If you have been following my food adventures over the past 20 years or so you will know I am a big fan of chefs tasting menus. Usually 8-22 courses of small creative bites that always inspire new combinations of flavors and ingredients for my home cooking. We have been to Sunset Beach Restaurant twice and we have always ordered off their regular menu so when I received a notification they were doing a special Sunday tasting menu I wasted no time in downloading the PDF and checking it out to see what they were offering.

One nice thing about a tasting menu is that there are little to no decisions to be made. I enjoy walking into a restaurant, sitting down and allowing the kitchen to send me out a new surprise over the course of a few hours until I am lying in a puddle of a gastronomic coma. Lets begin.

The Appetizer – First we were offered a bread plate, no photos sorry, and we each chose the walnut bread, a bit sweet and very moist. Soon the appetizer came. Our server described it as watermelon, goat cheese, toasted hazlenuts, pesto and cream. Alongside was a cup of lobster bisque. It was a good representation of the food journey that was to come.

Appetizer plate

Course 1 – Buratta / Mango / Quinoa / White butter with coconut / Coriander

The description says it all. At first I sampled each flavor with the cheeses and by then end I was mixing it all together. Another unique blending of flavors.

Course 1 – Buratta / Mango / Quinoa / White butter with coconut / Coriander

Course 2 – Tuna niçoise 2.0

OK. Is this just the most cutest little nicoise salad you ever have seen? When I saw this listed on the menu I thought to myself, this is not going to be a full salad right? Well, they did it. Quail egg, anchovies, potato salad, seared tuna, cucumber, hericot vert, cream and perhaps a puree of anchoive. Super fun idea, I’m doing this for one of my multi course meals.

Course 2 – Tuna niçoise 2.0

Course 3 – Duckbreast / Sweet potatoe / Fig / Port

Pretty much a straight forward perfect dish. I make this all the time, in fact the funny thing is just today for lunch I did a grilled salmon with roasted squash and a cherry liquor reduction. That was a weird coincidence. Very similar in flavor concept. I think the duck was either sous vide or cold smoked so that is different from what I usually do, which is always nice for a change. The skin was not as crispy as it could be because of that but it was still medium rare and again, pretty much a perfect classic dish. The tender fig was a nice touch.

Course 3 – Duckbreast / Sweet potatoe / Fig / Port

Intermezzo – Green apple sorbet / Basil / Snow of blueberry

We both agreed this was insane! Possibly one of the highlights of the meal. As you can see some of the mango puree showed up from the first course as well. It also seemed like there could have been some onion, but maybe not. It really escapes any type of description, well done.

Intermezzo – Green apple sorbet / Basil / Snow of blueberry

The Main course(s)

Fillet of veal / Sweetbread / Courgette / Carrot / Teriyaki

– or –

Turbot / Green asparagus / Tomato / Pesto / Lobster béarnaise

Of course we ordered one of each. I will start with the veal dish.

Main course option 1 – Fillet of veal / Sweetbread / Courgette / Carrot / Teriyaki

I have been wanting to taste or work with Sweetbreads for years. It is a product you will not typically find at the local butcher but you can ask for it to be ordered. Upon research I have found the prepartion process is a bit detailed. Which is of course why I want to work with it. For those of you who may not know sweetbreads are an organ meat from the thymus gland and pancreas, usually veal or lamb and we will assume these are from the veal as that is the dish. Overall the dish went together well. The sweetbread was delicious, it reminded me of the large piece of tender fat you might find in a chunk of rib eye, melt in your mouth fatty wonderfulness and very rich. It was a large piece too and I did enjoy it. The steak itself was a good quality and very tender but not medium rare as it was ordered, it was well done.

Fillet of veal / Sweetbread / Courgette / Carrot / Teriyaki

Main Course option 2 – Turbot / Green asparagus / Tomato / Pesto / Lobster béarnaise

As you can see there is a lot going on here. Tomato puree, lobster bearnaise and pesto. Wow. The asparagus also came with some puree and I am not quite sure what the chutney was under the fish but it had texture and was possibly apple.

Turbot / Green asparagus / Tomato / Pesto / Lobster béarnaise

Desserts (2)

Ice cream of yuzu / White chocolat / Sesame / Lime

– or –
Caramelized puff pastry / Vanilla cream / Raspberry / Praliné of hazelnut

Remember at the beginning of this blog I mentioned one nice thing is not having to make decisions? Well, fortunately the two times we had to make a choice tonight it turned out in our favor since there are two of us dining so we get to try them both.

Dessert 1 – Ice cream of yuzu / White chocolat / Sesame / Lime

I am not even going to try and describe this other than it was light, citrusy and delicious. We both loved it.

Ice cream of yuzu / White chocolat / Sesam / Lime

Dessert 2 -Caramelized puff pastry / Vanilla cream / Raspberry / Praliné of hazelnut

I think the description does a good job here. A bit more filling than the other dessert but excellent, I am really full at this point.

Caramelized puff pastry / Vanilla cream / Raspberry / Praliné of hazelnut

But wait. There is more. Seriously?

Coffee and sweets

I really can not fit anything more in. But this is it. Cappuccino with cream and their sweet tray. From the right a chocolate mouse surround by a frozen nut glaze, another mouse likely hazelnut again frozen and the green tea sugar thing. At this point we just took a bite of each to ry them all. After the dessert with the coffee and this it was a very sweet way to end an evening.

Final thoughts –

I have not been too excited the past few months about this type of dining experience. We have some excellent restaurants of this caliber here in Torrevieja but we have tried, and reviewed them all. So when I saw this special menu come in I was very intrigued. And, I was not disappointed. This satisfied my desire for creative combinations of flavors presented in an artistic form on a plate. Also, the service at Sunset is absolutely excellent, period. The management clearly has developed a system and trained their staff to operate as a well run team. The pace of the food coming out was perfect and it was a joy to watch the staff cooperate and deliver, from what we could see, a delightful experience to everyone in the fully booked restaurant. 10 out of 10. I also give it this score for value, at $50 euros per person this is a very generous offering.

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About XPLORE FILM and Sip & Stay

The Art of Life

Tony and Terri-Lynn met in 1987 as teenagers. In 1991 they were married.  Tony has been a professional musician his entire life and spent the 90’s touring and releasing albums.  In 2001 the couple left the cities and moved to a small community on the Oregon coast. This is where they fell into television production and film making. In 2004 Makai Ohana Productions was founded and the couple produced advertising and creative content for hundreds of tourism related businesses and government entities in Southern Oregon and Northern California. Realizing the industry was evolving towards the internet they re-branded the business in 2012 to Xplore Film.  This company would now be an international business producing films world wide as well as an NGO in West Africa where the couple provides clean water boreholes, scholarships and even a prosthetic hand project.

In 2018 Tony and Terri-Lynn with their dog Bisque Kitt packed the belongings they could carry on their backs and flew to Spain. They bought a home and planned to spend equal time between the two countries running the business.  Then Covid hit and the world closed.  By 2020 they realized Spain, and specifically Torrevieja was now home.  They bought a sailboat and started to create a life on the Costa Blanca of music, film, events and community.


Music from Xplore Film

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