Following our visit to Royal Garden Villas and Spa, I was keen to have a meal in the hotel’s Jardin Restaurant. Like the rest of the hotel this was a real eye-opener. Armed with a notebook, I could fill page after page with details of the unusual light fittings, the chairs draped in silver and black with matching cushions on an evening or cool creams during the day, the mirrored place mats and beautiful table decorations. I could fill several more pages just describing the surface effects from twinkling lights to intricate carved wall panels but to sum it up in just a few words, I think these would be ‘pretty damn cool and charmingly elegant‘.
From the moment we arrived we were made to feel special (although observing other diners, they too were ‘all special’). Our table was decorated with rose petals and like all guests we were given a complementary glass of cava to help us peruse the menu. This, if you had something particular to celebrate, would set the scene for a romantic meal – although for us it was just an ordinary weekend.
There was enough culinary art on the fashionably avant-garde menu to sink a battleship using both local and imported produce. The overall theme was cinema – with choices ranging from Nemo to Dr Strangelove and everything in between. Although neither OH nor I are drinkers we could see that the wine list included a good selection of international labels as well as the best Canarian wines. For such sophisticated fare I would have expected it to be expensive but that was not the case.
As we considered the menu, we were given a choice of hot breads and either oil or butters plus the most delicious Mango Gazpacho which I wasn’t sure whether to drink or use a tiny spoon. In the end the spoon won as the topping of edible flowers and crispy, crunchy fruit had to be devoured. It really was yummy!
When it came to ordering our meal I opted for ‘La Dolce Vita’ – Stuffed Zucchini, (vegetables, nuts, tomato & cream cheese) while Jim predictably had ‘Fantasia’ flambéed tiger prawns. The ‘show-stopper’ for me though was my main course ‘My Fair Lady’ – duck confit on a bed of sweet potato puree with sautéed citrus fruits, the duck couldn´t have been more perfect. Jim also thoroughly enjoyed his lamb tenderloin marinated in merlot, fresh herbs, dried apricot purée and couscous with nuts & raisin. This was called Casablanca.
Smiles of a Summer Night was the name of my ginger crème-brulée with pineapple confit and caramelized pistachio dessert, which was banging on the door of divine. While Jim’s ‘It’s a wonderful Life’ pineapple ravioli filled with coconut in cold eucalyptus was interesting if a little disappointing as the green sauce felt strange in your mouth a bit like trying to eat shaving foam (yes I had to try it!)
All the while Mike the evening Maître d’ and his charming head waiter Juan, the moving force behind the restaurant, ensured everything ran smoothly and professionally while still being charming, friendly and efficient.
“Everything of the best and nothing left to chance” seems to be the motto here as everything was of a consistently high standard.
I would image this place is hailed in some circles as something of a glamour destination, but it has none of the pretentious stuffiness that is associated with that type of venue. It has already been enthusiastically adopted by the residents of the hotel, as the night we were there every table was occupied. However the beautiful interior, picturesque setting and pleasure on a plate food are a strong incentive for any discerning locals to venture to. Many know I don´t just judge a restaurant by the food, to me it is more than that, staff, service, ambiance, setting and the Jardin delivered a great big tick in every one of my sometimes over-critical boxes. It is certainly up there with the best. I honestly can´t wait to go back which is something I rarely do.
Details: Av. de Ayyo, S/N | Campo de Golf Costa Adeje, 38670 La Caleta, Tenerife. TEL:922 711 294