[Playa de las Americas, Tenerife, Spain] Fresquera

The owner’s a cheerless so-and-so. In all the years we’ve visited the restaurant, he’s always been a cheerless so-and-so. But, get over that and you quickly realise he operates a really good restaurant – with servers absolutely on the ball and a kitchen crew who cook their socks off. To my mind, it’s some of the best food in the PDLA/Los Cristianos area.

As always, bread arrived quickly and, as always, a “free” tapa to share. In this case, it was lentils cooked with chorizo. If you’re being posh, you can eat it with the teaspoons provided. Or, if like us, just scoop it up on chunks of bread.

Starters were excellent. A dozen prawns, quickly cooked on the plancha. Fresh and delicious, they needed nothing more than a squeeze of lemon. My companion in life sucked the heads of several to get maximum flavour. Something of fry-up for me – padron peppers heavily sprinkled with sea salt mixed with chunks of chistorra sausage from Navarra – slightly spicy and a fiery red colour from paprika.

Duck breast was served very thinly sliced and drizzled with a balsamic vinegar reduction so that it was sweet/sharp. OK, it was cooked a little more than I would have preferred it, but only a little. The slices were draped over apple sauce mixed with fried onion and red pepper – a delicious accompaniment. A bowl of chips provided the carb. Like a number of other dishes on the menu, this one probably had its roots in Northern Spain, rather than the Canaries.

Over the other side of the table, a fillet of hake had been poached in oil, white wine, a splash of stock, peas and garlic. For what was probably just the last couple of minutes, clams and prawns were added. And, added right at the end, a couple of boiled new potatoes, white asparagus (from a tin, of course) and an incongruous half of a hard boiled egg. The menu said this was a Basque dish but we’ve no idea how authentic it might have been. We do know it was absolutely lovely.

We were too full for dessert but did have decent coffee.

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Bessarabsky Market, Kyiv. Ukraine
Credit: Juan Antonio Segal, Flickr