Thursday, March 22, 2018

A fun all inclusive trip to Cape Verde's Sal Island

Bikini Beach Sal
Bikini Beach Sal
A holiday to Cape Verde's Sal Island was just what the doctor ordered after traumatic train cancellations and delays to and from work due to the interestingly named beast from the east. Snow in the middle of March? What's that all about. The hotel I ended up booking ( Melia Llana ) had a fabulous all inclusive package.This was all done via Tui group, formerly Thompson travel. This was my first ever package holiday and I have to say it far exceeded my expectations. The flight left on time, the plane journey was pretty uneventful (always a good thing), airport pick up was on time and the hotel itself was a joy to behold. The only slight pain was not having inflight entertainment, something I might have fixed by downloading movies on my Ipad the night before. The niggle aside, top marks to Tui group. On getting to the resort, I noticed they had tons of free daily activities (dance classes, yoga , pool exercises), basically a lot to get up to apart from just lounging by the pool side. Seeing as have got an allergy to exercise, I booked two restaurants within the resort, a teppanyaki night at a restaurant called Nami asian bistro and dinner at an Italian place called Casa Nostra. 

Bikini Beach 

Bookings over, I headed to the pool to absorb some much needed vitamin D. While topping up on my tan , I saw a place in the distance with white shimmering walls and flashing lights. Not being able to resist the lights, a visit to heaven...I mean Bikini beach was next on the cards.
Bikini Beach palace gates
Bikini Beach palace gates
Bikini Beach
Bikini Beach
They had quite a few dishes and snacks to order by the pool side. I opted for 4 dishes and they were all tasty and flavorful. The music wasn't shabby either. If you're into photography, stay till sunset to capture some brilliant photos. 
Tiger shrimp tacos and Chicken Quesadillas
Tiger shrimp tacos and Chicken Quesadillas
Tempura seafood collection and Nachos with cheese melts
Tempura seafood collection and Nachos with cheese melts
Tempura seafood collection
Tempura seafood collection
Bikini Beach
Bikini Beach
Lovely sunset
Lovely sunset

Nami Asian Bistro  

Next on my small list was an Asian restaurant that had a teppanyaki night on sundays. We all sat round the chefs table and pretty much just ate while cracking jokes with the chef. This was probably one of my most entertaining evenings. All dishes tasted sublime as well, with the sauces being the star of the show. The Ponsu sauce in the picture below is made up of soy, vinegar, lemon and lime.
Chicken dumpling with ponzu sauce
Chicken dumpling with ponzu sauce
Chicken dumplings with ponzu sauce
Chicken dumplings with ponzu sauce
Our chef, Jaimie seems to love fire
Our chef, Jaimie seems to love fire
The salad dish below was lovely. I'm not the biggest fan of salads, however this was one of the star dishes of the night. The recipe apparently came to Jaimie one night while boogeing away at a disco. The sushi rolls and Salmon dish was also tasty, that said I preferred the Salmon.
Tuna Tataki with Matsushita sauce was divine.
Tuna Tataki with Matsushita sauce was divine.
                
Californian sushi roll, salmon nigiri , futamaki and avocado Maki
Californian sushi roll, salmon nigiri , futamaki and avocado Maki
                 
Salmon and Citrus vinaigrette
Salmon and Citrus vinaigrette
Next on the list was a chicken and egg show by Jaimie. By show I mean everyone throwing eggs at each other to see who has the best catch. You really need to go to see what I mean. This was without doubt one of the funniest parts of this trip. I really cant explain it further without giving Jaimie's trick away. The egg fried rice was delicious and quite mouthwatering when paired with the steak 
Egg masterclass
Egg masterclass
               
The chicken..made out of rice can be seen in the right corner
The chicken..made out of rice can be seen in the right corner
             
Egg fried rice creativity
Egg fried rice creativity
             
Delicious egg fried rice
Delicious egg fried rice
Medium rare Steak
Medium rare Steak
Voila...egg fried rice and steak
Voila...egg fried rice and steak
Doriyaki or mini pancake with ice cream
Doriyaki or mini pancake with ice cream
I really enjoyed the chefs table. The environment, food , chef and fellow diners made this evening a highlight of the trip.

Casa Nostra  

This Italian restaurant, also within Melia llana's complex had the best tasting dishes of the trip. I had a beef carpaccio starter with foie gras that was exemplary. Flavour wise, it hit all the notes. My spaghetti with sauteed shrimps and garlic in a tomato base sauce was my number one dish of the trip. The pasta was al dente and the sauce made you want to lick your plate. Yep,it was that good. Having a 3 course meal at this restaurant was also part of the all inclusive package. 
Beef carpaccio and foie gras
Beef carpaccio and foie gras
Spaghetti with garlic and sautéed shrimps
Spaghetti with garlic and sautéed shrimps
  
             
Hot apple pie with caramel ice cream
Hot apple pie with caramel ice cream

Santa Maria 

 Just to let you know that I actually went into town (Santa Maria) and ate at a restaurant called Marea. This place was rated numero uno on tripadvisor , with highly positive reviews to boot.The host was pretty friendly once we got past the initial frostiness.I think the 9pm booking we had must have been a very late one, so she just wanted to make sure we really had a booking. She didnt have to act like Gandalf defending the realm of men against Balrog though. 
When the dishes turned up they were actually decent. The pasta was al dente and sauces werent bad. Unfortunately it didnt live up to expectations and most importantly wasnt as good as the food served with the resort (buffet meals included).It was this realisation that made me pretty much spend my week eating within the resort. I should actually change the blog name to " Makele eats at all Melia llana restaurants".
Homemade Ravioli stuffed with fish
Homemade Ravioli stuffed with fish

A walk around Santa Maria

Just a few pictures I took while walking around the little town. The locals have a saying "no stress ". These guys definitely live by that saying. You see it in their posture, the way they talk and move exemplifies this.
No stress fishing
No stress fishing
Cape Verde
Cape Verde
Sunset
Sunset
Walking the streets of Santa Maria
Walking the streets of Santa Maria
I think some people call this activity stuff exercise : aka my kryptonite
I think some people call this activity stuff exercise : aka my kryptonite
There are loads of local art spead around the place , so make sure you check a few shops before you buy. The first few shops we went to had a seller and a painter sitting on the floor surrounded by empty canvass and paint. Their pitch always focuses on how they just painted all their works etc etc...you walk out believing this until you see the same painting next door with someone delivering a similar pitch. In the words of my older brother " man must chop " . This means people need to make a living, so anything they do is fine as long as it's within reason. I actually bought some painting off one of the stalls, because I liked the painters attitude.
Cape Verde Santa Maria paintings
Cape Verde Santa Maria paintings
There goes my time in Sal. I spent it chilling and eating within the resort. Package holidays at a full inclusive resort such as Melia llana isnt such a bad idea at all. This is my second stay at a Melia hotel ( the first was in Puerto Banus) and I have to say they lived up to expectations each time. Compliments to both Tui and Melia staff. Ps...I really enjoyed the all inclusive buffets. I have soo many pictures I wouldnt even know where to start.
Relaxing on a beach in Sal
Relaxing on a beach in Sal
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6 comments

  1. It's great that you got to treat yourself with all of these delicious food at Sal Island! The salmon is making me hungry! Glad you enjoyed your time overall!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Nancy, I really enjoyed my time thanks. Am still trying to readjust to life back in London. No one bringing me pizzas by the pool or relaxing sun.

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  2. OMG this trip as a whole but the fooood = dream land! Sounds like you had such an amazing time!

    Jessica & James | www.foodandbaker.co.uk / www.foodandbakertravels.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a ton.. had such an amazing time. I miss all that food :)

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  3. Great post on "A fun all inclusive trip to Cape Verde's Sal Island". As a professional chef i have to appreciate your work. Keep Posting useful posts like this. Keep in touch with my websites- chocolate institute dubai | royal piping course

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jamal, thanks for the compliments. I will check out your site

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