Nobody reviews restaurants on Gran Canaria like us. Our regulars will know this by now. Although, to some, we’re an acquired taste.
The same could be said of Samsara Gran Canaria. Co-owner, the-front-of-house Juan Santiago Hernandez, describes the eatery as “strange and atypical”, and conservative palates will be besieged by unconventional flavours. The other co-owner, Juan Manuel Hernandez, literally signs off his creative, daring dishes back of house.
Very much a word-of-mouth triumph, Samsara Gran Canaria’s success can be boiled down to three key components. So what are these magic ingredients? Let us explain.
- Samsara Gran Canaria’s location
- Samsara Gran Canaria’s portions
- Samsara Gran Canaria’s vibe
1. Samsara Gran Canaria’s location
You could easily walk on by Samsara Gran Canaria. It’s in a shopping centre, usually a sign of a trap for the tourist. However, this is not your average centro comercial.
C.C. La Charca’s on Calle Oceania. Which runs parallel with Maspalomas’ Charca, a lagoon providing a home to migratory birds. Enjoy views of the famous dunes too, from an outdoor table. Bluewater, it ain’t.
2. Samsara Gran Canaria’s portions
The international food with an oriental twist at Samsara Gran Canaria’s to share. Front-of-house Juan advises Mr and Mrs Gran Canaria to order one starter, one main course, and one dessert. Considering the size of the plates, his logic makes sense.
And so we start with the queso de cabra sobre tosta con manzana confitada y mermelada de cebolla. This is goats’ cheese on toast with apple confit and onion jam, and every bit as moreish as it sounds. And the damage to your wallet? A mere €11,00.
On to the main course and after some expert guidance, we request the creppe relleno de verduras y shitake gratinado con tomate, gouda, y frutos secos. This crepe stuffed with shitake and mixed vegetable gratin, tomato, and gouda is topped by nuts. It’ll leave you €12,50 less in your pocket, but you won’t mind as this, again, is love at first bite. Although, we thought the addition of nuts would be, well, plain nuts.
3. Samsara Gran Canaria’s vibe
When Juan Santiago spots Mr GCL’s trusty notebook, he tells him to put it away. “You’re here to relax,” he reminds us. “Try and commit your visit to memory rather than stopping the moment to jot things down.”
Mr Gran Canaria Local does what the long-haired, goateed, necklace-wearing guru suggests. And what do you know? It works.
There’s a rather ordinary staircase that takes you up to Samsara Gran Canaria. Transporting you from the local taxi rank to one of Gran Canaria’s finest restaurants. Yes, it’s very much a stairway to (gourmet) heaven.
Eating at Samsara feels like a special occasion. Which ties in perfectly with Mr and Mrs Gran Canaria Local celebrating their wedding anniversary. Cue a customized dessert of flambeed mango with pink pepper, natch, and ice-cream. The inscribed dedication from back-of-house Juan makes it feel even more of a love letter.
Disclaimer: Mr and Mrs GCL marked their wedding anniversary with a complimentary dinner at Samsara Gran Canaria. But who else works anniversaries? If you’d like a review of your restaurant, contact us to set up a date and time.