In rural Tenerife in the village of Buzanada is Excalibur. It is well known to locals because it has been in business for 25 years but few tourists are aware of it, as can be seen from TripAdvisor, where only 18 people have reviewed it over the past 4 years.
The village is a little off the beaten track for holidaymakers but that’s what makes this place such a find. If, anyone should want to go it is easy, take the TF28 from the southern resorts passing Chayofa, Cabo Blanco and on to Buzanada. Alternatively you can hop on the TF1 then exit at Guaza again following the signs for Buzanada and the journey will only take about 10 minutes by car.
Excalibur is the ideal place to visit for those looking for an informal but traditional Canarian experience. It was on our list of restaurants to visit but with Thursday being a Bank Holiday and the restaurant being típico Canario, we decided to wait until Saturday, just in case they were closed.
We arrived at 8.00pm and pulled into the small car park, which had a couple of cars in it, there were also half a dozen cars parked out front. From the outside the restaurant doesn’t look much, in fact if you were not looking for it you could easily pass it by. We entered through a small bar into quite a large restaurant whose overall style is traditional. Even the ladies and gents although modern were in the warm traditional colours.
A dozen or so people were already eating. I’m guessing they were residents or maybe ‘swallows’, the larger group were Brits, the couple sitting at the back were German and there were 4 people who sounded Canarian. Although we hadn’t reserved, we were warmly welcomed and shown to a table. The waitress who we later learnt was called Maria was extremely friendly but also very professional, as was Frank the waiter.
The menu has a great selection and offers something for everyone, from hearty soups to appetizing meat and fish.
Frank spoke some English and as well as the extensive menu he explained the ‘daily specials’ that were available. They all sounded delicious and we immediately put aside the menu and went for the recommendations.
The men started with Onion soup, with lots of Gruyère on top. While they ate Christine and I went outside while she had a cigarette (there is a little terrace which would be lovely on a warm evening – although the view wasn’t great [someone’s allotment and cannabis plants] it looked pretty with the lights shining).
We went back inside and both tried what was left of the soup, it was still very hot, not too many onions, unless they had already been eaten, but the stock was really rich and flavoursome, and going by Jim’s comments and the message I received the next morning from Andrew saying “still full – I ate too much! Lol”, very filling.
We moved on to mains, again the men had the same: duck with orange sauce, but when it arrived it was not that horrible sugary, gloopy and generally unpleasant stuff made from orange juice and cornflour that often accompanies duck but a mildly sweet, slightly tart complex flavoured rich sauce that was a helluva lot more interesting. Their meals were served with mash or fried potatoes and red cabbage.
Christine went for the sea bream with fresh mixed vegetables and tartar sauce and unlike me when eating out I chose the salmon which was cooked to perfection. It was topped with mussels and onions and peppers and I swapped the mash for Canarian potatoes, the plate had a decent but not overwhelming portion of lemon sauce. Delicious.
Puddings were home-made, chocolate fondant, Catalan cream but Jim and I chose the hot cherries with ice-cream while Andrew went for the coffee and chocolate cake. Everything was delicious and the presentation is very good.
We ended the meal with coffees.
On our way home we agreed that the choice was quite different to the majority of restaurants which made the evening special. The food, thanks to the chef Seve, is excellent and the service from Maria and Frank is very relaxed and extremely friendly.
This is now another place added to our top list and we are looking forward to making more visits in the future, which makes me wonder why if it has been open 25 years our recent visit is the first time we’ve ventured in. Nevertheless, it won’t be the last.