THE sun beating down, the water lapping in the harbour, and Sunday lunch at Alberts….
That has been the scenario in Puerto Cabopino for more years than most can remember.
Alberts Bar & Grill is without a doubt a Costa del Sol institution and it easy to see why.
From the moment you enter you are greeted by the friendly, smart staff who show you to one of their terrace tables overlooking (indeed just a few metres away from) the yachts and boats in the pleasure harbour. It is truly an idyllic spot to dine anytime of the week, but there is something special about Sunday lunch.
Alberts knows what the perfect Sunday lunch should be - great food and great views all in a relaxed setting. To achieve that the efficient staff are attentive without being overbearingly in your face, whilst the live music is pitched at just the right level to keep customers entertained without stifling conversation.
The service, ambience and setting all combine to make the perfect spot for a meal, but of course that would all be for nought if the food was not up to scratch. But that is not a problem at Alberts, the food is excellent. The Sunday lunch menu is varied and has something for everyone. You can choose between one, two or three courses, with the prices starting from €14.95, and each dish is cooked with the care and attention people have come to expect from Alberts.
I took my hungry children to sample the food, and they came away happy, well fed, and definitely full up - the good sized portions more than enough even for teenage boys who could eat for England.
The prawn and avocado salad was superb with plenty of juicy prawns and no shortage of avocados, whilst my salt and pepper squid was beautifully cooked with a light crispy coating and tenderpieces of squid. My eldest’s deep fried brie was just as it should be - crispy on the outside, melting inside and served with a delicious rhubarb chutney with just the right balance between sweetness and tartness.
Also on offer were pork spring rolls, home-made soup of the day and salads, either Alberts own, or chicken Caesar salad.
Moving onto the main courses and I went for the stuffed shoulder of lamb. To my mind the shoulder is the tastiest cut, and so it proved in this case. It was deliciously tender, without being greasy and served with a selection of beautifully cooked fresh vegetables. Presentation was spot on too, with every plate being a treat for the eyes.
The roasted entrecote of beef, served of course with Yorkshire pudding, was tender and juicy and served rare, medium or well done, and there was plenty of it, while my second son went for the fish of the day, in this case salmon, which was again perfectly cooked with a delicious sauce and boiled new potatoes.
The home-made pie of the day - cottage pie last Sunday - roast pork and free range chicken were also tempting, perhaps to try on another day. Alberts make a feature of the roasts, with the meat carved to order by the chef on the large terrace.
Then to finish off I went for the Baileys, croissant and butter pudding which was a delicious twist on a traditional dessert. The crème brulee was perfectly caramelised and the orange parfait with chocolate sauce was another star turn.
It is easy to see why Alberts has become an institution and with the food, service and ambience on offer it will long continue to be so.