Wednesday, 13.11.2019
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Reviews, recipes and news from the grapevine
   Reviews, recipes and news from the grapevine

Picture gallery:

Char Restaurant

Pictures: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9


The heart of the kitchen - the Josper

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 net:www.josper.es). 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.
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