Aroma Restaurant, Fish Alley, Fuengirola

I have been a fan of Mel Brooks for years. Adored him in ‘High Anxiety’ and ‘Blazing Saddles’.

So when he and his friend Jenny phoned to say they were on holiday in Spain and had enjoyed my last write up I thought what a good idea to invite them both out on my next review.

I am also a fan of John Kelly’s Aroma Restaurant in Fish Alley in Fuengirola. Regular readers of this column will know I have been there a few times now. Always memorable. Let’s hope the standards are as high as ever while we entertain Hollywood.

Fish Alley was buzzing, many restaurants boasting full tables as al fresco diners took advantage of the wonderful end of summer weather. Everywhere I looked there was a plethora of plates of colourful food, all looking jolly delicious.

We entered Aroma, and familiar feelings of sumptuous luxury swept over us. Elegant high backed black leather chairs, gorgeous decorations and tables laid up with linen tablecloths and quality glasses. Somehow I knew we were in for another treat. Mel’s friend Jenny commented immediately how beautiful the place was.

We settled in, and the place started to fill up quite quickly. John Kelly, always the consummate professional, came over and asked what we would like to drink. Barrie and I each chose a vodka and tonic. Always important to get that right in the Bazz’s company! He also asked for a bottle of the house white. Always important to get that right in my company.

Mel asked for a Cointreau. The house white was a Marques de Caceres 2010, an excellent selection for a house wine and of unusually high quality for a house. The wine was served by Sophie very cold, quite perfect.

The menu at Aroma is exceptional, a massive selection of mouth-watering choices. John told us about some specials. Knuckle of pork with an apple sauce. And the old retro-theme coming back in vogue, Coquilles St Jacques – with the possibility of having this served with either scallop or prawn.

I opted for an old fashioned prawn cocktail.  “It doesn’t come in a glass” John informed me – Barrie chose duck spring roll, while Jenny went for the Coquilles St Jacques with prawns.

Meanwhile Mel, having polished off his Cointreau decided to try the Coquilles St Jacques with scallop. While we were waiting for the starters chef sent out a scallop with foie and a touch of Asiatic sauce. Very delicious and totally unexpected. Then when the starters arrived we were all overwhelmed by the size of the portions and the presentation which was quite simply fabulous.

Chef had designed his work brilliantly, and each dish arrived on a different shaped plate. Very impressive. Barrie described his duck spring rolls as sensational. The Coquilles St Jacques got the thumbs up from the US, while I adored my prawn cocktail served on a plate, with a light Marie Rose sauce and avocado and salad.

For the mains Jenny chose Monkfish sole and prawn Thermidor served with creamy mash potato, while Mel went for the roasted baby leg of lamb. Barrie chose the rib eye steak served with obligatory chips and I opted for an ostrich steak served with Roquefort sauce.

Meanwhile I ordered a bottle of the house red. An Ebeia de Portia arrived, a 2009. This was an exceptional choice, a dark-red cherry wine with a powerful fresh fruit expression and a powerful palate. I looked it up in Penin, the wine bible, and it scores an impressive 88. At €18 a bottle, worth every penny.

Then the main courses were delivered. Again enormous portions, beautifully presented and of extremely high quality. Mel’s roasted baby leg of lamb was huge. And once he got stuck in, it was also delicious.

That kept him quiet for a quarter of an hour! Jenny loved her monkfish and Barrie’s rib eye was also sensational. Barrie always maintains that you can judge a good restaurant on its chips.

Aroma’s were perfect. I know, I scoffed most of them! My Ostrich steak was delicious, cooked to perfection. This is an interesting meat, one I used to enjoy in South Africa. No cholesterol apparently. All the mains came with a terrific selection of vegetables – carrots, leaks, mint pea on marrow. Unusual in Spain.

Photo time. Dining on a table near the bar were two beautiful girls from Ireland. Leon and Deirdre. See you next trip to Dublin!  And just to keep the record straight Mel Brooks is actually my old buddy Stuart Landau from Brighton. He is an exceptional sports advisor and his selections will be appearing shortly on Bet Fun. Follow him if you want to make money on Rugby league fixtures!

We were so full we passed on pudding! Aroma has, if anything improved since my last visit and both I and my guests thoroughly enjoyedthemselves.

Congratulations to John Kelly and his team for maintaining such high standards. This is Marbella dining, in beautiful surroundings, at Fuengirola prices. Highly recommended.

Aroma Restaurant, Fish Alley, Fuengirola 952 665 502



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