Zaika, Fuengirola, Spain
Lunch specials are sometimes a bit hit and miss. For a limited menu you get good value, but not necessarily great portions or quality. So it seems with Zaika, a pleasant curry house facing out to sea in the busy Spanish holiday resort of Fuengirola.
The special, offering a starter (Pakora, Onion Bhaji or popadoms), a main (Chicken Curry, Madras, Bhuna or Korma) and rice or nan. Not bad for €8.95, especially washed down with a large San Miguel.
But I always get suspicious when I see the chicken in a curry has been in the tandoor. I know it’s a bonus to some people but when the dish doesn’t normally include marinated meat I can’t help but think it’s just a way of using up unsold tikka from the night before.
Suspicions aside, the Chicken Bhuna was perfect in consistency, thick with tomatoes, onion and fresh coriander, but plenty of tasty ghee (ideal for me but maybe bit greasy for some) and the rice and nan fresh. But the Chicken Madras flopped, with the sauce some sort of spicy tikka masala, which would have been fine for a lunch curry fix had it not been for a bitter taste of uncooked ground spices.
But there are worse places to have a curry lunch, with a number of outside tables offering views of the sea (albeit across a road) and a large, nicely set out interior that deserves an evening try.
When the lunch special ends at 4pm, by the way, the evening special kicks in. Add €2 to the price and your selection of dishes rockets, and includes a number of lamb and tikka masala dishes. Don’t mind marinated meat in that one, thanks.
Zaika, Paseo Maritimo Rey de Espana, 18, Fuengirola, Spain. Tel: +34 952 462 695. Open: daily 1pm–1am (lunch menu 1pm–4pm)
Food ① (the Madras) or ① ② ③ (Everything else)
Decor ① ② ③ ④
Value ① ② ③
Atmosphere (Tuesday afternoon) ① ②
Service and friendliness ① ② ③