Much as we love local food, living in the Canary Islands is a different lifestyle to coming on vacation. We enjoy recommending the best places to eat fish, tapas or gofio, but here 365 days a year, we like to vary our cuisine in the same way we would if we lived in London or Glasgow.
We eat Chinese, Italian, or, in this case, Japanese cuisine to satisfy our cravings. Sushi was slow to appear in the south of Tenerife, in fact, in the island at all, and having discovered it on holiday, I had eagerly awaited its appearance.
I was living in El Médano ten years ago when Jin Shi Jie opened on the main road into town, and I went to try it as soon as I could. The variety of sushi and sashimi as well as other delicious Asian dishes were a delight to my palate not accustomed to stuff so exotic.
I went again recently, after being away for a year or so, and was delighted that the staff remembered me, asking where I’d been for so long. Good customer service, including knowing your customers, is always a good sign, as is having staff that doesn’t change with the passing years. It’s one reason that many people feel comfortable coming back to places like El Médano or Las Galletas, as opposed to the bright lights of Costa Adeje or Playa de las Americas, because eateries here cater as much for locals as for tourists, and loyal customers are important.
This week I went with friends who are aficionados of all things Japanese, including food. They did say that the menu has been westernised, and fused with Chinese dishes, but despite this still represents a good selection of Japanese fare. We ordered Gyoza (prawn dumplings) and Char Siu (pork buns) to begin, together with a plate of Vegetable Tempura. For anyone who likes Chinese cuisine, the pork buns are familiar; they are popular in both countries. Both the gyoza and buns, hot and perfectly moist, came in bamboo steamers, whilst the tempura veggies were crisp and crunchy, in a light and tasty batter.
To follow we had the sushi “boat,” a selection of nigiri and maki, which has always been my favourite here, although the attractive, wooden “boat” was discarded when the European Union decided that serving food on wood had to be banned. Whilst perhaps not quite as pretty a presentation, the quality, happily, hasn’t changed at all.
Apologies, but I can’t give you an opinion on the dessert menu. I have always stuffed myself so full of dumplings and sushi, that I’ve never been able to find room, but we did succumb, when pressed, to enjoy that very Canarian tradition of a chupito, a shot on the house to finish off the meal.
It was nice to note that the wine menu now includes several Tenerife wines, including some personal favourites, although some weren’t available. This due to the season, new wines being due in a couple of months, many vineyards have sold out their stock from the previous year’s harvest.
I’m delighted to have this variety on my doorstep again, and see many return visits in my future as I work my way through the extensive menu!
Category : food and drink
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