Try A Taste of Chile at Arlequin in Playa de San Juan

Fri, January 3rd, 2014 - By Andrea Montgomery

Step outside your hotel or apartment in Los Cristianos, Playa de las Americas or Costa Adeje and you’ll find no shortage of places to eat. From pizza and pasta to burger and chips, and from cheap and cheerful to posh nosh, there are numerous establishments to chose from. But if you’re looking for something a bit different where you can enjoy really tasty dishes at excellent value for money, head to the chic, west coast resort of Playa de San Juan and the Chilean fusion cuisine of Arlequín.


Playa de San Juan


Located on Avenida El Emigrante in Playa de San Juan with uninterrupted sunset views over La Gomera, Arlequin is a fusion restaurant specialising in Chilean and Spanish cuisine where chef Juan Carlos León Balboa takes the time, trouble and creativity to produce dishes that are a bit different from the run of the mill, are nicely presented and best of all, are absolutely delicious.


Chorillana, Arlequin


The interior is stylish and contemporary and much larger than it looks from the outside. Rows of tables line the picture windows for that sunset vista and there’s an upper seating level and a lounge area with black and red comfy armchairs and sofas where you can enjoy a drink at the bar. Décor is clean and simple with natural wood surfaces taking centre stage and teamed with grey, and burgundy to add a warm finishing touch. Lighting is bright enough to see what you’re eating but not cafeteria levels.

The menu arrives in tablet form which means you get to see what your dish will look like before you order. Unfortunately there are no names to go with the pictures so you need Véronica, who speaks perfect English, to tell you what each one is. If you look at their website before you go, not only will it whet your appetite but you can also identify some dishes before you arrive.

There were only around half a dozen Chilean dishes on the menu, the rest being a mix of Spanish (paella, papas bravas), Canarian (morcilla, octopus salad) and salads which looked really appealing, especially the César Arlequin and the goat’s cheese. But we wanted to try something different so we opted for all Chilean dishes.


sopalpillas, pumpkin bread at Arlequin


First up was Sopaipillas, a golden tower of pumpkin fritters alongside a classic, ensalada chilena salad of onions and tomatoes. The fritters were crispy, light and packed with flavour and disappeared in seconds. Along with the fresh, tangy salad they set the bar high for the rest of the meal. But each subsequent course was up to the challenge. Pastel de choclo was like a shepherd’s pie with a crunchy cheese topping over a tasty beef and onion stew but there was a slight sweetness, possibly from raisins, to give it a different edge. Next was chorillana, a hearty dish of chips covered in succulent strips of beef, caramelised onion and topped with two fried quail’s eggs. By the time we’d finished demolishing it there was hardly a need to wash the plate.


Pumpkin cake with white chocolate 'soup', Arlequin


If the main courses had exceeded our expectations, the dessert took them and batted them out of the restaurant. Pumpkin cake in a white chocolate ‘soup’ had us all shamelessly practically licking the plate.

Arlequin, Avenida El Emigrante, Playa San Juan; +34 922 13 41 79; dishes average €7.

Posted : Friday, January 3rd, 2014 at 11:50 am
Category : food and drink
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