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Bamboo Thai – cozy atmosphere but no sea view

Bamboo Thai in Agadir, Morocco, is a Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese and Japanese restaurant all rolled into one. Tempura, sushi, dim sum and chicken satay with peanut sauce are offered at reasonable prices in a very pleasant setting (even though we missed the sea view). It’s located some serious meters away from the main boardwalk. The starters are quite big and the main courses are not small either. Wash it down with some wine or beer and leave space for dessert. OK, it’s not the best Asian restaurant we have been to, but it is good enough to spend an evening indulging oneself in some spicy stuff. It will not cost you a fortune and it is a nice place to chill out before you hit the Agadir night scene.

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Guide to Gran Canaria!

Are you planning to have some fun in Gran Canaria? Looking for good hotels and places to eat out? Go no further. Here is your ultimate guide to the best of Maspalomas and Meloneras in the south of the island, famous for deluxe relaxation at reasonable prices. Our eGuide is free, so go ahead, download it and don’t forget to share the information with your friends. We hope (nope, we are actually sure) you will have a great time visiting this place!

Click here for a copy.

Best 5-star choice for the family

Hotel Baobab

Lopesan Baobab, located in Meloneras,  is arguably the biggest and most impressive looking hotel in Gran Canaria (we mean really big, almost a thousand rooms). When checking-in, you even get your own hotel map to study while sipping on a glass of sparkling wine. The design is African with vibrant art and an entrance built as a tropical garden with flamingos and waterfalls. But among all this architectural achievements, there is something very essential missing – lamps. The lightning is so bad in certain places that during the evening you actually have to make sure you don’t bump into a wall or sprain your ankle on the staircase. Cozy lightning is one thing but here you almost get the feeling that there is an electricity cut somewhere!

Hotel room

The rooms are normally sized and very well designed and if you get a balcony overlooking the sea, it’s even better. (But why on earth is the shampoo bottle attached to the wall a meter away from the bathtub?).

Food-wise you will definitely not be disappointed. The buffet offers a nice variety of choices and the restaurant “Akara” has a unique setting and a very tasty menu. For instance, we can highly recommend the spicy banana soup as a starter. It’s delicious beyond believe! The gym is small and relatively functional. But for some reason, no running machines are provided which we thought was disappointing. Another minus is that you have to pay extra for the safe deposit box (it’s the same in all Lopesan hotels in Maspalomas/Meloneras) which usually is offered free of charge in other 5-star hotels.

Banana soup

There are several pools and lots of stuff to do for the many kids at this hotel. You will even find huge crocodiles and giraffes (not real ones – plastic) around the pool area. As a couple, looking for a vacation in a relaxing atmosphere, who enjoy a spa and cool bars, we will probably avoid this place in the future. However, if you go to Gran Canaria with your kids, don’t hesitate; Hotel Lopesan Baobab can definitely be something for you.

Rating: 4/5

View from the hotel

Special Moments

Moments restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Barcelona is often advertised as the best restaurant in town. According to us it is not, but it’s a exquisite place to have a very romantic dinner. Moments is the brain child of chef Carme Ruscalleda, who is no novice to the cooking business having earned several Michein stars. Her new culinary establishment is dedicated to the works of local artist Josep Riera i Aragó. As in most Michelin star restaurants (Moments recently got its first), the name of the dish doesn’t really describe what you are going to eat, but don’t be shy, go crazy (or perhaps ask the waiter) and pick something you think will be that ultimate experience you’ve been craving for. You simply can’t go wrong (well, maybe with the stuffed pigeon). Starters are excellent and the main course will not disappoint you either. The wine list is extensive and the sommelier would be delighted to pair your choices with the appropriate red or white. Now, this is one of those places where it should be borderline illegal to skip dessert, since you will reminisce about it for the next several weeks. We still can’t forget that delicate chocolate and orange truffle and the little ruby of fruit with a taste so fresh it lingers in the mouth for hours. So why isn’t this the best food experience we had in Barcelona? The answer is easy. The kitchen sometimes pays too much attention to the visual part. All courses are displayed as tributes to Josep Riera i Aragó’s paintings and they look sometimes more fascinating than they taste. We are sorry to say but more attention should simply be paid to the adequate use of spices. The overall experience at Moments is still very good and it offers you a unique opportunity to take somebody you cherish into the world of fine dining and contemporary art at the same time.

A hair-raising adventure in Fataga

If you are willing to brave a 30 minute ride on a cliff road that is slightly wider than a Mini and if you do not meet the Maker on the way, you will come to a small village in the middle of Gran Canaria called Fataga. It is not even a one horse town since we spend a full five minutes checking all its streets looking for that one horse, but in the process we instead found two restaurants, an art shop, a Bodega (for you ‘I speak only English’ types, it’s a wine shop in Español) and some really scenic views of the adjoining mountains. There is also the obligatory church square, a mini-market with essentials and very little else. If you are looking for some quality time romantic-wise, the small restaurant at the beginning of the village is a great choice. Over some traditional Canary dishes (croquetas de jamon, queso frito and papas arrugadas) two can sit and marvel at a view that would make any nature photographer who forgot his camera check into a mental hospital. The wine is house and comes in a carafe, it’s light and pleasant.

1. Living proof you can not eat and pose at the same time

2. See point 1.

Once you order a taxi back, gulp down a few more glasses so that you can keep that delicious food inside while taking the mountain road down. It’s a fun day trip for the strong-hearted. And if “real adventure” means also for you having the hamburger grilled medium-rear, continue reading this blog. We have more stuff coming up.

Samsara – Asian cuisine with reservations only

If looks was the only thing that mattered in the restaurant business, we would have never, never visited Samsara on Gran Canaria (Maspalomas).  Who puts a classy Asian restaurant on top off a grocery store, an ice cream parlor and a watering hole for tourists? No wonder we passed by it several times without even giving it a cursory look. However, on several occasions people who seemed to know food recommended Samsara and we decided to venture over. Now, beware: you can’t just show up at Samsara, you need to reserve, it is, no joke, by reservation only. Once we climbed the stairs and entered what we just though two seconds ago would be an architectural monstrosity not for the weak-hearted ended up being a very pleasant and nicely decorated restaurant with a lot of Oriental influences spread around. Friendly waiters welcomed us and showed us our table on the terrace (or inside, it’s your choice). The food is fantastic although there is no clear definition between starters and main courses. The black spaghetti with shrimps in a ginger sauce is finger-licking good and so is the curry served with coconut rice. The Provolone cheese in hot tomato sauce deserves special mentioning since it just is impossible to resist. The desserts are assembled as small pieces of art and if you still have space, go for them. You will not be let down by this restaurant, it’s fun, delicious and a pleasure to spend a few hours enjoying the food  as well as the interior design. Just don’t forget to reserve.

Let the lobster-mania begin!

This is where the lobster is lurking

In the Meloneras shopping center (or what is supposed to be a shopping center, unfortunately all stores are closed except for a few souvenir shops) in the south of Gran Canaria there exists a restaurant that is not really a house-hold name either on the island or much less outside. Called Ciao Ciao, it is popular with the local crowd and tourists but you don’t find it often listed in guide books. However, it is in a certain way unique. Yes, it offers all the expected dishes: pasta, pizza, fish and meat, the usual vacation fair, but, hidden underneath all this routineness, there is a dish that should be praised by chefs and poets alike. It is a piece of art unseen and unheard off: we bring you THE LINGUINI LOBSTER! Homemade pasta cooked to perfection with pieces of lobster, chili and garlic served with a half lobster on the side (tip: ask for it picante). The waiter brings you a bunch a gadgets to tackle the shell so just dig in and enjoy one of the best dishes the island has to offer. The wine is house but good and the deserts are huge and delicious, especially if you are into ice cream with tons of cream, jam and fruits (just to make you feel better with some nutrition involved). The bill will not make you cry and you will walk away with a few more happy kilos on your tummy.

Indochine 21 – Fit for a Governator

Located on the Ring in Vienna (Austria), Indochine 21 is a French-Vietnamese restaurant that has phenomenally good service and a wine list that goes on, and on, and on. (Be prepared to spend exuberantly, some bottles go for a few thousand big ones). The atmosphere is decadent and you can puff on a Cohiba or a Punch Punch whenever you feel like it. The food is highly exquisite and the presentation makes your mouth water. Get ready to be pleasured by a culinary world that is nothing you could have imagined with spicy tastes in abundance and soft shell crabs prepared to perfection. Seafood dishes are French-sophisticated with an Oriental twist, meat is as tender as it gets and the duck makes you cry from delight. Waiters speak several languages and are happy to point you in the right direction, be it food, wine or cigars. If you have a dog – bring it along – even water bowls are available. Now, this place is not cheap, but if you are in Vienna and decide to try something different from the traditional bratwurst you can’t find a better hideout. What can one say? “I’ll be back!”

Photos: Indochine 21

Mundo – in its own culinary stratosphere

Mundo restaurant is located in the middle of Playa del Ingles (Gran Canaria, Spain). It is a well known hang out famous for its original design and mouth-watering cuisine. One waiter usually services all 20 tables and does so with flair. He is exceptionally helpful, happy to point out the best wine that goes with your order and in doing so does not necessarily peddle the most expensive stuff at the bottom of the wine list. The food is mainly Mediterranean with some oriental notes and a few delights added that are hard to classify. Try their fantastic starters like fish cakes or grilled shrimps with mint sauce. Our two favorite main courses are the spaghetti with meatballs (in a spicy and really yummy tomato sauce) and seared tuna with Thai noodles and some sweet chili. And if you are ready for a dessert treat that would not be out of place in the best Vienna coffee shop, indulge yourself in the strawberry meringue.

A three course meal with house wine is very much affordable. Enjoy!

Avd.de Tirajana. Aptos. tenesor.
Playa del Ingles
+34 928 937 850

Treat yourself at Home

Home Restaurant in Pristina (Kosovo) is especially popular with the expats who have descended on this city in the zillions working for numerous international organizations. It is a very charming place with a garden that welcomes you during the hot summer months and is suitable for contemplating life in the shadow with a glass of wine from Orahovac. In the winter you can cozy up next to the fire place inside and savor some locally produced Rakia.

But before you get too tipsy, don’t forget to check out the selection of food. They have an extensive menu offering everything imaginable. The mozzarella and cheese is a good starter and on offer is a vast selection of salads, pasta, oriental dishes and – here comes our favorite – a big juicy hamburger with homemade fries (definitely best in town). The hearty meals make Home stand out among the many food outlets you find in Pristina. And as the name suggests, you can’t beat this place when it comes to ambiance.

Located next to the old OSCE building
Pristina
+381 044 336 336

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