Skip to content

Abrasa: a Gran Canaria grill

August 27, 2015
Abrasa's stylish interior is more relaxed than intimidating

At Gran Canaria Local, we champion local eateries. Instead of booking an all-inclusive Gran Canaria break, how about eating out? At one of the island’s fine restaurants.

Gran Canaria Local don’t just promote anybody. We do our research. Which is how we came to hear about Abrasa.

We’ve wanted to eat out in San Fernando since reading Walthamstow Foodies‘ eulogy. And we’ve been keen to return to San Fern, as nobody but us calls it, after hanging out there with Sky Rebels. And when checking Tripadvisor’s reviews, we saw Sky Rebels’ Ines Armero bigging up Abrasa. We may be Gran Canaria Local, but Ms Armero’s very much San Fernando Local. Here are three things we now know after our Abrasa dinner.

  1. A grill can be veggie-friendly
  2. Location’s as important for firms as it is for properties
  3. Abrasa’s loud and proud

1. A grill can be veggie-friendly

Abrasa sum themselves up in three words. Grill. Tapas. Vino. Whilst the veggie Mr Gran Canaria Local was relaxed about the last two, he was troubled by the first. Owner Michael, who imports the finest cuts of wet-aged rather than frozen meat from Argentina, Paraguay, and Scotland, put him at ease.

Mr GCL and Michael had been emailing each other before the meal. Then Mr Gran Canaria Local dropped the v-word. An unflustered reply came back: “We’ll prepare fried aubergine with miel de caña, zucchini carpaccio with pesto, melted smoked Canarian cheese, charcoal-grilled vegetables, and a dessert of your choice.”

Except Mr GCL didn’t make it to the charcoal-grilled vegetables, let alone the dessert. The aubergine flavoured with vanilla contrasted perfectly with the miel de caña (treacle to you and me). Raw like sashimi, the courgette had been marinated to perfection. Whilst the smoked Canarian cheese was not the trad dish from El Hierro, admirably using Gran Canaria’s Valsequillo queso de flor (flower cheese) instead.

Mr Gran Canaria Local’s tastebuds were willing to continue. Yet his stomach said no. The attentive waiters Henky and Francisco were understanding enough to bring him a coffee instead.

2. Location’s as important for firms as it is for properties

On the face of it, San Fernando’s an odd place to have a restaurant. To understand why, let’s go back in time. To the birth of San Fernando.

San Fernando’s a satellite town, built to house the people who work in nearby Playa del Inglés and Maspalomas. So why open here? Michael, who joins Mr GCL at the table, explains that he didn’t want to run a typical tourist trap in the resorts.

And so he created a neighbourhood restaurant you’d love to have on your doorstep. Not that you’d be going there on a daily basis. Unless you have bottomless pockets, that is.

Having said that, for what feels like a special-occasion restaurant, the prices are reasonable. Michael tells us that he actually has to dissuade regulars from returning too often. He doesn’t want their experience ever to become mundane, but always magical.

You may well be underwhelmed by the view which greets you at Abrasa, overlooking, as it does, the rather unlovely GC-1 motorway. But it’s housed in Edificio Vista Cumbre 1 and, if you don’t look down, you’ll enjoy stunning vistas of Gran Canaria’s mountains. Which explains the outdoor tables.

3. Abrasa’s loud and proud

Mr Gran Canaria Local arrives late for his date at Abrasa, having got carried away taking photos in Playa del Inglés. His apologies are hushed away by Michael’s charming wife, Marion who, like her husband, hails from Cologne. She’s a hostess of the mostest variety.

Michael, meanwhile, is the perfect host. There’s a fine line between arrogance and confidence, but Abrasa’s owner walks it with the consummate professionalism of a trapeze artist. Asking him who his competition is elicits a smile, gentle shake of the head, and a polite “no-one”; which is understandable considering Abrasa are Tripadvisor’s number-one Maspalomas restaurant.

What perhaps is more surprising is Michael’s reply to a query about his fave places to eat on the island. He mentions an Indian in the dreary Gran Chaparral shopping centre and a Canarian place in under-the-radar Carrizal. That Michael, he’s a one-off. Just like Abrasa, in fact.

Disclaimer: Mr Gran Canaria Local received a complimentary dinner at Abrasa. However, as you’ll appreciate, we had to work for it. If you’d like a Gran Canaria Local review of your restaurant, feel free to get in touch.