Wednesday 21 January 2015

Meson Tío Blas, Arroyo de Miel, Benalmádena: a Review

[Image description: toasting at table]

What does one do of a Wednesday evening in a fishing town? Correct: one seeks out the best fish restaurant the town has to offer - well according to one’ s local chums! Oddly, this eatery is not in or around the world-class marina & port of Benalmádena; nor on the front by the splendid beaches; but rather in the commercial district, better known as Arroyo de la Miel. The name is Meson Tío Blas, or Tío Blas for short (which is how it is known on Tripadvisor). It can be found at number 3 on Calle Poleo. It is a short walk from the local train-station or the centre of arroyo if taking the ‘bus or car. As far as I know it does not have its own website, so here is the local telephone number for making enquiries and reservations: 952-44-14-33.

My friends and I arrived at exactly the same time as a separate party, but the eponymous owner ensured all were personally greeted and led to table. Blas is unassuming and, rare for a restaurateur, a tad shy, which to some might come across as surliness; but mention your appreciation of the food cooked by his own fair hand and his mien breaks into a smile.

For starters our quartet shared a large platter of the house salad (ensalada de la casa, grande, @ €6), an assemblage of: grated carrot; grated (fresh & sweet) beetroot; lettuce; tomato; tuna and onion. Not a scrap was left. For mains, two of the party opted for cod served with a cheese sauce (bacalao con queso @ €10). We all sampled. The two that ordered were delighted with their selection; but for me the cheese over-powered the flavour of the delicately cooked cod steaks, although the dish as a whole was deliciously light and creamy in texture. My Spanish friend, Ana, is - surprisingly for this part of Spain - no fan of cod, only consuming it when in Cuba. However, knowing the reputation of Blas, she plunged for the bacalao a la plancha (@ €6). She devoured it whilst reminiscing about her Cuban holidays. I opted for my favourite Andalusian fish-dish, jibia frita (@ €6.75), that is deep-fried cuttlefish. I wolfed it down as fast as etiquette and conversation would permit!

[Image description: empty plates, a tell-tale sign of a good meal]

No-one had room for desert, we were so full. However, we did succeed in swallowing two bottles of semi-seco, medium-dry, Freixenet Cava (@ €14).

The total bill came to under €72 for two courses each and the equivalent of half-a-bottle of sparkling wine apiece. Including tip this worked out at €20 per head. A bargain!

Totally recommend. %P

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