The Roman Oasis Manilva
I just need to share this amazing evening with you all. If you are a lover of great food and want to dine in one of the most incredible settings, then this restaurant is a must.
We arrived at the Roman Oasis in Manilva for its opening night in its 31st year. The restaurant has a loyal following of regular customers, and also makes many new friends each year.
The proprietor of the restaurant is well known by many on the coast, from Mijas to Sotogrande, and beyond. Paul Hickling is a real character and after having a nightclub in Puerto Banus back in the good old days, he purchased a plot of land in the campo in Manilva and proceeded to build a ‘Roman Oasis’.
Paul has been around food for many years and with his best friend being the late, and fabulously great, Keith Floyd, the restaurant has attracted patrons from all over the world. In fact Keith Floyd actually did some cookery schools from the establishment for some very lucky people.
Sadly the cooking legend that was Keith Floyd is no longer with us but his memory lives on at the Roman Oasis where there is a beautiful tribute containing some photographs and memorabilia.
I arrived at the restaurant a couple of hours before opening time with Bill Padley, Karen Danzig and of course Hannah Murray. Bill was also one of Paul and Keith’s great friends and during the evening we roared with laughter at many great tales from Thailand where they all spent so much time together.
Bill and Karen were singing during the evening so they needed to get there earlier in order to set up.
8 o’clock arrived and we headed across to the restaurant which had already started to fill up as it had been booked to capacity, as it is every year when it opens its doors for the season.
We were shown to our table by Paul’s wife Kaat, who owns and runs the stunning beachside restaurant in Sabinillas called Miel. With wine ordered and all of us raring to go, it was time to check out the buffet.
I have seen many buffets in my time but this was a buffet of all buffets! There was so much on offer from the most delicious and spicy Thai beef salad, to prawns, cous cous, pork pies, cold meats, seafood medley’s and tons of salad.
I am not sure if I should be admitting this but the four if us actually went up three times as we couldn’t fit it all on our plates in one go – I blame Karen though as she is the leader when it comes to buffet etiquette.
There was also a hot meat section for main course where there was almost every meat known to mankind on offer with potatoes of all sorts and different sauces. This was a ROMAN FEAST fit for Caesar himself.
Graham Keeling provided the music while people ate and then it was the turn of Bill & Karen AKA ‘The Hitman and Her’. With most people having eaten and well into their next bottle of wine, the place began to rock and people began to dance and sing.
Needless to say it was a long and thoroughly enjoyable night (longer for some but we won’t mention any names).
It only leaves me to add that I highly recommend you visit this restaurant. Hannah and I had never been before and we felt like it was so much more than a restaurant, it was a real experience. Not only is the food exquisite, but the setting is beautiful and the hosts are what you only dream hosts could be. A testament to this is quite simply the fact that many of the patrons at the 31st year of opening had been coming for over 25 years themselves – and will continue to do so for as long as they can.
The Roman Oasis is now open 7 nights a week until September and booking is recommended to avoid disappointment. I hope you have as much fun as we all did and I really am looking forward to going back very soon.
Telephone: 952 892 380 or 646 730 339