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Reviews, recipes and news from the grapevine
   Reviews, recipes and news from the grapevine

The hosts at Bianco, receptionist Martina, head chef Luca, head waiter Balint and accounts responsible Kristie (l-r)
25.07.2019 - By Joe Schacher
Bianco Restaurant is located on the first floor of the C.C. Safari in Playa de Las Américas.
Bianco is a comfortable, modern-style restaurant with white furnishings, contrasting with subtle colours. At the reception we were warmly welcomed
by Martina. With her pleasant Slavic accent she captivates the guests and shows them to their table.
As in every Venture Restaurant, the attentive staff takes care of every guest and gives them the feeling of being really welcome. Over thirty employees from almost 20 countries provide an excellent service. You can tell that they
enjoy being at work, that the work process flows well, and that there is a certain level of professional understanding between them.
The menu offers Italian cuisine with a certain flair, the famous antipasti, the finest pizzas, and pasta in many variations. But Bianco would not be a Venture restaurant if there weren’t special highlights. Small, wonderfully flavoured dream nibbles shorten the waiting time for starters - aubergine slices with cream cheese wrapped in Parma ham, artichoke hearts with
provolone cheese in an excellent olive oil or Arancini Siciliani, mini risotto balls enriched with saffron and parmesan and briefly deep fried - you can’t
get enough of them.
We left the choice of appetisers to the Maître Balint. He recommended a buffalo milk burrata with homemade basil pesto, steamed cherry tomatoes and lightly roasted walnuts, as well as salmon rillette. The burrata was delicious, creamy on the inside, with a firm skin and the mixture matched perfectly with the pesto. The rillete was served cool, the salmon was only poached for a short time and still pink inside, presented in a jar with créme fraiche, red shallots, chives and crispy bread - a feast for the eyes and the palate. Both starters prove that it is always worth trying something new.
Bianco has an Italian DNA. The service is attentive, and as the waiters don’t sing, a background singer provides a pleasant atmosphere.
After Antipasti and Primi Piatti follows the Segondo Piatti. Should it be pasta or risotto, or rather an Ossobuco, which has been simmering away for hours on a low heat? Again we left the choice to Balint who recommended a white Bolognese and fresh Tagliatelle with Pecorino and black truffles from Piedmont.
We trusted him. But what is white Bolognese? Balint explained it to us: when cooking the ragout neither tomatoes nor tomato sauce are used, a little thyme, cream, diced onion and carrots and a dash of balsamic vinegar are the secrets behind this dish. The end result served with pasta was excellent and I’m sure there was more to it than the ingredients described.
The fresh tagliatelle were prepared at the table, the star is half a pecorino cheese. Balint cooks the pasta over the gas flame, seasons it with enough pepper and cream, leaves it on a low flame and turns to the pecorino. The hollow in the middle is soaked with a little grappa and lit. Flames at the table! The pecorino melts, the alcohol soon evaporates and the pasta waiting in
the pan is added, turned over and married to the pecorino. A fragrant serenade opened the taste buds. The whole thing is served with a lot of pepper and a sliced truffle. While I was watching, my mouth watered
and the first bite confirmed it. If you like truffles, you can’t miss this dish - it is a culinary treat in a class of its own.
We took our time with the dessert and talked to the chef Luca. He told us that he had worked in a kitchen since he was a little boy. His family ran a restaurant in Naples, where he was also infected with the cooking virus, and never wanted to become anything other than a cook. With pleasure he provided us with tips and tricks for our own home preparations.
We chose a potpourri of different desserts: A panna cotta prepared with a vanilla pod and half-frozen strawberry ice cream, and three small pieces
of cheesecake with different toppings, the perfect finish.
The wine list is balanced, lovers of Italian wines are spoilt for choice, but of course well known Spanish wines are also served. The non-alcoholic
cocktails are excellent, and the Mojito or the Virgin Piña Colada convince everyone.
Ian, the manager, leads his team with calm and keeps his eye on everything, he has been responsible for Bianco for years. He stays out of the limelight
and is proud of his team. Many choose Bianco for their personal occasions. When we dined there, there were guests at two tables celebrating their
birthdays. That’s why if you have something planned, it’s best to talk to Ian beforehand to ensure that your event will be a success.
Bianco is open from 1pm to 11.30pm, almost until midnight.

Photos: Léonard Schacher

Bianco Restaurant
CC Safari, Avenida de Las Américas
Playa de Las Américas
Tel: 922 788 697
Opening hours:
Daily 13.00h - 23.30h

Behind this façade hides real passion for meat
Restaurant Reviews27.06.2019 - By Carlos Verdecia
There’s a steak revolution going on all over the world as seen in a recent Netflix documentary.
The quality and variety of prime meats have transformed traditional steakhouses bringing joy to millions of meat lovers everywhere, and to relish this continuing trend of creativity and excellence in the preparation and selection of steaks you must visit Empire Modern British Steak House in Las Américas,
Overlooking the stunning fountain in the Safari Shopping Centre, this stylish restaurant offers a very warm and relaxed atmosphere with elegant tables, but here, steaks take centre stage. This is meat galore and the menu offers such a wide selection that you start savouring before you even order! Rib-eye, Sirloin, Rump Steak, Fillet, T-Bone, Chateaubriand, Steak Tartare, Beef Wellington. You name it, they have it. And quality is paramount. You can also go a step beyond and choose from premium steaks selected by their meat-boutique butchers. There, superb cuts are dry-aged for between 26 and 32 days for optimum flavour and if you want to go farther, you can order a steak or a Chuletón (large chop) from the Basque butcher Txogitxu, considered one of the best meat providers in the world. His prime cuts from older cows are heavily marbled and dry aged for 35-42 days.
After being seated by Agatha, a charming hostess from Poland, we started our culinary experience at the Empire with savvy recommendations from Louise, the experienced manager and Francisco, the well-informed and friendly waiter. Our first dish was quite a revelation - sautéed chicken livers with crispy bacon in a red wine reduction, a bold and rich combination of delicious flavours. Next, we enjoyed the Seared Queen Scallops on top of creamy peas and crispy pork belly - tasty and sumptuous. We paired these dishes with a silky Spanish red wine from the Bierzo region.
Then, we were ready for the main attraction. A tender and succulent Chateaubriand cooked to perfection, medium rare and expertly carved by Francisco. Add the béarnaise sauce, chips, fried onions, mushrooms and a set of perfect steak cutlery and the delightful feast was on. The Empire takes this classic dish to a higher level. Top quality tenderloin and expert preparation.
Diners should be aware that although at the Empire steak is king, there are other food choices. Here, customers can also enjoy delectable lamb, chicken, fish, pork and duck dishes. There are also homemade pies and even a vegetarian burger. So whatever tickles your fancy, you’ll find it here.
As we were preparing to order dessert, we met Ian, the chef at Empire. Sagacious and creative, he explained how paying attention to every small detail is their formula for success. My companion looked at him with a smile and said “You know the problem? Nothing went wrong, everything was perfect.” Ian started at the Empire as a sous chef seven years ago and is now the leader of this well-run steak juggernaut.
For dessert, we ordered a tasty Rhubarb Crumble, but there are many mouth-watering sweet course choices in the menu - from a Chocolate Fondant to a Marshmallow Campfire.
The modern steak culture is well rooted at Empire. If you are a meat lover, this is a culinary experience you will not want to miss.

Empire Restaurant & Steak House
C.C. Safari
Avenida de Las Américas
Playa de Las Américas
Tel: 922 78 99 71
Opening hours:
Every day 1.30pm - 11pm
Balint and chef Francisco Alamo look after their guests with professionalism and charm
Restaurant Reviews25.06.2019 - By Carlos Verdecia
Venture Restaurants have become a staple of culinary excellence in the south of Tenerife and a favourite food destination for tourists and locals alike, so it comes as no surprise that Lagarto Brasserie
has made such an immediate splash in the area.
Situated in La Caleta with a stunning view of the ocean, you’re welcomed into a large open space with a relaxed atmosphere, live mellow rock music and simple elegance in the decor.
Balint, a pleasant and very knowledgeable manager, led the way for us, explaining the menu and layout of the restaurant, which includes a full bar, open kitchen and a well stocked wine cellar with selections
from Tenerife, the Spanish Peninsula, France, Germany, Italy and Argentina. A large selection of Champagnes, Cavas and premium beers is also available.
“A simple concept with a modern twist,” is how Balint described the restaurant, but bear in mind that this is no ordinary brasserie. In developing Lagarto, close attention was paid to the latest culinary tendencies around the world while remaining faithful to the brasserie tradition. Here, Mediterranean dishes are in perfect harmony with signature meats, Asian delicacies and Vegan recipes. Yes, you read correctly. There is a whole section in the menu entitled ‘Vegan World’.
As far as starters go, among them you can delight yourself with King Prawn and Guacamole on Toast or a Steak Tartare ‘American Style’. We decided to go with the King Crab Cakes, which were crispy on the outside yet tender and perfectly textured on the inside. That was followed by a Tuna Tataki that became the star of the evening. The tuna, served raw, was seared at the table with very hot charcoal and then topped with frozen ginger sorbet – a perfect marriage of flavours. In fact, my companion described it as an erotic experience! We paired the starters with a fine glass of cava and then ordered a young red wine from the Ribera del Duero region for the main entrees.
A creamy pumpkin risotto served al dente with crispy tofu shows how to add a spark to a vegan dish. This was followed by a slow-cooked lamb shank in a rosemary and honey cabernet reduction. Beautifully plated and simply delicious. The side dishes, which must be ordered separately, are generous in size and reasonably priced. We tried the au gratin spinach, the rustic creamy potatoes and a surprising South American dish called Humitas, which are deep-fried corn buns with ricotta cheese. Chef Francisco Alamo explained that they try to add a touch of world cuisine to traditional recipes. Alamo, who comes from Chile, also indicated that sourcing quality products is a priority at Lagarto.
To finish, we ordered a dessert cornucopia that is described in the menu as ‘The Sharing Trio’. Basically, it’s a half portion of their most popular offerings: Blueberry Cheesecake, Coconut Pineapple Mousse and Tiramisu. A sweet and perfect way to end the evening. Chef Alamo and his team are re-imagining the brasserie concept by adding creative new ideas that bring prime comfort food to a whole new level.
So if you are in the mood for a casual culinary experience that will shake your senses, visit Lagarto Brasserie. You will not be disappointed.

Lagarto Brasserie
Av. de las Gaviotas,
La Caleta
Tel: 922 16 80 32
Open: Monday to Friday 6pm - 11pm
Saturday and Sunday 1.30pm - 11pm
The Char: A quality, modern ambience was created with minimum expenditure
Restaurant Reviews12.06.2019 - By Joe Schacher
La Caleta is a very chic yet traditional fishing village and still today the name stands for quality fresh fish.
Rob Ng and his team have managed the impossible, starting from zero they have succeeded in giving the Restaurant Char an upscale modern model.
You’ll find this gem just a few metres from the roundabout, between two rows of houses, where most of the restaurants are located in La Caleta, Adeje. It’s been surprising its visitors since May 2016 and many are now regular customers.
On the lookout for something new and different, Rob found the Josper. What is the Josper and what can it do? For basic barbecuers like the author of this review, it’s simply a charcoal barbecue. (More about Josper grill ovens can be found on the After your food selection has been chargrilled, the Josper’s door is closed like an oven and the fillet, the ribs, the tomahawk steak or whatever your choice, finishes cooking in the closed heat to the point of perfection.
Samuel Hernández is the head chef of Char. As a little boy, he spent years at the knees of his grandmother, grandpa and uncle learning the business and when he finished school, there was only one direction he wanted to go - the hotel management school in Santa Cruz. He achieved one of the coveted places at that prestigious establishment and finished his time there with flying colours.
Over the years he has constantly worked his way up the ladder, improving his skills in the restaurants of El Corte Inglés, El Patio in Jardín Tropical (the first one star Michelin restaurant on the Island) and in the Hotel Bahía del Duque. Samuel is also part of the cooking team that represents Tenerife at Madrid Fusion and in gastro events in Hamburg and elsewhere. For the last three years he and his team have been heading the Char. Samuel and the team work together perfectly, nothing falters, the work flows flawlessly.
The menu is clear and concise and yet we let Rob choose for us. Why? It’s simple: everyone has their favourite dishes and usually orders them as well. With a free hand for the chef, we challenged him and, of course, ourselves. Once again, it was worth it.
The little bite-sized hors d’oeuvre known in French as a ‘amuse gueule’ (mouth pleasure) was on this occasion a tuna mousse served in a cocktail glass. The tuna had been lightly cold-smoked over chips from retired Jack Daniels barrels. Some people may know of this flavour-enhancer in liquid form. In short, it was delicious!
We used the break to get to know Elijah, the Maìtre, who briefly explained the philosophy of the Char: a few but outstanding quality raw materials, passion and time - that’s all it takes, was his short answer.
Off to South America for the next dish, whether Chile or Peru is immaterial, both countries know ceviche - raw fish cut into small cubes. The cooking process is triggered by the acidity of ripened lime juice and the addition of a little chilli and coriander makes everyone happy. What more could you want?
Wagyiu or Kobe - must the best beef always come from Japan? Spain's offer is the Rubia Gallega from Galicia. For Rob Ng, it is important that the food that his restaurants use is not transported halfway around the globe. That’s how he came to choose beef from the Spanish Peninsular. He has the contacts and his customers have the great luck to enjoy this marvellous, marbled, nutty tasting meat. For example as a Tartare – you are encouraged to prepare the chopped meat on your plate yourself.
A little lemon juice, salt, pepper, English mustard and an egg yolk were enough for us. Enhanced with a few drops of the finest Spanish olive oil, a first harvest of the Piqual variety, and our tartare became a heavenly dish.
The crowning Pièce de Résistance was a well-matured entrecôte grilled on the bone in the Josper at almost 300 degrees and left to rest before being served with just a touch of Fleur de Sel flakes and some unpeeled, grated potatoes fried in hot oil. I apologised to the ‘Rubia Gallega’ who had chewed her way through Galicia for six years. After the epicurean challenge, I can confirm the view of many gourmets who consider the meat of this breed to be one of the best in the world.
The dessert, a coconut cream, enriched with Malibu and reduced over a small flame and accompanied by a daring, balanced gala of forest fruits and local tropical fruits was the perfect finish to a superb meal. As you would expect, the Char offers a well-balanced wine list. A young Ribeira del Duero elegantly matched the Ceviche and an Obalo from Rioja was the perfect partner for the grilled Rubia Gallega.

Char Restaurant
Calle el Muelle
Edificio Famar, Local Bajo 2,
La Caleta
Tel. +34 922 168 222
Opening hours: Monday – Thursday, 6pm to 11.30pm, Friday – Sunday and local holidays, 1.30pm – 4pm and 6pm to 11pm.
Visa, Mastercard
Reservation: Absolutely necessary.
Restaurant Reviews12.06.2019 - As many readers will already be aware, the Venture Restaurants chain in the south of Tenerife offers an unforgettable dining experience every visit.
With its many beautiful restaurants located at the Safari Centre, Playa de Las Américas, and the chic fishing village of La Caleta, Venture Restaurants offer quality food, a great atmosphere and a professional yet friendly standard of service, putting them at the top of the list for restaurant visits for residents and tourists alike. Fans and new visitors to the Venture Restaurants will be very excited to discover they have launched their very own Venture Restaurants App which is incredibly simple to use, even for the less techsavvy. It can be easily downloaded to phones, allowing you to make stress-free reservations within around 30 seconds. You'll receive confirmation in a handy bookings section, giving you peace of mind to enjoy the rest of your day knowing your reservation in your favourite restaurant is secure. But that’s not all. Not only does the App enable you to make and amend bookings on the go, view menus, gallery images and be kept up to date with the latest Venture news and offers, App users also receive points every time they visit. These can be redeemed for prizes, meaning that every penny you spend at any of the Venture Restaurants can be redeemed for an array of fantastic rewards, ranging from a tasty gin and tonic, free starter, free main meal, bottle of Moët, premium wine or even a VIP table in Magic Lounge Club including a bottle of spirit and mixers! The more times you visit, the more points you earn, so what are you waiting for? To make your reservations for Bianco, Imperial Tai-Pan, Empire Restaurant & Steak House, Thai Botanico, Dedos Global Kitchen, Lagarto Brasserie, Restaurant 88 or Char, download their App today and enjoy the elegant, efficient and memorable experiences that Venture Restaurants deliver again and again.
Restaurant Reviews31.05.2019 - By Carlos Verdecia
Imperial Tai-Pan Restaurant is celebrating its 15th anniversary riding a tremendous wave of success with its emphasis on high quality and excellent service.
An icon of the Asian culinary experience, it specialises in Gourmet Chinese food, Teppanyaki and Sushi. Located in the Safari Shopping Centre in the Golden Mile of Las Américas, Imperial Tai-Pan offers a wide variety of oriental dishes in the comfortable dining room and terrace overlooking the colourful fountains of the arcade. From Dim Sum to carefully elaborated specialities like Scallops in Char Sui Sauce, Sea Bass in Oyster Sauce or Crispy Fragrant Duck you will surely enjoy the high level of quality and flavour that this restaurant has been offering consistently day in and day out for the last fifteen years. If you are in the mood for a great cooking demonstration sit at the Teppanyaki table, and if you prefer Japanese, the Sushi is delectable, freshly-made and cut to perfection in a luscious and artistic presentation.
Krister Koort, the attentive and knowledgeable manager, explained to us the essence of most of the dishes and we decided to go with the most traditional offers that Imperial Tai-Pan is well-known for. Our first dish was the eight-piece Dim Sum basket, a tasty and delicious combination of steamed Chinese dumplings with a variety of sauces ranging from sweet to sour and spicy. We paired it with a fresh and slightly citric Spanish sauvignon blanc. As you look around, you immediately notice that the waiters spare no effort in their attention to every detail. Daniel, our friendly and skilful server, made sure that we were happy and went as far as mixing, just for us, a delightful sauce of soy and spicy chilli that enhanced every dish. Our second serving was a Crispy Duck, cooked to perfection. Crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside with a subtle aroma of ginger. Add the pancakes with spring onions, sliced cucumber and a few drops of plum and spicy sauce and your palate is ready for a sublime experience.
The next dish was a Fillet Steak with a Red wine and Black Pepper Reduction - a succulent recipe of thinly sliced meat with green beans, cauliflower and spring onions. For this rich dish, we ordered a young and pleasant red wine from Ribera del Duero. We followed the steak with a zesty plate of King Prawns in an Oyster and Ginger Sauce, and a bowl of steaming fried rice - lush and flavoursome. And for dessert, we enjoyed a mouthwatering mango cheesecake. The menu in this classic Asian restaurant also offers a variety of unusual treats. These include grouper with ginger and spring onions as well as steamed scallops in oyster sauce or the legendary Salt & Pepper ribs. Here too, you will find what is probably the longest and most comprehensive list of oriental sauces anywhere on the island. There is also a select wine list and a large choice of beers, champagnes and coffees.
At Imperial Tai-Pan everything runs like clockwork. You will not see surprises coming out of the kitchen. Koort tells us that most of the cooking staff has been in the restaurant since its opening daysa clear sign of an efficient and stable establishment. So, join the party to celebrate Imperial Tai-Pan’s 15th anniversary. The restaurant was one of the first culinary undertakings of the Venture Group and is an emblem of their success. The formula hasn’t changed in all this time - prime ingredients, great service and enticing recipes.

Restaurant Imperial Tai-Pan
C.C. Safari, Floor 1
Avenida Las Américas
Playa de Las Américas
Tel: 922 79 53 95
Email: reservations@
Opening hours: Monday - Saturday 1.30pm - 11.30pm Sundays 1.30pm - 11pm
The mixed hors d'oeuvres special
Restaurant Reviews07.04.2017 - by Lee Bullen
For a taste of the good life, any night that includes a visit to Magic Lounge Club or Thai Botanico in Playa de Las Américas, part of the Venture Restaurants group, is a guarantee of quality. However, a visit to both makes for the perfect evening.
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