Restaurant review: Samsara (Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, Spain)

3 03 2018

Usually write about restaurants in Helsinki, Finland, but if find noteworthy spot somewhere else, review ends up here. Gran Canaria is one of the most holiday destinations, especially the south part. Most of the restaurants do not differ so much from each other and you can similar food from each restaurant. Some try to be a little fancier, maybe the the fanciest are at the hotels.

Restaurant Samsara in Costa Meloneras is hidden gem or not because it is so popular. It’s location is interesting, one could not guess from outside that in that worn building there is a fusion cuisine spacious restaurant with it’s own style. Decoration comes from Asia, buddha style dominating.

The idea is to share portions, dishes are not classified to starters and main courses. If you decide to eat one dish by yourself, there is not room for so called starter.

To start the dinner with, Samsara served Samosas for apetizers both times. Delicious snack is a nice bridge for courses you are waiting for. There will also be a small white roll, which is not needed and actually it does not fit in to the ensamble.


“Lasagne” was tasty but as waiter said it was not so exotic and spicy as many other dishes. Wanted to try how two fishes, salmon and cod, paired with cheese. Interesting experience!

Tofu replaced turkey in vegan version of this dish. Dish was tasty and tofu cooked crispy.

For wine ordered Mas de Quince from bodegas Piedemonte. Winery is located in the town of Olite in Navarra, Spain of course. It was founded in 1992. The red varieties grown are: garnacha, tempranillo, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. Wine was created from grapes sourced from more than 15 year old vineyards, with an average yield of 4000 kg/ha. Color was dark ruby and taste balanced with smooth tannins.


Tenderloin in curry sauce with vegetables and cashew nuts was bulls eye. Spicy and sweet sauce as well as soft, crispy pieces of meat made this dish excellent.

Vegan version of curry was not so spicy as expected but propably for many it was enough strong. Delicious dish and of course big portion.

Principe de Viana Edition Limitade was the wine we enjoyed during second visit. Grapes come from different wineyards and they are Tempranillo 25% Plot “El Carrascal”, Merlot 50% Plot “El Crucero” and Cabernet Sauvignon 25% Plot “La Muga”. It has been aged in 225-litre oak barrels for 14 months. Wine has deep ruby red colour. Taste is round and well-structured, dark berries and fruits with hints of vanilla.

When you enter to restaurant by climbing the stairs, you first see giant statue. Outside there is chilling area for enjoying drinks. There is also few tables for dining but winter time sometimes might be to cold to eat outside.

Indoor you can find different spaces. Dining rooms are decorated with sculptures, pictures, small items and all are more or less looking like there were brought from Asia or India.


Samsara serves some spicy dishes, but all of them are kind of pieces of art. Serving plates, bowls or trays are huge due to size of portions. One speciality is desserts, one can beforehand order cake for birthday party or for other celebration.

Service is propably the best in Costa Meloneras, many waiters and waitresses are ready to to serve.

Restaurant is open only in evenings and it is fully booked almost all the time. Therefore if you want to visit it, make your reservation enough early. They might ask to re-confirm it, but it is worth of it.


Restaurant review: Grill Faro – Costa Meloneras, Spain

25 01 2015

Grill Faro in Costa Meloneras

Grill Faro is the first restaurant in the “restaurant alley” in Costa Meloneras, if you come from north/west. Part of the restaurant is at upper level and the crowdiest area at the same level as all other “alley” restaurants.

Restaurants praises to serve over 200 dishes, is it really good? Anyhow, Grill Faro serves many different meat and fish dishes, which are actually quite delicious.

Dined at Grill Faro twice and this review concerns 2nd visit.

Dinner started with salad and delicous Pulpo, octopus. Actually I ordered Chipirones, tiny fried squid. Maybe restaurant did not had those and thought that any octopus is good enough? All the same, Pulpo is really delicous and not so greasy as chipirones. With some olive oil had to eat all 5 pieces.

Grill Faro Pulpo

For main courses we had Fresh fish prepared with Canarian style and Braised Lamb.

Fish was prepared on a pan with vegetables. It was delicious but quite small after skin and fish bones were removed. Lamb was over cooked as braised lamb should be. Some salt, please, and perfect meat dish.

Grill Faro Canarian Fish

Grill Faro Lamb

With dessert cheeses had glass of Malaga Virgen sweet wine which is produced from 100% Pedro Ximenez grapes. Excellent wine at least with cheeses because it was not too sweet.

Grill Faro Malaga Sweet wine

Grill Faro is one of the two most popular restaurants in the “alley”. You have to wait for the table, if you arrive late. Also you might need to wait for the food because of popularity. Restaurant is a safe choice for first restaurant to visit in Costa Meloneras.


Restaurant review: The House Meloneras at Costa Meloneras

23 01 2015

Restaurant The House Meloneras is one of the 6 restaurants at “restaurant alley”. All restaurants are close to each other and actually do not differ so much from each other (except Chinese and Sushi/Mexican restaurants).

Visited The House Meloneras twice, but review concerns latter visit. Restaurant is the newest one and replaced Casa something which tried to be local, typical Spanish restaurant.

Started the dinner with Pan y Jamon Serrano, really delicious starter. Warm cheese between bread and ham made the combinations excellent though quite heavy.

Pan y Jamon -

For main course ordered Sea bass baked under salt cover, which is also spectacle to watch as waiter prepares fish to be eaten near yout table. Of course most splashy is the burning of salt cover, some fun anyway. It is also important that waiter can really open up the fish and serve it. Otherwise part of the fish will stay on the tray and you get too many fish bones on your plate.

At The House Meloneras all parts of serving the fish were in order.

Side dishes, Canarian potoes and Salad were suitable for fish. Also the potato sauces matched well with white meated sea bass.

Seabass -

Seabass at The House Meloneras -

Side dishes at House Meloneras -

For wine we had Gran Vina Sol from Torres. Big brother of Vina Sol, made from Chardonnay and Parrelada grapes. Paired quite well with sea bass we had for main course.

Gran Vina Sol -

Propably The House Meloneras is the best of all 6 restaurants. It is not as popular as Grill Faro and Grand Italia, which are over-crowded and sometimes service is a little bit arrogant due to success.

The House Meloneras has wide menu, something for everyone and polite service. If you are in Costa Meloneras, worth to visit.


Restaurant review: Ovo – Gourmet restaurant at hotel Lopesan Villa del Conde

16 01 2015
Restaurant Ovo

Restaurant Ovo

The distinguished Club Restaurant Ovo is situated in the central building of hotel Lopesan Villa del Conde next to the central square. In its envolving interior of simple elegance, the Ovo permits to taste pleasantly a virtuos creative cuisine.

Visited Ovo twice, New Year’s Eve Gala dinner and few days later. Review is combination of these two visits, which differed quite a lot from each other.


New Years Eve Menu at Ovo -

New Year’s Celebration is spectacular not only because of better climate compared to Finland but also way of celebrating and enjoying party. Dinner was also perfect as well as service. What was extremely unique, hotel gave a food allergy card in check-in, which was useful whole stay. And it proved to be working already during New Years’ Eve dinner although menu was fixed.

Dinner started with Appetizer consisting of three delicacies. Names of goodies can be seen on Menu above.

Then came the soup where you could see how well restaurant took into account the food allergy card. Tomato soup instead of cream.

Lobster with side dishes was great! Cooking was perfect because lobster meat was soft, not chewy.

Meat, beef tenderloin, was prepared with talent and it was one of the best red meats eaten ever.

For dessert combination of sweet goodies but not too sweet. Perfect ending for the dinner. Ups, forgot glass of Lanson, which actuallu ended the dinner.

Starters at Ovo - reijosfood.comTomato soup at Ovo -

Cream soup at Ovo -

Lobster with flower garden at Ovo -

Beef at Ovo -

Dessert at Ovo -


Second visit was few days after New Year’s Eve. Expectations were high as we were amazed by the service and food served last time. We did not need food allergy card because main waiter remembered changes what needed to be made, excellent!

Dinner started with greetings from the kitchen, soup and vitello tonnato Ovo way. Best part of the dinner, unfortunately.

Starters, giant shrimps and Ceasar salad, were ok but not that impressive as we expected. Ceasar salad missed taste of anchovy and garlic.

Main course, sea bass, was prepared too early. It was not anymore enough warm and crisp.

But service, it was again professional and polite.

Appetizers at Ovo -

Shrimps at Ovo -

Ceasar salad at Ovo -

Fish at Ovo -

Restaurant Ovo can be gourmet restaurant if it wants. Service is outstanding and it really takes into account customer. But gourmet restaurant needs to serve stable quality when it comes to food. This was not the fact at second visit. However, Ovo maybe is the best restaurant in Costa Meloneras.


Two climates – Helsinki, Finland and Costa Meloneras, Spain

11 01 2014

I have not sent posts just consisting of pictures of traveling photos, but after leaving today’s dining place, sort of lived de javu. Not because of Spanish type of restaurant we just dined (which was not de javu), but because of Christmas lights.

Christmas unite nations all over the world. Sometimes it seems exaggerated, but it is always familiar for almost all nations.

First picture is from Costa Meloneras, Gran Canaria, Spain one week ago.

CostaMeloneras_evening -

Second picture is from Park Esplanade, Helsinki, Finland today.

Esplanade park evening -

Because of first snow which landed today, yes today on the 11th January 2014, we shaked from the cold.

Cold equals -1C degrees, which is the first time when temperature is below zero in Helsinki this winter. Odd?

Although we are Finns, we are never accustomed for winter. But when it arrives we kind of like it….., or have already started planning next trip to avoid it.

Restaurant review: El Senador – two lunch experiences

6 01 2014

El Senador -

Had to write another post from winter holiday, because this restaurant does not let you down when it comes to Spanish food.

Restaurante El Senador is situated by the Maspalomas beach near Faro lighthouse. Have visited El Senador several times since 2006.  Because of the location it seems to be quite expensive compared to the restaurant premises. But on the other hand all tapas portions are so huge that they could be shared with 4 person. Both dining areas and bar are always crowded during lunch time.  This year review covers two visits.

Lunch 1:

For starters ordered Sopa de pescadores del Atlántico which was excellent. It included some bites of fish and shell-fish, mainly mussels and shrimps. Soup base was really delicious, but slightly over salted. Soup was brought to the table in big bowl. Then waitress ladled hot soup on the plates which was a proof of long tradition.

El Senador -

Main course was our favourite Lubina a la sal con espinacas a la crema y patatas hervidas – Sea bass baked in a salt coat. Fresh fish is baked in salt coat, then it is brought to the table, waiter removes fish bones and you just enjoy the fish and side dishes. It is easy to overcook the fish when it is prepared this way. However, the taste of fresh sea bass is unbeatable. If you travel to Finland our whitefish tastes almost the same.

Lubina at El Senador - reijosfood.comSea bass at El Senador -

Lunch 2:

Second lunch started with Pimientos de Padrón fritos – Deep-fried small green capsicums with coarse salt and Pan con ajo crujiente. As we had decided to eat Fideau for main course started had to be modest. In this restaurant Paellas and Fideua are huge. Small capsicums are, we think, the best available in Spain. Portion is huge which means two person can not empty the plate if main course will follow.

Small capsicums at El Senador -

Main course was indeed Fideuà ciega (con choco, gambas y pescado limpios). Mostly Spanish eat Paella made from rice but as once ate in Salou so delicious Fideua, had to taste it also here. Unfortunately Fideua here did not beat the one is Salou. This was good no doubt about it, but as you have once had the ultimate taste experience, it is easy to be deviced slightly.

Fideua at El Senador - reijosfood.comFideua -

El Senador is best place to eat local food for lunch in the area. Do not set too high expectations for the service. Restaurant serves thousands of visitors per day, so do not be too upstage. Service is enough good in order to keep the mood high.

If you decide to have drinks at the bar area you can also order food there and eat it in very, very relaxed athmosphere. But not among troublemakers because everyone is enough sophisticated to enjoy life evenly.

El Senador -

Interesting detail is that you can find dry riesling white wine from Torres at the restaurant. That is what we had with Lubina, mostly enjoyed Vina Sol which paires enough well with tapas dishes.


Hotel review: Lopesan Costa Meloneras Resort Spa and Casino (Spain)

9 02 2013

Lopesan Costa MelonerasLopesan Costa Meloneras

Check out “Michael Jackson” and lobby videos below!

Lopesan Costa Meloneras Resort Spa & Casino, a 4 star category hotel, is located on the sea front and just a few metres from the Nature Reserve of Dunas de Maspalomas, in the south of Gran Canaria island. Hotel is the biggest in Canary Island with over 1000 rooms.

Have stayed at this hotel already 4 times, maybe getting too comfort-loving or just like this hotel. But never before during Christmas and New Year, which had pros and cons. New Years Eve party was amazing compared to ones in Finland for several reasons; warm weather outside instead of freezing, adult-like celebrating instead of too heavy drinking and trouble making and well prepared program. Great light show on the hotel walls and firefors. On the other hand expensive time including dinners.

Standard rooms are quite simple a little bit worn but spacious, best part is bathroom with separate bath tube and shower and balcony, of course. If you want to have pool and garden view, you have to pay some extra but it is worth of it.

Standard room

Lopesan Costa Meloneras Resort, Spa & Casino invites its visitors to enjoy an atmosphere of peaceful activity in which you can practice all types of sports and look after body and mind in the fantastic Spa Corallium, a real gift for the senses in an impressive centre inspired by the volcanic nature of the island. Have visited spa and it is one of the best equipped have seen with different saunas, pools and relaxing rooms. Several saunas including African sauna (like Finnish), steam sauna, Turkish Hammamet and salt pool and different water treatments and relaxing rooms….Unfortunately no pictures because did not want to carry camera with me.

Most photographed area at the hotel is Lago Pool which seems to end to Atlantic Ocean. If hotel is introduced in some travel magazine you will see same view almost every time. And pool really is marvelous but unfortunately in the winter time too cold, at least for us. Four different pools makes the difference and the garden and the mini golf and tennis court and….

Lago Pool and sea

Quiet pool is situated at the far end of hotel, quite nice spitting dogs guarding the peace.

If you want to swim around the garden you can use pool whic is in the middle of the pool area. You can walk via two small bridges over this pool.

Hotel has 3 big buffet dining rooms, a la carte restaurant Ambassador, 4  pool bars, lobby bar, cafe……Hotel “outsourced” summer 2012 two of its restaurants to restaurateurs which was good move. Earlier quite empty but now really busy restaurants partly because entry has been opened to beach boulevard. Had Christmas Eve dinner at Ambassador and New Years Eve dinner at buffet restaurant. Both were really great experiences. Also dined at El Churrasco, one of the two “external” restaurants. Reviews can be found at

AmbassadorEl Churrasco

New Years Eve buffet, just some pictures….buffet restaurants really did their best. Of course breakfast is versatile but you soon realize that you take the same eats every morning

Hotel lobby is large and service is excellent…Only place you can use WiFi for free. So this is the weakest link of the hotel which is otherwise almost perfect.


And top of all great performances every evening at the stage. Was amazed to see that “Michael Jackson” was alive and kicking.

Michael Jackson copy

This Lopesan hotel is perfect for us because it is enough big, all services available and lot’s of good restaurants nearby. Also the area around is modern and quite new. No bibulous tourists who used to take part in the pig feasts in the past. Also Maspalomas dunes are just around the corner.

Maspalomas dunes

%d bloggers like this: