[Los Cristianos, Tenerife, Spain] Meson Castellano

We’ve been coming here for years but it’s fair to say that we hadn’t enjoyed the last couple of meals as much as the earlier ones (old timers will remember when they didn’t have a menu and you just discussed with the waiter what you should eat – great fun). We had been thinking of scrubbing it from our list but, on the strength of this meal, we’re really glad we kept it on.

As we walked in, we spotted a table enjoying a plate of shell-on prawns. They didn’t seem to be on the menu so we pointed at the table and said “we’ll have some of them please”. They were delicious. Served cold and, almost certainly, just boiled in salty water for a couple of minutes, these were some of sweetish prawns we can recall eating. The other starter was almost as simple. Tiny fresh beans, perhaps cannellini, cooked with slivers of ham and red pepper. They went perfectly with the excellent crusty bread put on the table.

The only glitch of the evening came with the cooking of steak. It wasn’t so much rare as raw and just had to go back. We hate having to do that as it can put the mockers on an enjoyable evening – with one of us watching the other eat and then the watching swapped over when the food returns. But there was nothing else for it this time. And, when it returned, it was really good. Still just a little pink in the middle and with a good char on the outside, the flavour was excellent.

Pork cheeks were probably the nicest thing I’ve had in my mouth in recent weeks. Very long cooked, with onion, carrot and pepper, you could break them apart with just a fork. Saute potatoes were also top notch – and it’s not often I would praise a spud.

We know from experience that, like many places in the area, desserts are not the restaurant’s strong point, so we just had coffee.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold