fresh local sea-food.Fresh dishes and in particular the speciality of the house – Urta a la Fontanilla.Being situated right on the beach makes La Fontanilla an ideal place to sit in the sun during the day, or to see the wonderful sunsets while enjoying its specialities.
Solihull
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Horrid, horrid, horrid, horrid. Terrible service. Awful food. Avoid.”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 17, 2013

Unfortunately, it is not possible to vote zero so I had to click one.

We had a wonderful week in Roche, Conil de la Frontera, in October/November. We spent a few fabulous days at the beach right in front of La Fontanilla and, after checking the reviews on Tripadvisor, promised ourselves we would save some money to eat at La Fontanilla on our last day. We were so excited as we adore fish and we had read such good things about this restaurant. However, we were all bitterly disappointed and we left feeling somewhat cheated.

As this was possibly the worst place I have ever eaten, I feel quite upset writing this review.

Right from the first second we walked in, we were treated with at worst contempt and at best complete disinterest. Throughout our entire visit, I managed to get one tiny smile from one of the waiters. That was it. No single other member of staff could even be bothered to twitch the corners of their mouths. Most could hardly bear to even make eye contact. I guess I should have got up and walked out then but I wanted to give them a chance. Mistake.

The 'head' waiter stood next to the door and looked down his nose at us. Another waiter was stood chatting and laughing with a group of Spanish people at a table near the window. He saw us, sighed and pointed to an empty table where we were supposed to sit. We sat down and another waiter came over with a normal chair but with longer legs, we assumed it was a 'highchair' for our 22 month old daughter but, as this kind of chair is actually more unsafe than the normal, low chairs that us adults were sitting on, we politely declined. In Spanish. Whilst smiling. We were given a dirty look and a toss of the head and the waiter took the chair away. Another missed opportunity for us to walk out.

We all sat down next to the window. Another waiter came to take our order after a good few minutes. We ordered prawns sizzling in garlic and chilli to start and paella mixta for the adults' main course. For the children, we ordered chicken fillets. In Spanish. Whilst smiling. Were we treated with a smile back? Nope.

In fact, the waiter barely even looked at us. He constantly looked around the room and behind him while we were giving our order and even yawned as he wrote it down. He looked thoroughly bored and, quite frankly, disgusted by us. He snapped his notebook closed and strode off before we could even order drinks.

Some 25-30 minutes later, our starters arrived. Plonked onto the table by yet another surly waiter. (Our children were getting so hungry by this point that we had been feeding them the breadsticks that were on the table. This kept them quite for a while, which was fortunate as I fear we would have all been shot if they had started to complain or cry.) We politely asked for some water as we were all parched by this point and a coke for our eldest son (20). In Spanish. With a smile. Guess if we received a smile in return.

The prawns were awful. 80% of them still contained the thick, black line down their backs and they all tasted like frozen and defrosted prawns. Very disappointing.

Another stony-faced waiter came to clear the starters after about half an hour. Again, no eye contact. Again, no smile.

Somebody brought some water to our table and almost tossed it down, whilst looking out the window at the sea. No eye contact. No smile. No coke.

After trying to attract the attention of 3 different waiters, who were all extremely busy looking out the window or flicking imaginary fluff off their shirts, we managed to ask again for our missing glass of coke. A grunt and a toss of the head was the response but, you guessed it, no eye contact and no smile.

Another disinterested waiter brought over our paella mixta. Ten minutes later, a glass of coke is plonked onto our table. The paella was possibly the worst paella I've ever tasted, and I've had several. The seafood was overcooked, the meat was chewy and fatty and the rice was soggy and bland.

The children's chicken was very, very overcooked, dry and chewy. They had great trouble eating it. The chicken came with fries, which were somehow dry yet soaked in oil. It was a good job they had eaten plenty of bread and breadsticks beforehand.

As soon as the children had eaten all they could muster, we asked for the bill (in Spanish), paid and left, leaving half the paella behind. Pointlessly, I smiled and thanked the waiter stood nearby as we walked past him on our way out. Guess what I received in return.

On our way out, we passed an older gentleman who was just leaving the kitchen. He smiled at us as our children stopped to look at the parrots and budgies kept in cages in the foyer. Yes, he smiled. He really did smile! I should have taken a photo...

Disappointed, despondent and hungry, we returned to our car, almost in tears. Well, I was almost in tears anyway. I really don't think I have ever eaten in such a horrible place, ever. I will never, ever return. Please don't eat here. Spend your money elsewhere. Unless you particularly enjoy being treated like you're Adolf Hitler covered in cow dung.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank amazon_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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904 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
Chiclana de la Frontera, Spain
Level Contributor
27 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Didn't stay to eat”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 15, 2013 via mobile

Absolutely beautiful location. Even in mid November, the sun shone and the sea glistened. We ordered our drinks no problem. It took ages for waitress to come back (it was very quiet). We explained that we wanted menu del dia and she just wondered off. it was like we werent welcome! then later waiter came over and showed us what it was but by that time we had lost interest in the service, paid for our drinks and left. Well, they lost out on 100€ plus through their poor service.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank south-coast-beth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield
Level Contributor
172 reviews
79 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
“Food didn't match the view”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 2, 2013 via mobile

Went here after recommendations. The shrimp fritter was greasy compared to others we have had, the baked cod was virtually raw, the desserts were all preprepared bought in things. One of the worst meals encountered on this visit - and yes the sunset is glorious. Maybe we were just unlucky.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Uppermilden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
“Lunch at the beach!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2013

Incredibly popular with locals and with good reason!.... Booking a table is def a wise move....

Super fresh fish, paella to die for and a lovely cold white wine!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank MatiasLM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windsor and Maidenhead, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
248 reviews
152 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 175 helpful votes
“What more do you want?”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 31, 2013

On the beach (but with plenty of parking), great fish ( a whole lenquada ), fine wines ( Rioja by Ramon de Bilbao) and fair prices make for a busy buzzy place. Add in the company of family and friends, a beautiful sunset and you have all you want in a good Spanish restaurant. Nothing found wanting... which means in my opinion, which after all is what Trip Advisor is all about, this restaurant should be much higher up the list. La Fontanilla provided the perfect last meal of a great Conil holiday and that's all I wanted. What more do you want?

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank TJA44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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