OH what a glorious location for lunch!
Down on ‘undiscovered’ Queensway Quay, this is one of the true dining secrets of Gibraltar.
A privileged world away from the deluge of tourists on Main Street, The Landings is an elegant and relaxed place to have lunch or supper.
You sit at a clean raffia table, stylishly set, overlooking some of the Rock’s most upmarket yachts, including one – Maghreb V owned by Russia’s fifth richest man.
Said to be a regular – as is Gibraltar’s new Chief Minister Fabian Picardo – he no doubt enjoys the Russian salad, served with a salmonette roulade with pearl caviar. I certainly did.
The menu is also appropriately grand, with a superb mix of exciting dishes and plenty of adventurous cuisine.
The homemade terrine of duck and foie with pistachio nuts and bacon particularly grabbed me, as did the fresh sushi of the day for just £8.95.
But I was most surprised to see a few Jamaican chesnuts making an appearance, including Jerk pork and chicken with Jamaican ‘herb festival’ cake.
It all made perfect sense when chef Patrick Rogers sat down. The friendly Jamaican, who trained for five years under Anton Edelman at London’s Savoy, has cooked around the world and most recently at the Secrets Resort and Spa in Jamaica.
He turned up here completely by accident and offered his services to the owner Ann Hudson, who luckily gave him a go. And what a result she has had.
“We make all our food from scratch and I am building up a good team here,” he explains.
Another excellent waterfront venue is Ipanema, a Brazilian-style eaterie, run by amiable owners Danny Breeze from Kent and wife Marianna from Slovakia.
A great place to order a classic Caipirinha cocktail, it is also extremely popular for its Brazilian style of serving meat via the ‘pasador’.
A fun way to be served, the pasadors come around to your table with swords laden with tasty dishes.
For just £10.95 you have a choice of nine different meats, as much salad as you can eat, pastas and even stroganoff and various vegetarian dishes.
“We get packed at weekends and evenings and best of all around 90 per cent of our business is local,” explains Danny, who is a livewire, full of ideas.
“We get a lot of weddings and somehow manage to pack in around 180 people in here… There is certainly no shortage of atmosphere.”
Stylemeisters need to head to Fifty-five, which sits in a terrific position at the top of Main Street, near Marks & Spencer.
This beautiful restaurant is easily the most elegant in Gibraltar, with real panache and swagger.
You walk into the restaurant via a copper tunnel and are then struck with a captivating image of Botticelli’s Venus at the far end.
Fortunately the food is as interesting as the design with a menu that changes every month, chosen by Australian chef, Scott Casey.
The set lunch included a very generous portion of chicken liver pate, roasted baby carrot and coriander soup or grilled mushrooms to start.
For main I opted for the delicious baked salmon in a tangy lemon butter served with crushed new potatoes with bacon bits.
There was also an impressive wine list on offer including a fabulous Nuit St George, a Gigondas from the Cote de Rhone and for those that want to splash out Cristal champagne for a cool £300 a bottle.
If it is light bites you are after, or by far the best coffee and cakes, look out for Sacarellos.
This charming, former coffee warehouse, has been going since 1817, and is famous for roasting and blending its own coffees.
“I grew into the business,” says current manager Patrick Sacarello, whose great-grandfather Bartholomew founded the business in 1888.
“Although I studied in London, I ended up coming back to coffee because it’s such a beautiful business,” says the 61-year-old.
And with nine nieces and nephews, Patrick is hopeful the Sacarello heredity will continue going strong.
Also extremely popular is the superb located Café Solo on Casemates Square, which has a terrace, almost always full at lunchtimes.
You sit with wonderful views of the Rock and watch the world go by as you eat a great range of dishes and specials of the day.
Italian in style, you will find a mix of salads, pastas and pizzas and all at terrific value.
Finally it is worth checking out Verdi Verdi for healthy home-produced dishes, including felafel and hummus.
Run by friendly Israeli Idan you can’t fail to find what you are after and he serves a mean coffee, in his worlds ‘by far the best in Gibraltar’.
Finally, a special mention must certainly go to fantastic Waterfront restaurant, which under the stewardship of Tim Turner has been going for 15 years and is popular with the locals.
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