Lanzarote’s indigenous cuisine has for a long time consisted mostly of fish dishes and accompaniments such as wrinkled potatoes. A reflection of the culinary traditions that dominated the island’s mealtimes when importing food stuffs was considered something of a luxury.
But in the last few years, more adventurous chefs have begun to explore a greater variety of dishes using locally sourced produce, no doubt influenced by the trends in the restaurant trade that have transformed every European city from London to Madrid and beyond. And this in combination with a regular flow of goods, including ingredients, from the other islands and elsewhere has breathed new life into many of Lanzarote’s restaurants. A renaissance celebrated by the good people at Que Bueno Canarias, producers of the glossy upmarket guide to the island’s leading eateries, entitled Que Rico.
This divergence in the gastronomic offering is good news for any food enthusiasts living on or visiting the island, as it means that there is now a degree of choice in the type of dining experience available. There is still a profusion of very good restaurants serving freshly caught fish with the standard mojos or Canarian sauces and the aforementioned wrinkled potatoes. These can usually be found in the less developed coastal villages and towns such as El Golfo and Arrieta.
However, those who enjoy exploring modern cuisine will find there is an excellent diversity of places to eat. Long standing favourite La Tegala, which is based just outside Puerto del Carmen, was last year taken over by German Blanco, a chef in the tradition of Heston Blumenthal, who sees food preparation as something scientific and experimental, while no sacrifices are made in terms of flavour, presentation and quality. For instance, a crispy langostine salad comes with avocado, pineapple and apple and a dressing containing honey and passion fruit.
Similarly the chef at El Marinero in Arrieta, Nauzet Santana, takes the best local ingredients and serves them in new combinations or with a twist which adds a new layer of interest. A wild mushroom risotto may come with some local goat’s cheese or a poached quail’s egg on top. Or vegetable tempura are lightly battered and drizzled with palm honey.
In every corner of the island there are restaurants embracing the best aspects of the newest culinary trends. This includes the restaurants at the Centres of Art, Culture and Tourism, such as at the Jameos del Agua, where the superb ambience of the venue is complemented by both a tapas and a la carte menu. So wherever you choose to buy you can be assured of having great food right on your doorstep.
Many of these restaurants are featured in the latest edition of ¡Que Rico! – the Restaurant Guide to Lanzarote, produced by Saborea Lanzarote in conjunction with the Cabildo and the Canarian Government.