[Playa de las Americas, Tenerife, Spain] Meson Castellano

Like the adjacent Fresquera, this is an old favourite of ours which never lets us down by way of having a good evening. It’s straightforward Spanish cuisine – take good ingredients and cook them simply without too much cheffing about.

Starters are served tapas style, in the middle of the table for sharing. Pan con tomate was simplicity itself – thick pieces of bread, toasted and drizzled with olive oil before being topped with very finely diced tomato. What’s not to like? Also simple, oven roasted red peppers, skinned and served cold, dressed with strips of salty anchovy. It needed nothing more than a grind of pepper. And a slice of their excellent bread to mop up the juices.

Leg of lamb was literally that. A full leg, chopped into three pieces and served on the bone. Obviously, it’s small young animal but it still makes for a very generous portion, with tender, sweetish , almost bland meat (yes, I prefer the better flavoured older lamb or mutton). It’s cooked in the oven, sat on thinly sliced potatoes and onions which, in turn, soak up some of the lamb fat as it all cooks. Simple and delicious.Two fillets of salt cod were grilled to the “just flaking “stage. It’s probably a bit nit-picking to criticise salt cod for being too salty – but a bit too salty it was. It came with nothing more that some lemon to squeeze over and a dish of Canarian potatoes. A bit of salad or veg would have been welcome.

As often the case with many restaurants (except those at the really top end), desserts were no better than just OK. And probably not worth the calories. The better of the two was rice pudding, served cold and exactly what you’d expect – light, yet rich – pleasnt enough and topped with a heavuy sprinkling of cinnamon flavoured sugar. The said the better about blackcurrant cheesecake – it was very much “Mum’s Gone to Iceland – on a bad day”. There was little taste of anything except a generic “sweet” – no richness in the cheese, no zing from the fruit.

So, not a faultless meal but and enjoyable evening nevertheless.

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

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2