[Costa Adeje, Tenerife] Sucas

This was our third visit to Sucas. Much is unchanged – the attentive service, the modern minimalist set-up of the room. But one thing has changed. Like many upscale restaurants in the Covid era, Sucas has done away with its “a la carte” menu, replacing it with a fixed multi-course tasting menu. I know why they do this – it reduces waste and makes easier kitchen preparation. For preference, we’d choose a traditional three course meal, but from time to time, a tasting menu can bring a bit of excitement to dinner.

Here, Lucas Maes has done a cracking job on developing a menu where each course flows effortlessly into the next. The food is creative and modern – sometimes taking local ingredients and putting a different spin on them. Some of Lucas’ earlier dishes were a bit East/West fusion and there are elements of that still.

Of course, when you sit down, you don’t know that it’s going to go well. But you get a pretty good idea very quickly, when excellent bread arrives. There’s brioche, a slice of plain sourdough and another sourdough with pieces of fig baked into it. This is proper “craft baker” stuff, not the frozen bread rolls of the tourist restaurants, bought in from the catering wholesaler. Then there’s three single bit snacks. Finely chopped tuna tartare on a seaweed crisp. A foie gras “burger” and a potato terrine, topped with mushroom puree. This really is the chef setting his stall out.

The first course featured a thin slice of local tuna served raw. It comes with a fine dice of local sweet potato and a sweet potato puree. Contrasting with the sweet of the potato and playing to the east/west fusion there’s a soy and kimchi sauce. Neither of us are big fans of raw tuna but this was a dish that’s as good as it gets.

Next up was the plate we reckoned was the most enjoyable of the evening. A masterpiece of cheffing . Two small cannelloni, perfectly “al dente” stuffed with very long cooked, and very well seasoned, pig cheek. The pasta is topped with apple sauce and a drizzle of BBQ sauce. So creative to bring together Italian pasta, Spanish pork, North European apple sauce and American BBQ. So creative.

A fish course followed. The local Cherne (wreckfish). A small fillet, lightly cooked. It’s served on a cucumber puree with lightly pickled diced cucumber. There’s a scattering of peas and mangetout. And a small piece of lemon sponge – yes, like a very light cake. It’s a bit weird – but in a good way 0 and it brings another distinct flavour and texture to the plate. It’s a lovely plate of food.

Then the final savoury course – veal cheeks, cooked so long as to fall apart at the touch of the fork. It’s delicious in itself but, adding to the savouriness of the dish, there’s a chickpea puree, chickpeas, Canarian potatoes and a paprika sauce.

For the first dessert, it was a take on a pina colada. There’s fresh pineapple, with its citrussy flavour cleansing the palate after all the previous dishes. And coconut and white sesame seed crumble for texture. And a Malibu sauce. I’ve never drunk a pina colada and, if this is what it tastes like, then I’m in no rush to try. But, as a dessert, it’s absolutely lovely.

And, finally, the richness of chocolate. A cube of white chocolate encased cream,. Now, white chocolate can be cloyingly sweet but it’s offset by a raspberry sorbe. And, for further contrast, a chunck of dark chocolate “aero”.

Of course, food of this quality does not come cheap. But it’s cheaper than equivalent places in the UK. It’s a restaurant that would happily fit in any major European city. And, if that city happened to be mine, I’d be there on opening night.