Don't you just hate it when you discover a great restaurant that consistently delivers a good meal only for it to move location? Sometimes many miles away.
I used a recent visit to the popular town of Nerja to catch up with Kevin and Alix who used to run a popular haunt at La Herradura on the Costa Tropical. Distance prevented me going to that restaurant often enough. But i loved it and had told friends to go there.
No sooner had I done that than Kevin and Alix upped sticks and moved further west and to Nerja along the Costa del Sol. Even further away from me. They took over a hostal and restaurant called El Avalon. The place had been allowed to run down and become a little sad but the couple saw the potential for the place. All it needed was some tending loving care, good management and a talented team in the kitchen.
The setting was already there. Now Kevin and Alix have transformed El Avalon and the big terrace operates as a splendid outdoor restaurant with superb sea views. The hostal has a few well maintained rooms and this is an ideal location for those wishing to be close to all the amenities of Nerja, but sleep peacefully on the outskirts of the town. The coastline close to El Avalon is dramatic and the magnificent city of Malaga is not far away.
But it is the food that attracts me. Kevin is what I call a "cook it and they will come" type of chef. He goes out of his way to give his customers what they want. He is now doing so in what is well known as an international destination. But keeping all customers satisfied can be tricky.
You have to keep the Spanish happy as they know what they like and can be resistant to change. Then you have to attend to the needs of families from the UK or France or Germany. And we all know their tastes are not the same.
It is not a crime (punishable by having to eat only Migas for life) for a chef to serve food that is not traditionally Spanish. Not when you can serve up a superb homemade burger of the quality cooked up by Kevin and his helpful kitchen staff.
To have a refreshing pudding called Lemon and Ginger cheesecake is to be celebrated for its creativity. Too often the sweet menu at restaurants in Spain lacks imagination. That is not the case at El Avalon.
If you are reading this site it is because, like me, you love Spanish food. But it is not a sin to want to try different tastes while living or holidaying in Spain. It is great that there are chefs serving up Thai food, French food or other international cuisine.
Head chef Kevin trained under the Roux Brothers at their famous Waterside restaurant in the UK. He has worked in Thailand, Australia and France. So he brings a fresh and multi cultural input to cooking in Spain.
At Avalon you might come across crispy fried squid rings but served with an Asian salad and a sweet chilli sauce. And that is just for starters. I enjoyed a Thai green curry that was subtle and a world away from the mass produced version of this meal.
Alix is very proud of her fledgling vegetable patch and the contents of many a dish hails from just outside the kitchen door. They use home grown Spanish ingredients such as peppers and herbs to enhance dishes from across the globe.
People come to Spain from all over the world to taste the food. At El Avalon in Nerja some of the finest dishes served around the world can be found in one lovely location.
El Avalon Hostal & Restaurante
Tlf: 952 520 698
Movil: 697 880 720
E:Mail [email protected]
Urb. Punta Lara, Nerja (N340), Málaga, España