Almost as old as the marina itself, with over 30 years in business Flanigan’s qualifies as the most established amongst Puerto Portals‘ collection of upmarket eateries. Spanish royalty are regulars – owner Miguel Arias is chummy with former king Juan Carlos I – which has certainly helped keep this dining landmark on the map. But does its food still merit the royal seal of approval?
Despite the covered terrace overlooking glistening rows of yachts, the immediate surroundings were surprisingly spare, comprising little beyond simply-dressed wooden tables on bare floorboards. As well as the luxury moorings, our marina-side seats provided pleasant views over the water and a wide swathe of blue sky.
Appetisers first appeared in the form of a pair of fresh zingy tapenade, trailed by a generous plate of jamón ibérico and side of pan cristal. The acorn-fed, pure-bred Iberian ham was so finely sliced to almost be translucent and exemplary in flavour; the bread too was a perfect balance of olive oil, fresh tomato and light crispy dough.
The restaurant prides itself on its seafood, and next was the ‘entremes del mar’ – a collection of bitesize morsels from the deep. The standouts were the skewered prawns – juicy, plump and delicious – while the battered squid and hunks of hake tasted market fresh. Only the cuttlefish croquettes, while tasty, were a little on the stodgy side.
Next up was white bean with artichoke, a comforting stew that was a hearty combination of salty and creamy flavours, and one of the few veggie-friendly dishes on the menu. Also rich and filling was the clawed lobster ‘Pelao’ with potatoes and fried egg. The flesh was meaty, tender and delicious, with just a note of the sea, while thinly-cut spuds were unapologetically heavy on the oil.
They say you can’t leave without trying their famous apple tart, so of course we didn’t. It is so popular, they’ve had to enforce the rule that you can only order it as part of a meal. And weren’t disappointed: light buttery pastry topped with sweet, wafer-thin apple and a dusting of icing sugar. A sublime finish.
After the meal we had a stroll around the sizeable restaurant. Inside, vintage naval flotsam, junk-shop curios, and faded maritime prints characterised the bar, more in keeping with the feel of a traditional Irish pub that the name Flanigan evokes.
Reflecting on the experience, the prices were spendy but without the extra flourishes usually employed to justify them. No showy presentation, foam and smoke, no gastronomic theatrics. Just unpretentious, expertly cooked, top-quality ingredients served by friendly and professional staff. And, sure enough, fit for a king.
Why eat here?
Unfussy, flavourful dishes cooked with quality ingredients accompanied by marina views and relaxed atmosphere.
More about Flanigan
Flanigan is a renowned and well-established restaurant serving traditional Spanish cooking overlooking the Puerto Portals marina. […] Flanigan Restaurant