I’ll start this post by making a very bold statement – If you’re in Nerja, you simply cannot not go here. In other words, you would be crazy to miss out on the experience of dining at Restaurant 34. And that’s exactly what it is – an experience. From the second you step into Restaurant 34, you know that you are in a place of sheer luxury. No matter how many times I have been here, each time I am still taken back by it’s decadence and opulence. Nerja has no shortage of beautiful restaurants from quaint, authentic tapas bars to more modernised ones but this place tops them all, every single time. Having been here before and coming on holidays with another nine ladies, I just knew I had to bring them here. I was so sure that they would love it as much as me that I went ahead and booked the restaurant three months in advance.
The restaurant and bar are located on the first two floors of the equally gorgeous Hotel Carabeo. I have never had the pleasure of staying there but it is definitely one for the bucketlist. I can only imagine the rooms are as dreamy and lavish as the rest of the hotel. With a reception and lobby like the photos above, how could they not be?
Through the restaurant and beyond, you will make your way out to their beautiful gardens and terrace. Arched hedges lead you out to the plush terrace where you will find the pool and seating area. Beyond that is a balcony that looks straight out onto the Mediterranean Ocean, a view so enviable it is almost as breathtaking as the Balcon de Europa itself.
We were seated and served by our waiter, Simon. We couldn’t commend him enough, he was helpful, knowledgeable and funny but at the same time, let us enjoy ourselves without fussing or hovering over us too much. He was also well able for us which is quite the task seeing as we were a table of ten, cackling, wine “infused” women. Saying that it’s “no small task” is actually the understatement of the year!!
As for the food, well words will never do it justice. A few of my friends said that it was by far the best meal they have EVER had. So if that doesn’t tell you how good it is, I don’t know what will. Between the ten of us, we probably had a taste of everything on the menu and each of us was as impressed as the next. I went for the appetiser special of the day which was a smoked salmon blini with cream cheese and caviar. For main, I seriously struggled to choose between the suckling pig and the leg of milk-fed, baby lamb. I decided on the lamb and was not disappointed. It was genuinely out of this world. It is the only restaurant that I have ever been to where they put the entire leg of lamb down in front of you. Granted it’s a baby lamb but nonetheless it’s still more than impressive. The meat fell apart from the bone which such ease that you can see why you need to order it a day in advance as it had to have been slowly cooked all day. It was succulent, juicy and filled with flavour, served with potato rostis and roasted vegetables. Other dishes that looked delicious included the beetroot & goat’s cheese tartlet , the scallops, the thinly sliced cured beef and the roast suckling pig.
It should also be noted that one of my fellow diners has numerous severe allergies which can often prove to make going out for dinner difficult, especially when in a foreign country. Simon, again went above and beyond to talk through the menu with her and ensure she got exactly what she wanted. It’s the gestures like this that really add to the experience and make it exactly what it is.
Jumpsuit – Here ( Less than €30)
Due to our cackling laugh and not so subtle accent, it wasn’t long before our waiter asked where in Ireland we were from. He then went on to tell us the owners wife was also from Galway. The world really is a small place. We finished off our meal with some of the best espresso martinis I’ve ever tasted. We were about to ask for the “la cuenta” when the waiters came down with two bottles of pink champagne, courtesy of us being fellow Galway girls. To put it short, we were delighted with ourselves.
We had ate and drank everything in sight when we decided it was probably time to move on. Making our way towards the door, we were invited into the hotel’s bar and well it would have been rude to have said no? We’re Irish after all. In there we chatted with the owner, the waiter, their gorgeous wives and enjoyed a few g&t’s. The perfect ending to the most perfect night!
From start to finish everything about the experience of 34 is utterly amazing. I’m already keeping an eye on cheap flights for summer, mainly so I can make my next return to here.
It is without a doubt, my favourite restaurant ever.