[Playa de las Americas. Tenerife, Spain] Cuevita del Mar

It’d probably be worth making a reservation here. We’ve never needed to on past holidays but when we rolled up a couple of nights previous, there was no chance of a table. And, when we tried again, it was packed and it was suggested we go for a walk for ten minutes. It’s good to see them doing so well. It’s a great little place at El Camison. He cooks, she does all the front of house. That’s hard graft for the pair of them, particularly when they’re busy.

Starters are available in tapas or racionnes sizes. Unless you’ve brought a ferocious appetite with you, stick to the tapas sized plates. We shared croquettes – a lovely thick béchamel sauce in a crisp coating. And a plate of simply grilled vegetables, perfectly seasoned – onion, courgette, pepper, aubergine, carrot, potato and mushroom.

We love to try new things. And this was a first time for “arroz negro”. Think a simple paella like dish with the rice coloured black by squid ink. There’s tiny squid rings, no wider than your little finger – and matchsticks of more mature squid, perfectly tender. And, decorating the top, several big, juicy prawns, stark white against the black. It looked fantastic and tasted just as good.

As I mentioned, it was busy and it’s fair to say service suffered. A neighbouring table got quite twitchy trying to get their bill. We did some finger tapping wondering whether to get dessert or just coffee. In the event, time passed so we just got the bill.

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RETURN VISIT

In visits over several years, we’ve never had a poor dish here, let alone a poor meal. Yes, it’s that good. You want to pack it up and take it home with you, so you can become regulars. Although there are more meat dishes on the menu, we’ve always gone for seafood. It just seems to fit with the restaurant name.

Bread comes quickly – and it’s lovely, like a British bloomer but much crustier and served warm. Liver pate and alioli come with it. That’s followed by revueltos – the Spanish classic of scrambled egg mixed, in this case, with cod and onion. It’s delicious and even more so when a bit more seasoning was added. Chopitos is another classic starter – baby squid battered and deep fried. They need nothing more than a squeeze of lemon.

For one main course, hake was perfectly cooked – just a tad under with the flakes still slightly translucent. The fillet sat on thinly sliced fried potatoes and was topped with fine shreds of leek and a scattering of king prawns. The other plate came from the day’s specials – fish with a salsa verde. The name of the fish got lost in translation but we did manage to understand that it was a bit like hake. In fact it wasn’t as firm a texture as hake. We’d expected the sauce to be like the oil based Italian salsa verde but this was a cream sauce. More by way of garnish than anything else, a few peas and a couple of prawns and clams were on the plate. Served separately, the ubiquitous Canarian potatoes.

We were too full for dessert so just had coffee – strong, hot, café solos.

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

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2