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It’s been almost three years since I visited restaurant La Deriva in Malaga for the first time. My experience then was moderately positive. Loved the idea, the location in Soho and the decoration, but found the quality of the food a bit lacking. Time for a reassessment.
Inside the restaurant
This time it is nice and cool inside. The interior is decorated with autumn colours, lots of wood, glass and brick (a rarity in Malaga). Entering the restaurant feels like a fresh breeze in the Spanish summer heat.
It is busy this time, in fact, every time I walk by, there are people inside eating, a good sign.
The restaurant applies playful details. For instance, instead of using signs to indicate that a table has been booked, the staff writes reserved on an empty bottle. However, one can take this too far, the salt shaker has been replaced by a glass jar.
A trendy place
Now, this brings me to one of my pet peeves, not just with this restaurant but with all those jumping on the trendy bandwagon. There is a reason people have been using the same kind of crockery over time, the logic being it is proven technology. A glass jar filled with sea salt simply does not do the job. Dispensing salt in moderation should be the objective of the container. It does not work this way with a preserving jar. How do you get the salt out? With your fingers, with a non-existing spoon, just shake it on your food?
Anyhow, onto my next neuroses, which is the condition of toilets. A restaurant should have their powder rooms in order. With this, I mean in working condition, clean and preferably lockable. The ladies toilet could not be locked last time I was here, now it does. Good!
However, it does not flush. We are one of the first guests, this should have been in order when opening the restaurant for the day.
Assessing the menu I found a little challenging. Unsolicited we were given a menu written in English, which contained at least a few unusual dishes. For instance, for dessert, we could order ‘carrot’. Presumably, this referred to carrot cake, but as no explanation was given I am not sure.
Under the header ‘spoil yourself’ scallops were listed. According to the waitress, 16 euros buys you three scallops, which I find rather expensive.
So this is what we ordered:
- bread with tomato € 2:50
Which is bread with mashed tomato and olive oil, which tasted fine.
- cod € 18.00
- 2 x steak € 22.00
- parpatana (?) red tuna € 22.00
- chicken nuggets € 8.00
The waitress omitted to enquire how we wished the steak to be cooked. Resulting in one medium steak (verdict nice) and the other well done (verdict tough).
My tuna dish tasted good, but the portion was quite small for the price.
The assessment of the cod was average.
For me the crown on every meal is dessert. Although puddings are not the strongest points of the Spanish kitchen, it is not easy to disappoint me in this area.
In Spain the choice of dessert is often limited to flan, arroz con leche or ice cream. Luckily the Deriva menu looks slightly more attractive with cheesecake, cherry ice cream, fruit salad and of course carrot.
- apple strudel € 5:00
- a lot of chocolate € 5:00
Nevertheless La Deriva managed to get it wrong. The apple strudel was nothing like the traditional Viennese dish, which I was expecting given the name. It did not taste bad, but not good either. A shame of all those calories.
The ‘a lot of chocolate’ had a strange taste to it and was even for my chocoholic son too much chocolate.
- coffee € 1:20
- Carajillo € 1.90
- red wine (Ribera) per glass € 3:00
- white wine (Verdejo) per glass € 3.30
- € 2:00 sodas
The staff was quite friendly, but not with the normal hospitality that you often experience in this part of Spain. That did not bother me, if this were compensated by competence. Unfortunately that was not the case here (see my comments re steak and desserts).
The prices for drinks were normal for this type of restaurant. In my view the food was expensive for Malaga and the portions quite small. Which again I can live with if the price/quality ratio is acceptable. I think this was somewhat out of balance here.
I still believe restaurant La Deriva has potential, however there are clearly some points to address, starting with staff training.
Visit the restaurant
Location Alameda de Colon 7, Malaga
The website of the restaurant is still under construction after three years.
Telephone: 951 28 69 21
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