I've always admired Murray House, the colonnaded nineteenth-century building looking out into the bay in Stanley and thought that the restaurants with their cute old-fashioned ceiling fans would be a good bet for a lazy weekend lunch. With the sun shining far too much for a spot of sangria not to be an option, a couple of us decided to try Mijas, a Spanish restaurant, with perhaps the prime spot in Murray House. It occupies the sea-facing corner and has a beautiful wide, covered balcony with both normal tables and those low-rise sofa tables designed specifically so you will never get up again - perfect for our lazy lunch!
With such a location, Mijas has everything going for it and I was therefore totally gutted about how boring the food was. It wasn't bad as such, it was just seriously bland - to the point where I am nearly falling asleep thinking about it.
Realising that we were loosing the battle to ever stand up again once sat down in the sofa table area, we decided that tapas and sangria would be the way forward. And, in all fairness, the sangria was quite good but then, seriously, how far wrong can you go with sangria? The menu looked good, covering all the classic dishes that I could remember and a couple more with a bit of a "creative twist". All looking good - great view, comfy sofas, glorious sunshine and a glass of sangria in my hand. What a tragedy then that the meal fell flat when the uber-dull tapas arrived. The crisp-fried calamari with pepper and wasabi hollandaise sounded fantastic but the thick hollandaise dipping sauce was pretty tasteless. Equally the patatas bravas lacked any semblance of spiciness whatsoever which is somewhat ironic when the name translates into English as "fierce potatoes"!
Things didn't look up when the meatballs in tomato sauce arrived - indeed, they'd used the same sauce as for the patatas bravas and so it was ok but not very exciting. The classic boquerones tapas dish had hit something of a budget cut and consisted of both white anchovies and the salty brown tinned ones. None of the other dishes - the grilled chorizo with arugula and asparagus and the tomato salad - were inspiring either. There was nothing particularly wrong with them - I mean, don't get me wrong, we found it in ourselves to eat it all - but they just weren't right.
While the company, weather and location made the experience an enjoyable one, I left with the distinct impression that any Spaniard who had previously been involved in the recipe design or cooking process was long gone. Still, nice view....
Mijas Spanish Restaurant
Shop 102, Murray House