I reckon that, over the years, we’ve eaten at just about very restaurant along Avendia Las Americas. There are few that I’d been rushing to return to – menu prices are high and are not matched by food quality. I’d rate Gula ahead of all the others, although not without glitches in the cooking.
There’s very modernist surroundings, servers at the top of their game, an imaginative menu that takes elements of Spanish cooking and, in several dishes, reaches out towards East Asia. And, whilst not cheap, it is very much a matter that you get what you pay for and you’re likely to be in for a value for money dinner.
The basket of mixed bread was excellent – I particularly liked the one with sunflower seeds baked into it. And there was a freebie snack – described as a vegetable cake, it seemed more like a frittata. Not sure what the vegetables were, so I asked the server, who didn’t know either. He went to ask the kitchen and came back with an answer of “mixed vegetables”. Tasted fine whatever it was.
There was a salad for one starter. Mixed leaves that you don’t know what they are – the sort that only come in bags at post supermarkets, but nicely bitter. They went well with the scatterings of prawns and smoked salmon. The other starter was Andalusian squid rings. Briefly fried but , perhaps, not brief enough as they were a bit chewier than you’d want. They came with a sauce that I can only describe as a thick orange marmalade. Fruity and sweet, it seemed weird at first but it grew on me.
Pork shoulder had been cooked as a steak and was very flavoursome. However, cooking a should quickly is never going to produce a tender piece of meat. So, chewy it was but not overly so and certainly not as to spoil the enjoyment. There was and apricot sauce and grilled chunks of pineapple, both of which worked really well. There was no veg but there were tiny new potatoes cooked Canarian style.
Salt cod was slightly overcooked and came with an indeterminate, but very savoury, brown sauce. There was a dice of mixed veg which were not a roaring success – they had all been cut to the same size and, presumably, cooked together. That seem to ignore the fact that they will cook at different times so some cubes were fullky cooked, others acceptably “al dente” and others almost raw. You’d like to hopethis wasn’t what was intended by the kitchen
There was mixed success with desserts. A semi-freddo simply wasn’t one. It was, however, a ball of ice cream encased in chocolate and was perfectly fine as far as that went. What was not fine was the advertised port wine sauce. In fact, it was not a sauce at all as it had been sey with gelatin into a jelly. In fact it had been overly set, so there was now just a disc of tasteless rubber at the bottom of the dish. Actively unpleasant.
On the other hand, chocolate fondant was a perfect example. The sponge cooked through and a rich chocolate sauce oozing out when you cut into it. Excellent accompaniments of vanilla ice cream and a raspberry coulis to cut through the richness. I’ve probably eaten a better fondant, but I really can’t recall when.
We ate this meal on the last night of a three week trip, where we’d eaten at a different place each night. In spite of the glitches, this was up there towards the top of our personal ratings.