[Playa de las Americas, Tenerife] La Barca

My quest to find a decent steak with an even better sea view is over! The restaurant, at Vista Sur, certainly has a great vista, overlooking the beach with views to Palm mar in the distance. We’d stopped for a coffee a few days before and decided to come back for dinner.

It’s a bog standard tourist restaurant – one of those with the identikit long menu which means everyone will be able to find something to eat. We went with no great expectations of the food but we hoped it would be decent enough and we’d have a nice evening. It was. And we did.

Chopitos are one of those dishes which seem to be more about texture than flavour. Baby squid in a crisp batter gave you mouthfuls of crunch. A bit like the “scraps” you’d get at the chippy but a tad more tasty. There’s lemon to squeeze over – mayo or aioli for dunking might have been even better. Garlic prawns (gambas pil-pil) are a favourite order when we’re in Spain. Big, juicy king prawns served in a dish with garlic and still ferociously bubbling olive oil. We’d declined bread at the beginning of the meal but that was, perhaps, a mistake – dunking it in the really tasty oil would have been good.

Pizza was OK as a main course. A thin base, not really crisp enough, was topped with tomato sauce, cheese, olives, anchovies and a little tinned tuna.

So, to the all important steak which had brought us here. Fillet is never going to be the most flavoursome but it will show how well the kitchen can cook one. This was absolutely fine. Cooked accurately to the Spanish interpretation of “medium” it was perfect medium rare… It comes with fried mixed vegetables – courgette, aubergine and peppers – and a few chips. Yep, I can see myself on the future celebration occasion tucking into this , while gazing at the Atlantic.

For desserts, we each had one of those fruit, ice cream and squirty cream concoctions that Spanish tourist restaurants do so well. Or, at least, if not well then extravagantly. For one of us, a classic banana split and, for the other, fruits of the forest ice cream decorated with slices of apple before it was given a good seeing –to by a heavy hand with the squirty cream can.

It had, indeed, been a nice evening. Service was very good . Things happened without you really noticing that they were. And there always seemed to be a member of staff on hand whenever you needed something.