[Playa de las Americas, Tenerife] Cuevita del Mar

Like many restaurants that have survived Covid, the Cuevita has scaled back its menu significantly. It cuts costs and reduces wastage. The night’s offerings are now written on a blackboard – eight or so starters and a similar number of main courses. It’s still the essence of how I think of traditional Spanish cuisine – take good ingredients and cook them simply.

There’s thick slices of a really tasty bread and aioli to dunk it in. For starters, there were cod croquettes – flavoursome fish mixed with a good béchamel sauce in a crisp coating. And king prawns served it hot oil with chilli and garlic – in other parts of Spain, you’ll see this as “gambas pil-pil”.

A sea bass main course was just that, apart from a few Canarian potatoes. A whole fish, cut in half and simply grilled. A squeeze of lemon and a sprinkling of parsley helped it along. This was a perfect bit of fish cooking and the simplicity let the flavour of the bass come through.

Tuna belly was the other main. Perhaps the tastiest bit of the fish, this one was also simply cooked. As is my general experience in Spain, it’s cooked to “medium” –none of the “just seared” stuff. That came with steamed vegetables and Canarian potatoes, with the usual mojo sauces – the spiky red one worked nicely.

Neither of us fancied dessert or coffee. No doubt, we’ll be back next trip (hopefully, they’ll have local rabbit on the blackboard then).


This is one of those places that never lets you down. If it was at home, I’d be a regular. It’s a small place – maybe nine tables – with a short menu, chalked up on a board. It’s in Spanish but Senora will give you a quick translation into English. Bear in mind that her command of my language is about as good as my command of hers – more limited than in the more touristy restaurants. But, if you know the difference between your lomo and your llubina, you’ll get along famously.

There’s good bread, of course. And it comes with alioli and a rich, spreadable pate. For one starter, there was a good version of ham croquettes – crisp coating, tasty béchamel. And, for the other, reveulto con morcilla – scrambled egg with black pudding. Both of them chassic Spanish dishes and classic for good reason.

Two thick fillets of sea bass (that’s your llubina) were perfectly fried. Crisp skin, with the flesh falling away in chunks. It comes with mashed potato and strips of crispy fried leek. The other main course was duck breast, cooked accurately as requested, although no crispy skin here. There’s more of the mash and some mixed veg. But the absolute standout was a powerful sauce, using Pedro Ximenez sherry – you’ve got richness, booze and a slight fruity sweetness. It went so well with the duck… One of the best sauces I’ve had in a long time.

We didn’t fancy dessert (and I had a plan for pistachio ice cream from one of the stands on the “Golden Mile”), so just got coffee and the bill.