Was I ready for my next course? It sounded like a challenge and after my first table of tapas at The Willows in Los Cristianos I was more than ready. Finding a good selection of the iconic Spanish snacks isn’t always easy in the southern holiday resorts of Tenerife so I had been looking forward to the one hour tapas sample menu.
The Apolo centre is just behind the main parade of bus stops and a busy stop off point for journeys to Santa Cruz, Costa Adeje, Los Gigantes, and many other key points. It takes a little bit more effort to delve inside the Apolo to find The Willows at the centre of the ground floor. Owners, Mark from Ireland and Evelyn from Holland, have created a cool hideaway away from the rush to Las Vistas beach, but there was plenty of activity in the kitchen as my food started to appear.
A large plate including chicken salad, balti rice, melon, parma ham, goats cheese, and tortilla had a croquette and a chunk of morcilla surrounded so I plucked out the char-grilled black pudding and dabbed it with some green mustard dressing. Very nice, and with the plate plundered I set about mixing and matching the rest of the platter. There was ample back-up in the form of garlic bread, Mexican tuna with roast bell peppers, onion and cumin, but I was a little apprehensive of the mussels. I needn’t have worried, they were tender and tasty in a vinegar sauce.
I had taken a sneaky scan of the menu and noted around 30 items, all available as tapas or in slightly bigger portions but they like to surprise with daily tweaks and additions to the menu. I thought I did well to give the diverse mix equal attention and then I saw the next wave coming towards me. The ham and egg looked quite filling but I made for the sausages and added a generous serving of the ranch beans, the smoked paprika gave them a rousing edge. A dish of paella provided a light contrast as I flicked between the choices.
There was more to come as my empties were replaced with carne con papas (braised beef with potatoes) and chicken sticks with garlic mayo. A bowl of chunky steak chips was soon thinned out but again the dish I was least sure of won me over, Roquefort pork pan fried with shallots, white wine and blue cheese. I was struggling a little by now, feeling full with my taste buds given a good work out. I spotted a dessert of pear, coconut and caramel crumble advertised at the bar but it had missed its chance to tempt me today.
The Willows, Apolo Centre, Los Cristianos; (+34) 922 79 26 19 or 662 580 160; open daily noon to late; booking recommended. Tapas sample menu €11.50 per person
Category : food and drink
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