Dining Out – Jompra Restaurant/Bar – Albufeira – Algarve – Portugal
The grand sweeping staircase and the huge over – sized plate adorning the front of the restaurant is what caught our eye to begin with. I was on my way to Vilamoura and happened to spot the two prominent features from the car as I drove past so we decided to check out the restaurant that very same evening. We were staying in a villa just a few minutes away in Gale so it was very convenient. We were greeted at the door with plenty of smiles and taken to our table inside the restaurant but there was a large terrace outside for those warm summer evenings.
The waiting staff were excellent giving our group plenty of time to choose from the extensive menu but on hand to help with any questions we might have had about the food choices available. The interior of the restaurant was pleasant with a feel of the rural countryside despite being close to the coast and major resorts. Dark wooden doors and light coloured curtains framed the terrace and what looked like local artist`s work was hung around the walls.
Rather than choose from the starter menu we opted for the couvert. In Portugal the custom is that these items are brought to your table as a convenience so you don’t have to order them but you still have to pay for them if you eat them. It typically consists of small plates of olives and bread. Our couvert included homemade Tuna pate, marinated Feta cheese and carrots alongside the olives and bread. We also ordered a plate of garlic bread. It cost us €7.50 (£6.42) for four people to enjoy the tasty appetiser. The garlic bread with aromatic herbs cost €2.80 (£2.40)
There were seven starters to choose from on the menu which included Baked goat’s cheese on toast drizzled with Honey, Sautéed Prawns with Mango, Orange and Coriander and Scallops with `Thermidor` cream, mustard baked with Parmesan cheese. There were also three tasty sounding soups on offer including Roasted Tomato Soup seasoned with Vodka cream all for less than €5 (£4.50).
Choosing the main meal was much more difficult! Six fish dishes, seven meat choices and three vegetarian options as well as a good selection on the children`s menu.
I chose to dine on the loin of lamb with a red pepper sauce and a touch of Jack Daniel`s Bourbon served with Broccoli and potato. It looked great and tasted even better than it looked! The lamb was cooked perfectly showing a little pink in the centre and the sauce complimented the meat and vegetables perfectly. I could even pick out the dash of bourbon amongst the flavours. Bravo!
My wife loves fish so she chose the Salmon Fillet in Puff Pastry served on a bed of Spinach leaves and delicate Prawns. She commented that the pastry was wonderfully flaky and the Salmon almost melted in her mouth! She also said that the flavours were amazing and the food was presented and cooked perfectly. My two other guests chose the same meals as my partner and I. All of the ingredients were fresh, local and of the best quality in all of the meals.
The waiting staff appeared to have been trained to the highest standards always attentive when they needed to be but never once disturbing our enjoyment of the meal. The chef also made an appearance at the end of the meal strolling around all of the tables taking an interest in what the customers thought of their meals and chatting amiably with regular customers.
After such a lovely meal we almost decided to pass on the desserts but with a choice of eight delights staring back at us I finished off a wonderful evening and meal with Almond Pie served with Homemade Prickly Pear Ice Cream and my wife went for the Portuguese Brownie with Homemade White Chocolate Ice Cream and a sauce of Wild Berries. The rest of our group selected Danish Cup Vanilla Ice Cream with Hot Chocolate and a stunning piece of Cheese Cake with White Chocolate and Raspberry Sauce. Both were delightful.
I had not seen a Prickly Pear since I was in Turkey over twenty years ago so I was keen to taste what the Homemade Prickly Pear Ice Cream tasted like. As usual we tasted a spoonful of each other`s Desserts and we had no complaints savouring the sweet tastes of Nuts, Ice Cream and Wild Berries.The sweets were to die for!
A complimentary after drink of either Port or Peach Vodka was provided alongside the final bill which came to €109.00 (£93.35) which included couvert, main meals, wine, lager and desserts.
We have visited this area of the Algarve once or twice in the past six years but this has to be one of the best restaurants we have had the pleasure of eating at during that time. If you are visiting Gale, Albufeira or Vilamoura and want to drive out for a special meal I would thoroughly recommend Jompra Restaurant for a visit.
You will not be disappointed.
The Travel Locker
Homemade Tuna Pate. Marinated Feta Cheese, Olives and Carrots €2.50 x 3 = €7.50
Meat: (1) Lamb Tenderloin Jack Daniel`s with red peppers sauce and a touch of whisky served on a bed of sautéed potatoes with vegetables. €16.90
Fish: (2) Salmon Fillet in Puff Pastry on Leaf Spinach and Prawn €13.50
Dessert: (1) Almond Pie served with Homemade Prickly Pear Ice Cream €4.50
Dessert: (2) Brownie with Homemade White Chocolate Ice Cream and sauce of Wild Berries €5.00
Wine: Douro 4U Blended Red Douro – pairs with beef dishes and mature/hard cheeses €14.50
Total: €109.00 (£93.35) Four Guests
Estrada do Castelo N,
T: +351 289 591 007
T: +351 960 289 969
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