Waterside dining with a sweet finale.
As a first-time visitor to Reef Resort, I was keen to check out not just the dining but also the ambience of the place. And, I have to say, it’s an interesting mix with all sorts of curiosities dotted around the lobby area from blown-glass birds and other creatures to an old-fashioned piano, appearing as if it has been transported from a Western saloon.
Heading for the Thursday night seafood barbecue, we walked outside to the Pool Delight restaurant wandering along prettily lit pathways passing opulent villas boasting giant pots of succulents and Italianate fountains.
The slightly smoky aroma of cooking fish let us know we were heading in the right direction and, as we arrived, we were greeted by the chefs who talked us through the impressive range of fresh fish on offer. Stacked on ice, clams sat alongside large, juicy shrimp and a mountain of crabs just waiting for us to tuck in. There were also generous fillets of salmon and sea bream, a tempting tray of red mullet and more.
For those not of a fishy persuasion, skewers of marinated meats sat alongside, and there were plenty of non-fishy options on the buffet inside.
The barbecue station was conveniently sited just at the doorway, allowing us to peruse our potential dinner as we headed in to choose starters and check out the restaurant proper.
Looking out onto the water, Pool Delight is all high wooden ceilings, mirrors and glass panels, striking an easy balance between traditional and modern and managing to take the best of both. The chairs and tables of whitewashed wood giving an almost garden-like feel, their sparkling silverware adding to an air of quiet luxury.
A range of side booths offers a little more privacy and there’s also a glassed-in terrace-style section which feels as if you’re sitting right by the water as well as outdoor seating; perfect for when the weather cools.
Gleaming chafing dishes, reflected the light and making the buffet all the more inviting. But we were more interested in the main event of trying out that delicious looking barbecued fish. I opted for a generous fillet of sea bream and a couple of red mullet while my companion chose salmon and a healthy portion of big, juicy shrimp.
The fish was cooked to perfection – which is not an easy task on a barbie – with the chunky, white flesh of the bream separating like butter under my knife. The taste was equally as impressive, a perfect, delicate complement to the mixed veggies I’d chosen to go with it. The red mullet was also extremely tasty but, as small fish often are, quite bony. The flavour was actually worth picking through the bones, particularly with the light searing of the skin – yum.
The shrimp were also a great hit with plenty of meat to dive into and a good, fresh flavour.
I have to say that, for me, the dessert counter was the highlight of the evening. I will confess, I had been eyeing it since our arrival and I think, between us, we must have tried just about every item with the profiteroles coming out a firm favourite.