Last week we went out with our friends Charles and Valda, for a meal. I had wanted to take them to Los Roques in Los Abrigos, but being a Monday night they were closed, so we ended up at Flor del Drago and it was a lovely evening with superb food.
This week, in order to make sure we would get a table at Los Roques I phoned on Tuesday evening and spoke to Peter the owner. Even before the call was over, I was impressed. Both Charles and Valda like to sample local wines wherever they travel. I asked Peter if he had any Canarian whites and he was about to describe these to me but that would have been a waste as I don´t drink, so I was happy to hear he had four very good ones.
Our table was booked for 8.30 but as there was no traffic got there just around 8.00 to find the place almost full. After we sat down, Peter apologised that as everyone who had booked from 7.00pm to 8:30pm had arrive in the same 20 minute period he could only serve us drinks and would be a short while with the menu. This wasn´t a problem as we only see our friends a couple of times a year so we were happy to catch up on the intervening 12 months.
The location of this restaurant is lovely, overlooking the harbour front it is an ideal setting to watch the sun go down or if you live here and like me, feel the cold as soon as October is over, the inside of the restaurant is comfortable, modern and because it is split into two areas very cosy.
The menu arrived and it looked interesting, so interesting it was hard to decide and while we munched on the wafer thin bread sticks, I changed my mind three times, as everything looked so good. While we were considering our choices a basket of hot bread and three spreads, one olive, one cheese from La Gomera and a herby butter, appeared and this was followed by a sample of vichyssoise topped with coconut.
Now Valda being a farmer wife cooks plenty of rabbit but I rarely eat it so my choice for a starter was rabbit pie. These tiny puff pastry ‘mince pie lookalikes’ were stuffed to bursting with rabbit, leek and ham and were decorated with beautiful homemade Piccalilli. I understand from Peter that these are going to be a permanent feature on the menu and I would recommend trying them, as would the two guys in our party who also had them; Valda had the toasted Scallops in a creamy citrus and saffron sauce.
We all had a different main course; these consisted of grilled Rib Eye Steak with roasted potatoes, beetroot and salsa chimichurri, Stuffed Saddle of Lamb with a broccoli salad and gratin potatoes, Pampano, a local fish, with a warm bean salad and Sea Bass with saffron potatoes and a fennel sauce. This should have come with a spicy salsa but being the sort of diners we are we asked to change the menu, and this was no trouble at all. The vegetables we learnt after the meal are all grown on the owner’s finca, delivered fresh each day – no wonder they tasted so good.
Desserts; we chose Bailey’s ice-cream truffle, a rich dark chocolate sponge, which belying its looks was feather light, we also opted for the apple crumble – not your usual with custard but a rich concoction of local apples and chocolate topped with crunchy crumble.
I almost forgot to say the drinkers said it was the best wine they had had during their visit to the island, Viñatigo Marmajuelo. As the bodega does tours and tastings, I bet it is on their list of places to visit next year.
As restaurants go, in Tenerife, it isn’t cheap but if you value quality produce, an inventive menu, beautiful presentation and staff who know about the food they are serving and are prepared to go a stage further to ensure everyone has a wonderful experience, then this comes at a price, however it is not prohibitive, our meal, for four people, including wine, beers, soft drinks, water and the tip, was €200. But it is the little things that make the difference; beautiful loos (you all know I have a thing about these being nice, otherwise I walk) the individual terry hand towels, the paintings by a local artist and above all the owner who makes time to talk to anyone, who like us is interested in food, how it is prepared, where the ingredients come from. He even gave me a link to use his photographs as I forgot to take my camera. How good is that?
If you want something special make sure you eat here Los Roques