Last night we went for a birthday / farewell meal at Geales, a really funky seafood place in the Le Meridian Beach Resort & Spa that has made it’s way over from London to join the whole host of gorgeous restaurants we have in this town. As a person who can’t eat shellfish and doesn’t particularly enjoy fish I was a little skeptical about dining here but I came home last night feeling truly satisfied, and what made all the difference was the wonderful staff and beautiful decor.
We were the first of our group to arrive at the restaurant after a scenic wander through the hotel garden area (not intentional the restaurant just isn’t very well sign posted when you arrive so we ended up being dropped off further away from the entrance than we should have been) we found the place, fronted in glass with a funky black and white interiors and staff all dressed in black and white striped t-shirts. We were welcomed by the hostess and lead to the bar area to wait for the rest of our group, we browsed the drinks menu (it was about 7:50pm and they couldn’t start serving alcohol until 8:00pm with it being Ramadan and all so we had to kill some time) and made our orders, I enjoyed a lovely white Russian – strangely served in a martini glass which is a new one for me – and nibbled on some fried potato skins that had appeared on our table. The skins were awesome, so light and salty and a little bit addictive, all I could think was what a great way to use all the left overs from making the chips! Once the rest of our group arrived the staff were attentive and wonderfully accommodating of the fact that bar two people no one could seem to just order a drink from the menu as is and we all made our way to the table.
There were 10 of us, so we had a long table with booth seating on one side and regular seating on the other, so once we had all shuffled ourselves in and gotten settled the wine arrived – I stuck to my white russians – and we began perusing the menu. It was a lovely menu with just enough choice that you don’t feel entirely overwhelmed, but I had two complaints, first off there were no starters that did not involve shellfish and so if you do not (or can not) eat it you don’t have an option, and secondly the menus were larger than the place settings and on a rigid board which made them quite cumbersome until they were collected – menus are a little bit of a pet peeve of mine, if they are just irritating and in the way it really annoys me.
There was bread on the table served in brown paper bags which I thought was quite a funky – if perhaps a little bit impractical – way of presenting it, however the bread wasn’t fantastic, in fact it was quite bland and chewy, even with butter and salt there just seemed to be something missing from it. Anyway, we ordered, a couple of every starter option for the table to share, and I have to say they all looked and smelt delicious and from the noises around the table I would think it a safe bet that they tasted pretty awesome too.
We had two waiters serving our table through the night and they were both lovely and up for a chat and I have to say, a waiter who is up for a silly joke always improves a restaurant experience in my opinion. I had finished my drink and the Italian waiter came over to see if I wanted another so, because I live dangerously, I said yes, he asked what it was I had been drinking (white Russian’s were not on the menu) and so I told him and he took my glass and began to walk back towards the bar; next thing, I look up and he is standing next to the other waiter who was serving our table and goes,
“you cant have this guy” I looked confused, “he’s white and Russian!”
I immediately burst out laughing, he had clearly confused his colleague for a second more than me and disappeared off to put my order in with the bar.
Once the starters were finished these massive plates of food began arriving at our table and I was slightly taken aback by the sheer size of the portions. A couple of people had gone for a pasta dish and when I saw the mountain of pasta in the bowl I honestly wondered how they would get through it all! That was until my food arrived, I had ordered the chicken Milanese which came with roast potatoes and a rocket salad, well, attempting to find the potatoes under this massive bit of chicken breast was a mission in itself! The meal was served on a platter like plate and the chicken just dominated the entire thing, the potatoes were hiding underneath the mammoth breast and the salad was perched on one end of the plate probably holding on for dear life. But despite the size the food was delicious, everyone agreed, my chicken was tender and flavorsome, and hadn’t been drowned in oil while being fried, there was a perfect potato to chicken ratio happening on my plate – although I could have maybe done with a little more salad, considering it was supposed to be a part of the dish and not a garnish side salad kind of thing – I couldn’t finish it all though, I am not sure where they found that chicken but it certainly wasn’t a run of the mill farm chicken with the size of it! A small side note however, if you do decided to go to Geales, have a side of creamed spinach, it is awesome, we shared one down our end of the table and it was just delicious.
There was one mishap at the table that really made me appreciate the staff, while clearing the main course the spoon from the tartar sauce decided to perform some acrobatics, right down one of our party member’s back, it was all light hearted and laughed off, being a complete accident you can’t really get mad, but still the restaurant manager was very calm about it and incredibly apologetic, he offered to pay for the dry cleaning and couldn’t help but say sorry again and again, but eventually it was settled on another bottle of rose for the table and the whole thing could be forgotten, which it was. The whole thing was handled very discreetly that even sitting at the same table I almost didn’t notice the whole thing happen!
By the time we had all finished our main course we were ready for a food coma I think; there wasn’t a single complaint about it though, we were all happy. Once the table was cleared and the smokers had had their fix the dessert menu appeared, my boyfriend and I decided to share a blueberry pie (neither of us had partaken in starters so we had slightly more room than anyone else at the table) and he wanted to try the chocolate beer they had on offer, so we placed our order. Suddenly these two cake appeared from nowhere, white chocolate mousse type things I believe – I didn’t really hear what the manager said they were all I know is that they looked beautiful, topped with fresh berries. Our pie arrived at the same time and it was just as gorgeous, lovely shortcrust pastry that wasn’t too sweet or thick and filled with the most devine blueberries ever, not too sweet and not too tart, just perfectly cooked and delicious, it was warm all the way through without being so hot it was going to burn your mouth with every spoonful and with the vanilla ice cream, it was heavenly. The chocolate beer on the other hand was, strange. I tried a sip of it and I can’t say I disliked it but I know for a fact I’d never be able to drink a glass of it, the flavour isn’t overall chocolatey but there is a definite coco hint and mixed with the malt it was almost like a really strange malteaser happening in the glass.
As everyone finished up their meals and we had what was left of the cakes packed up to be taken home the wine was finished off and the evening wound down we decided it was time to head home – I was so full I would not have said no to a wheelchair or even delivery cart to take me to the lobby of the hotel! But we made our way outside and because of earlier mishaps upon arrival were not sure the easiest way to get to somewhere where we could grab a taxi, but the hostess was more than helpful, she took us to the hotel lobby herself and even tried to help my convince my boyfriend to let me bring home the hotel duck we saw waddling around the grass! (He still said no.)
Overall it was a really lovely evening full of laughs, many brought about by the staff, and I would have to say if you are looking for a lovely meal – and if you’re a seafood fan – head to Geales, it really is worth it, although I would recommend light meals for the rest of the day so you have room for all the food!