Think Gran Canaria restaurants are all English breakfasts and seafood? You need to get out of the resorts. Start by paying a visit to Motor Grande’s The House Fusion.
We’ll begin by describing how to get to The House Fusion and then expand on the place as a whole. Next, we’ll outline what you can drink there. Before ending with a summary of the restaurant’s eating options.
1. The House Fusion: where it’s at
You’ll find The House Fusion in the south west of Gran Canaria; in the island’s Mogán municipality. Mr Gran Canaria Local’s journey there commences from Puerto de Mogán’s shiny, new bus terminal to Puerto Rico. Although there are plenty of southbound Global buses heading from the likes of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Gran Canaria airport too.
Most visitors avoid the 10-minute uphill slog from Puerto Rico to Motor Grande by catching a taxi. Mr GCL bucks the trend however and makes his way on foot onwards and upwards past the derelict water park. After all, he loves to explore the island hiking and is one of the few to have completed Gran Canaria’s little-known Camino de Santiago.
We would suggest you follow Mr Gran Canaria Local’s lead. There’s nothing like a brisk walk to develop an appetite, is there? And you’ll appreciate working off your meal afterwards by making your way back to Puerto Rico on foot too.
You’ll see a menu at The House Fusion before you catch a sight of the restaurant which is tucked away, off the main drag. That’s because one is left out on a wooden chair on the pavement. Then you’ll glimpse the modern church with many worshippers leaving this shrine for another, as in a temple to fine dining when mass finishes.
Once inside, you’re greeted by the snazzily-shirted Carsten Mouritzen. The House Fusion’s front of house explains that walking up and down the stairs which connect the terrace to the interior has seen him lose five kilos since the restaurant opened in November 2016. All that exercise has resulted in a shift in footwear too: from formal shoes to more comfy trainers.
Carsten has run his own estate agents and hairdressers in nearby Arguineguín. He’s got that personable touch. Originally he wanted to open a restaurant in that area, but heard that the Canarian classic Casa Zamora was still empty after being closed six years ago. Having viewed the property, he saw it matched his vision perfectly.
One of the key ingredients to The House Fusion’s success is hygge. This is a Danish concept Mr GCL first heard of when he reviewed The Danish Way of Parenting: A Guide to Raising the Happiest Children in the World. Essentially, hygge‘s a state of lazy contentment where you enjoy the finest things in life with the people who matter the most to you: your friends and family.
So, service is suitably relaxed at The House Fusion. This is slow dining. There’s no rush to give up your table and a three-course meal here usually takes between two and two and a half hours, enabling you to really savour the experience.
Look out for the little touches that transform The House Fusion from a standard meal out to a special occasion. Like the pebbles in the sink and the oriental, ornamental flowers here, there, and everywhere. Similarly ubiquitous is the traditional Thai music which relaxes you into near slumber.
2. The House Fusion: what to drink
Carsten is Danish. His wife, the cook Bun is Thai, who, at 19, moved to Paris where she went on to open her first restaurant. The drinks list reflect the two nationalities, with Mr Mouritzen offering Mr Gran Canaria Local a delightfully chilled bottle of Carlsberg (2,50€) on arrival and later a crisp Singha (3,50€) to accompany his Thai dinner.
There’s also an impressive wine list. Although the Canary Islands’ fine wineries are strangely neglected, the best bodegas on the Spanish are well represented. What’s more, the nicely-priced Iberian Chardonnay (12€) is on a par with the finest Burgundy.
3. The House Fusion: what to eat
At lunch, The House Fusion offers both a Danish and Thai menu. Whilst the very word Danish conjures up images of bacon, the country is home to one of the world’s best restaurants in Noma. And influential, pervasive recipes such as frikadeller (pork meatballs served with boiled potatoes and pickled beetroot) are available at The House Fusion for 6,50€.
But you’ll miss out on this and other Danish dishes like rullepølse, a cold cut of pork belly also costing 6,50€, by turning up at night like Mr GCL. Who dabs the drool forming around his lips with his napkin as he surveys the menu. Upon discovering Mr Gran Canaria Local’s vegetarian, Carsten suggests a starter of por pieer, crispy vegetable spring rolls, priced at 5,50€.
The joy of eating alone is that Mr GCL avoids the tutting disapproval of his family. So he shovels the foilage of market-fresh lettuce and mint which they’d treat as a garnish into his gaping gob. Before washing these leaves down with a dipping sauce that’s just too darn elaborately concocted (comprising 20 separate ingredients) to return to the kitchen.
Mr Gran Canaria Local suffers from withdrawal symptoms. He misses the time when Kitchen Lovers in Las Canteras was a Thai restaurant and just don’t remind him of the short-lived Thai Malacca, also in the capital. Let alone the mourned-for Wings in Playa del Inglés (fingers crossed though that this recently-closed business will fly north).
The masterly Mouritzen recommends a vegetarian pad thai (8,00€) for Mr GCL’s main, a mix-and-match textural experience. There’s the crunch of home-grown beansprouts, the citrus kick of a half of lime you squeeze on this semi-DIY dish, a mound of sugar glittering like crystals in Aladdin’s Cave, and fine, powdery peanuts. It’s Siam on a plate.
Those who struggle to get their head around the concept of a breakfast curry, an Indian morning delicacy, will be similarly confounded by the Thai desserts. They include sticky rice turning up with the puds. And chocolate’s the filling of choice for Mr Gran Canaria Local’s sweet spring rolls which resemble the cigars still rolled by hand over in La Palma. Well, like everything else on la carta which includes a five-course Thai Tapas menu for 25€, they’re there to be savoured.
Disclaimer: Mr GCL was a dinner guest of The House Fusion and ate free of charge in exchange for a review. They’re open from 11:30am to 11:30pm every day of the week although lunch is served from 11:30am to 3:30pm and dinner from 6:30pm to 10:30pm. Phone +34 928 562 368 to book a table in advance as a full House Fusion is not an uncommon sight.