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.

REVIEW: FOOD 4-/5 – SERVICE 4-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4-/5

http://www.restaurantegrillfaro.com/index.php/en/





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 - reijosfood.com

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

Esplanade park evening - reijosfood.com

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 - reijosfood.com

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 - reijosfood.com

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 - reijosfood.com

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 - reijosfood.com

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 - reijosfood.com

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 - reijosfood.com

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.

REVIEW: FOOD 4-/5 – SERVICE 3,5/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4+/5

http://www.restauranteelsenador.com/index.php/en/





Restaurant review: Ambassador – New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner

2 01 2014

Taittinger at Ambassador - reijosfood.com

The first review in 2014 is from last day of 2013, New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner at restaurant Ambassador. Restaurant is in Hotel Lopesan Costa Meloneras Resort, Spa & Casino where we stayed for couple of weeks.

One might think that Gran Canary Island is worn and old-fashioned which is partly true. But there is certain area, Costa Meloneras, which is new and peaceful. Lot’s of good restaurants but no disturbing pubs or night clubs. All hotels are 4-5 star large complexes but well designed and equipped.

Restaurant had prepared menu which sounded promising, but was it what we expected?

Restaurant Ambassador - reijosfood.com

Dining room was decorated well beforehand in order to create solemn athmosphere.

Ambassador - reijosfood.com

After mojito aperitifs, dinner started with four starters which was maybe the weakest link. Clams were ok, but otherwise ensamble did not convince. However, although the expectations were high were were not disappointed.

Appetizers at Ambassador - reijosfood.com

Asparagus with quail fillet paired well. As quail was so soft all you needed was spoon.

Asparagus at Ambassador - reijosfood.com

Turbot was perfectly cooked which might be difficult when kitchen prepares it to around 100 diners in quite tight time schedule.

Turbot at Ambassador - reijosfood.com

Between fish and meat champagne sherbet was served. It was sweet which is not typical when you still have one main course to go. Stick holding strawberry was also eatable.

Sorbet at Ambassador - reijosfood.com

Beef tenderloin continued the high level of competence kitchen has. Solomillo is popular meat dish in Spain and this one was one the best I have eaten.

Beef tenderloin at Ambassador - reijosfood.com

Forgot to take a picture of dessert which was really delicious. There was small cake inside mousse which crowned the dessert. Fresh fruits complemented dinner also quite nicely.

Dinner included whole bottle of  Taittinger Champagne which you could drink at the table or enjoy later when the year changed. That is what we did because after aperitif, couple of glasses of white and red wines it was good to have short break. Noticed that all that wine which was served was also enjoyed by couple of tables. Maybe not good idea thinking about morning feeling.

The whole dinner was real success! Food was good, service professional and you could really be satisfied for the set up arranged by hotel restaurant. Most of the diners seemed to be Spanish and I shall bet we were the only ones from Finland.

Tradition is also to get “party bags” as presents after leaving dining room. Found quite nice mask from it and used it almost he whole evening.

REVIEW: FOOD 4-/5 – SERVICE 4,5/5 – OVERALL GRADE 5-/5





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 reijosfood.com

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.

Lobby

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

https://reijosfood.com/2012/12/26/restaurant-review-ambassador-spain/

https://reijosfood.com/2013/01/05/restaurant-review-el-churrasco-spain/





Restaurant review: Garbo’s Dinner Show (Spain)

31 12 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F47Y_39QKAU

GARBO’S

presented this year musical DIVA, a show full of song, dance, glamour, clean comedy and musical magic. During two part show you are entertained and delighted by the waiters who are trained profesional singers and dancers, who one minute will be waiting on your table then the next they are on stage in fantastic costumes. This makes whole show fascinating. Could hope for live band but all background music comes from player.

Group song music by Michael Jackson, Elton John, George Michael, Queen and Lady Gaga. Michael Jackson part was best of the show.

You can purchase VIP tickets including free bar or ordinary tickets which include food and half bottle of wine.

Food served was the same as last year. However, descriptions of portions let you believe that you would eat something extraordinary. THE MENU; text below is from Garbo’s website http://www.garbos.es/the-menu.php and reviews after each dish.

THE MENU

Jackson starter

As a starter restaurant serves a hot and slightly spicy tomato and leek soup, accompanied by a bread roll. It is a secret recipe of the Canaries that the chef has learnt from his grand mother. The Canarian tomato is also one of the island most exported vegetable and the climate is perfect for its growth and taste. Hence the special taste of this creamy soup.

Review: Simple, a little bit spicy soup. Like most of tomato soups.

Queens main course

“Chicken Supreme” dressed in a fine, creamy ,fresh mushroom sauce accompanied by “Rostie Potatoes” and fresh seasoning vegetables.

Review: A little bit dry chicken, but tasty sauce. Potatoes were not so well prepared but sauce was delicious.

Gaga’s dessert

To end the meal restaurant offers a freshly baked apple and cinnamon cake toped with vanilla sauce. Excellent with cup of coffee

Review: Dessert was best part of the dinner, sweet and juicy cake, most important thing was that it was fresh.

You do not come to Garbo’s just to eat. The show is in most important role and it is enjoyable. Our waiter (standing and singing in the picture) did a great performance but it must be tough job to perform and do the waitering during the show.

Our table must have been most international as we were accompanied by one Canadian, one from the USA, one from Switzerland, two from France and three from Sweden. Lot’s of joint cheering for our waiter to win the contest of performers!

REVIEW: FOOD 3/5 – SERVICE 4/5 – SHOW 4/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4/5

http://www.garbos.es/index.php

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