[Playa de las Americas, Tenerife, Spain] Iberoteka

You could easily miss this place, in an open courtyard at the shops behind Park Club Europe. It’s Spanish food from a French chef. We went for lunch. There’s half a dozen or so main courses on the menu which is mainly given over to a list of about twenty tapas and salads. It’s suggested that, if ordering tapas, three would do to share between the two of us. Of course, we ordered bread and alioli as well.

One of the issues we have with “small plates” meals is that they come when the chef has decided to cook them, rather than in the order you had in mind for eating them. But here, whether by accident or design, they came in the “right” order with a little gap between each one.

The bread came first. A generous serving of baguette with nicely garlicky alioli. Fortunately, we hadn’t scoffed the lot before the first tapa arrived. These were big, fat, juicy king prawns in hot olive oil flavoured with garlic and a little chilli. The oil was perfect for dunking what was left of the bread.

Then, artichokes with ham and pepper. OK, a jar or tin had been opened, rather than the ‘chokes being freshly prepared. You could taste the brine from the jar, but that’s fine. They’d been drained and lightly fried along with a fine dice of the ham and pepper. Finally, meatballs in tomato sauce. Two each, the size of golfballs and lightly cooked so they were still very moist. There was a little tomato sauce – really good tomato sauce – and a handful of salad and rice.

The three dishes, with the bread, had been just enough. But we’d have happily eaten a fourth. Good lunch.

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

― Jonathan Gold