The lone fisherman dangling his rod off the Los Cristianos quay could only dream of landing fish as big and tasty as the two lubina (sea bass) that basked on my plate. The casual angler was probably still in dream mode when the local fishermen went out in the early hours to continue the trade that Los Cristianos was founded on. Restaurant Cofradia de Pescadores offers the best of the catch but although in a prime position, the partly closed gates to the whale and dolphin excursion ships and the boat repair yard tend to put people off entering the heart of the landing zone.
I felt I had the best view in the old harbour sitting upstairs in the restaurant run by the historic fishermen’s association. It was early evening and still baking hot so the cooling breeze was welcome as my gaze swept from Montaña Guaza, over the old beach to the ferry port where the Fred Olsen and Armas ships were waiting to head for La Gomera and La Palma. The proud seafaring tradition is celebrated in the sea charts on the table tops and old photos of Arona and particularly Los Cristianos, on the walls.
Specializing in fish of the shoal and shell varieties, and paellas, I scanned the menu to make my difficult choice. I love fish, the fresher the better, I had tried a similar Cofradia outlet in Puerto de la Cruz so was relishing the prospect. Starters included those hottest of peppers, padrón, as well as tiger mussels, shrimps, and croquettes of octopus, tuna, or cod. I went straight for a main and asked for the fish of the day, lubina was the recommendation but I could have gone for garlic octopus and prawns, sardines, or fried anchovies, among many others. A cold Dorada seemed the appropriate beer choice as I waited.
I often cut through from the old beach to Las Vistas via the fishermen’s zone, the colourful boats bobbing on the sea have been passed down through generations. If I’m lucky I sometimes witness the day’s late catch being landed and loaded for market. Pride in their links with the sea is never far below the surface and emerges in spectacular form for the Virgin del Carmen celebrations. This is true for fishing communities all along the Tenerife coast such as Los Abrigos, Las Galletas, Playa San Juan, and Alcala.
Mulling all that history over put me in the perfect mood for the arrival of my large fishy friends with a generous salad and Canarian potatoes for company. It was lovely, the fish fell away from the skeletal frame and was light and tasty with a squeeze of lemon. Outside the late sunshine still had a large number of water lovers in its spell, I felt quite full, it was good value for €15, and resisted the lure of ice cream, maybe next time I will mix and match some smaller offerings.
Restaurante Cofradia de Pescadores, Muelle de Los Cristianos, (0034) 600 56 22 49; open noon to late daily, Sundays 4pm to late.
Category : food and drink
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