Do you have a taste for the finer things in life? If so, you’ve come to the right place. As we review yet another of Gran Canaria’s growing number of gourmet restaurants.
The Bohemia Suites & Spa’s 360 in Playa del Inglés was our latest culinary destination. It was actually a return for Mr Gran Canaria Local as he visited the restaurant when he reviewed the hotel for The Independent. But would it be a slight or glorious one?
This time Mr GCL was accompanied by his photographer, as in Mrs Gran Canaria Local. So, how did we find it? Well, the answer to that question is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Here’s our three-point plan to get the most out of a 360 meal.
- Enjoy an aperitif at Atelier
- Treat the 360 staff as expert guides
- Do let the sun go down on you at 360
1. Enjoy an aperitif at Atelier
Eating out should be an event, a show. With that mind, we were treated to a first act at Atelier. This is the cocktail bar/lounge which adjoins 360, a restaurant which has separate lifts for hotel guests and non-guests.
The barman/mixologist revealed that ordinarily Atelier’s a totally open-air venue, but when rain’s forecast they semi cover it. We joined the rest of the punters outdoors and, apart from the briefest of showers, were able to enjoy our mixers dry. Mrs GCL’s a native Canarian but she rewound to her Primrose Hill days with a Pimms (5€) whilst Mr Gran Canaria Local showed off his native credentials by ordering a Julep Colada (10€).
This take on a Piña Colada is the Atelier cocktail which is the most emblematic of the Canary Islands. Aldea Blanco rum from La Palma is blended with coconut before being mixed with pineapple jam. Bizarrely, this eminently sippable alcoholic smoothie was paired with a miniature gofio and banana sponge. Talk about over-egging the pudding.
2. Treat the 360 staff as expert guides
If you’ve ever been shopping with Mrs Gran Canaria Local, you’ll know she has a tendency of not making her mind up. Which is always why Mr GCL brings a book along with him if he ever accompanies her. Therefore, it didn’t surprise Mr Gran Canaria Local to hear Mrs GCL asking for help with her order. Again.
But then Mr GCL ruminated a little. And he finally saw the light; that it makes perfect sense to enquire of someone so acquainted with their kitchen’s output what they would recommend. Our table also had the good fortune of having 360’s sommelier as our waiter.
Mr Gran Canaria Local began to take his wife’s lead. He explained that he was a vegetarian and was relieved to learn that the kitchen would adapt non-vegetarian menu entries for him and other veggie guests. So Mr GCL ordered the grilled zucchini salad (15€) which arrived with the biggest capers he’s ever seen, famed flower cheese from the north west of the island, and an asparagus emulsion. The beautifully-simple plan of cooking vegetables al dente ensured the salad maintained its crunch.
Thankfully, though, there was no trace of the dried tuna which appears in the á-la-carte listing. Which goes to show that everything’s freshly prepared in chef Xavier Franquet’s open-plan kitchen. If only that was the case at every restaurant Mr Gran Canaria Local’s been to on Gran Canaria. Traditionalists might flinch, however, at both the á-la-carte and tasting menus which are more playful than po-faced.
The less-fussy Mrs GCL was skilfully nudged towards the crab terrine (18€) served with a vodka sorbet. It was, according to her, a seafood lover’s aphrodisiac. The food porn continued with Mrs Gran Canaria Local’s main course of beef tenderloin from Extremadura (25€) garnished with red cabbage which looked more like precious stones than a vegetable.
3. Do let the sun go down on you at 360
Contrary to what you may have read elsewhere, seasons do come and go on the island. If we were visiting in high summer, we might well have decided to dine later at the 8th-floor 360. However, our dinner took place in mid autumn. So, we took the earliest available sitting.
The ever-helpful hotel manager, Fernando Calvo, explained that if we wanted to sample a sunset with our meal; we should arrive at 7:00pm. We’re so glad we took his advice. As we leisurely dined with a bottle of El Níspero, a seriously fruity 13% white from La Palma, watching the sun merge with the dunes below.
But then Mr Gran Canaria Local was put to the test with his mango lassi dessert (10€), a pud which reinterpreted the Indian restaurant staple as a mango meringue pie. He didn’t want the meal to end. Yet the mango was so richly delicious, he had to forcibly slow down the speed with which his full spoon hit his mouth. Now that’s one struggle which Mr GCL wouldn’t mind repeating.
Disclaimer: Mr and Mrs Gran Canaria Local were treated to a complimentary Saturday-night meal by Bohemia Suites & Spa’s 360. We really don’t mind working weekends, guys. So, if you’d like a review of your restaurant; get in touch to set up a suitable date.