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Restaurante La Granja
A quayside delight
Small boats bob about and move aside respectfully as the huge Fred Olsen ferry comes in to dock.

04.03.2014 - This is our first view of Gran Canaria.  And we like it.  The white pueblo blanco of Agaete nestles at the head of the valley, and the harbour at Puerto de Las Nieves is chock-a-block with nautical life.  On one side are a row of brightly coloured fishing boats, their superstructure cluttered with whip aerials, sonar and radio.  On the other are the pleasure boats, shuffling about on their moorings after the passage of the ferry.  Behind it all lie the first line of buildings overlooking the port.  A good half of them appear to be restaurants, mostly traditional white and blue.

Fishing boats and restaurants in close proximity?  Foodie heaven!

We trundle off the boat cloaked in the smog of inter-island delivery lorries.  Soon our car is twisting this way and that, as we try to find the nearest harbour parking, ready to take advantage of one of those restaurants.  So many one way streets and dead ends!  Finally, we end up in what appears to be a small car park area that has been monopolised by the Restaurante La Granja.  It styles itself ‘La Casa del Mar’ and it looks the business.  Blue canopies and blinds, blue and white tablecloths, waiters in smart attire, it looks as though it will look after us well.  A bonus is having the car, full of cases and other paraphernalia, well within sight.

Thunderous waves crash against the rocks only a few metres away, as though orchestrated to provide us with a welcome.

A bottle of cold white local wine and a dish of olives are the first requirement after the ferry journey.  Later, we look hungrily over the menu.  A fried whole octopus passes by to an adjacent table.  I must have one, I think.  In the other hand the waiter bears a gargantuan plate of fresh mussels, steaming hot and looking plump.

We start with a mixed salad of prawn, cucumber and tomato in a coriander dressing.  One portion is quite enough for two.  By the time that it has been demolished, the octopus is ready for me, and a plate of puntillas de calmar for my wife.  The puntillas, smaller than chipirones, have been so lightly deep fried that they retain all of their juices whilst having a crispy coating.  Taste buds burst in the mouth.  How do they fry an octopus whole and yet leave the legs still so moist and tender?  Both dishes are exceptionally good, and both are accompanied by proper new potatoes, garnished with coriander.  They are the best since I last had Jersey Royals.  Not often do I wax this lyrical, but this place provides serious fresh fish, with a chef who is seriously skilled at its delivery.

We idly watch as two men push trolleys laden with fish direct from one of the boats to the restaurant just over the way.

Just over €33 is little enough to pay for such bounty of the seas, so competently prepared and presented.  It was a pure fluke (no pun intended) that we ended up there, but even the position could not be bettered, and we were only prevented from going there again by Fred Olsen, who quite arbitrarily changed their departure time three days later, ensuring that we left too soon to take advantage of a looked-forward-to repeat visit.  We loved this place.  Can I sue?


Restaurante La Granja

Puerto de Las Nieves s/n, 35480 Agaete, Gran Canaria.

Tel: 928 887 592

Closed: Wednesday

Loo Score: 5/10. Obstacle course to reach them!

Gallery: A quayside delight
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