Paraiso Restaurant – Valle San Lorenzo – Tenerife

The Paraiso was the first non-resort restaurant we went to when we arrived on the island. In our ignorance, we thought it was typically Canarian, probably because it was away from the resorts in Valle San Lorenzo and the staff were Canarian. There are two restaurants almost opposite each other in the small town, one on the right hand side of the road the other on the left. Although they are owned by the same person, one gets more Canarian clientele while the other is almost entirely Brits and German.

For a couple of years we would eat here with friends even though the food was a bit hit and miss, sometimes it was lovely and others it was disappointing. Likewise, the service would vary from good when the staff would advise on the menu; to abrupt when all that was on offer was a shrug of the shoulders. What I don’t understand is that we know people who continually complain about it saying the meal they had was ‘very average’, yet they continue to eat there and it is somewhere they are happy to take visitors. To my mind, there are too many restaurants on the island to choose from that you need to go somewhere where you are not 100% happy with the experience. It was therefore after one ‘average’ meal we decided we would not go back and that has been the case for the past four years.

Recently, however we were passing through town, we were hungry, I couldn´t be bothered to cook a meal and it was convenient. The restaurant is spotlessly clean, the seats are still terribly uncomfortable and don´t encourage you to linger, the prices are good at least for the quantity of food that is on the plates, but I am afraid yet again, the meal was disappointing.

There appear to be two menus, if you are Spanish the food that comes to your table looks very different to that served to non-Spanish, be they holidaymakers or residents. The menu given to us was designed for British tastes, steak, fish, and mixed grill, in fact the sort of food you could get anywhere but it was not Canarian. I didn’t see the Spanish menu but did see interesting items being delivered to a table next to our and when I asked what it was I got a shrug, so I opted for the steak. It was probably the most expensive on the menu and it was tough! I should have taken it home and made a pair of shoes from it and then I would have had my money’s worth.

I won’t be going again, but what really annoys me is seeing this place recommended to visitors as somewhere to experience “real” Canarian food. If that is what they want they don´t have to travel to Valle San Lorenzo, they can find it in La Camella. I am sure that there will be many who read this blog who will disagree with my findings, the Paraiso is a bit like marmite, there are plenty who love it and therefore it continues to flourish and there are those like me who will give it a wide berth.

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