Ma Ti’ Beach in Nettle Bay

Guilt-free luncheon with friends!

Some folk work long hours and then feel guilty copping off at lunchtime for a meal, but as it happens everyone needs lunch and taking the time off with friends over lunch should be a guilt-free occasion.

And so it was that a few friends found themselves, at my suggestion, at a place they had not tried before. I had heard many island folk saying that it was really nice there and that is where they choose to go more often than not.

Ma Ti’ Beach is on the strip along Nettle Bay, where some good restaurants can be found. There is a fairly large car park inside once you actually find the somewhat insignificant sign at the entrance – although once you know where the sign is, you will always see it.

Stepping into the restaurant, one is immediately drawn to the stunning view, showing the sea the length and breadth of Marigot Bay. There is a sort of Cape Cod feel, distressed wood and white paint, cupboards and occasion tables around the spacious bar entrance. There was also a table set with baguettes that spoke volumes: “This is a French restaurant.” To one side there were large spaces with a number of dark wooden tables and along the sea front, on the sand, protected by large boulders, were a number of cabanas, at one of which we were seated.

The wind was blowing very strongly and so the net blinds were lowered. The sea was crashing up against the rocks. We felt a splash or two, but it was fun sitting there.

Water, wine and beer ordered, we read through the menu. The specials sounded interesting and one of the party decided on a salad with scallops and shrimp with balsamic dressing on the side. The dressing was warm and rather tasty, the seafood cooked to perfection.

First, though, we ordered the baked camembert – a favourite at a number of other eating places, so, of course, we wanted to compare. When it was placed before us, the dish had a salad of lettuce, tomato and apple slices, sprinkled with walnuts on the side and spears of toasted baguette to dip. The cheese was baked to perfection. However, it was very strong; some loved it, others preferred a younger cheese.

We all had starters and mains, but no dessert.

The menu said Lobster Bisque, so most of us ordered that, but we were all disappointed. This bisque was more a fish soup, not strong on the nose and with hints of turmeric. There were no lobster pieces, but a very nice rouille sauce with toasted baguette and grated cheese were served on the side.

The Accras de Morue or codfish fritters were excellent, a good choice as a starter, the ubiquitous hot sauce that goes with accras was not too hot.

We all chose different mains. The seafood casserole won hands down. The scallops, shrimps and mussels were perfectly cooked and in an excellent sauce. The sides were delicious and included a quiche, leeks, sweet potato, rice and seaweed salad.

My hot duck with fried, diced potatoes and a creamy bacon sauce arrived on a bed of lettuce. The duck, potatoes and sauce were great; in the centre of this plate was a really delicious cheese on puff pastry, which went very well with the sauce. Perhaps there was a little too much lettuce.

The Chicken Alfredo was good too; the sauce on the spaghetti was quite thick, the way I like it, although that was not the preference of the diner. It was a huge portion, so it was just as well I did not order that dish.

The ambiance is quite nice at casual beach bar Ma Ti’ Beach; no matter what the weather is like, it is a place to go to for a pleasant time and better-than-average beach bar food.

Service was not over fussy and responsive to our needs, and parking was plentiful.

Info:

Ma Ti’ Beach

Anse Marigot /across from Mercure resort

Baie Nettlé

Phone: 0590 870130

Ratings:

Staff friendliness: ***

Service speed: ***

Restaurant cleanliness: ***

Food quality: ***

Value for money: ***

Ambience: ****

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