Fronted by its eponymous, landmark windmill, El Molino Blanco has been one of Costa Adeje’s favourite restaurants for many years but in recent times, its reputation for food hasn’t been keeping par with its popularity as a live music venue. Now under new management, we popped along to see if fresh hands at the helm were steering an improved gastronomic course.
Tucked away in a beautiful, mature garden with outside terrace, a covered dining room festooned with traditional Canarian agricultural implements and a stage and dance floor, El Molino Blanco is a taste of rustic Tenerife in the heart of Costa Adeje, with an ample side order of entertainment. For the thousands of people who come back year after year, this isn’t just a restaurant, it’s a dining night out.
After dark, soft lighting illuminates El Molino Blanco’s leafy courtyard setting to create a romantic ambience in which to enjoy live music and dancing along with the restaurant’s burgeoning culinary delights. But we opted for an indulgent lunchtime treat at celebrity table 32 housed in its rustic arbour in the garden.
The Main attraction, The Menu at El Molino Blanco
Featuring traditional Canarian and Spanish dishes such as paella, garlic chicken, garlic prawns and carne fiesta (marinated pork) alongside a handful of fish options and a mouthwatering choice of steaks, lamb and pork, the menu doesn’t challenge palates into uncharted territory, choosing instead to give traditional favourites like steaks and strogonoff a cooked-to-perfection makeover. Apart from vegetarian paella and some of the starter dishes, there’s little on the menu for veggies in the family but the restaurant assures us that, within reason, the kitchen is happy to cook meat-free requests.
After our usual dithering over choices that would test the patience of any waiter, the smiling Pedro took our order. To start we chose prawns in garlic, garlic bread with tomato and, flying in the face of our instincts, prawn cocktail, a dish that would never normally make it onto our menu choices. For mains, I ordered Sea Bass with Green Sauce and King Prawns while Jack opted for Breast of Duck with Fruits of the Forest Compote.
It’s fair to say the prices on El Molino Blanco’s menu are not for the faint hearted but when the opening dishes arrived it was clear to see that the new management aren’t scrimping on portion size or on the quality of ingredients. Happily, the beautifully presented prawn cocktail was a long way from the tired, swimming in thousand-island dressing specimens of the ’80s, offering instead a delicately flavoured mêlée of meaty prawns threaded with thin slivers of lettuce, dressed in a light mayonnaise sauce, topped with succulent king prawns and set on a pineapple ring surrounded by fresh mango, kiwi and orange. The prawns in garlic were big, fat and juicy in their sizzling saucer of olive oil flavoured with thin slices of garlic and the bread was a warm garlic ciabatta topped with sweet, diced tomatoes.
Our taste buds now on full alert and the culinary bar set high, the main courses proved to be equally generously sized and creatively presented. My sea bass was cooked to melting perfection with firm flesh that was moist, lightly flavoured in paprika and drizzled in a pesto sauce. Jack’s duck was lean, tender and infused with a rich, gamy flavour which reached new heights with the fruits of the forest compote. Both dishes were served on a bed of boiled potatoes and fresh spring vegetables cooked to optimum, al dente texture. Although we both struggled to clean our plates, we battled on, refusing to leave a single tasty morsel.
There was no question of us still having room for more which is why it was such a surprise when I heard myself agreeing to a ‘small selection” of desserts in the form of a tasty assortment of tiramisu, crêpes Molino, lemon cream cake and crème caramel. It was however no surprise that the dessert defeated us and we waved a white flag over the paltry remains.
El Molino Blanco Summary
If you’ve tried El Molino Blanco and been disappointed by the food, now’s the time to give it another look. The new management have raised the standard of dining to a level that’s more in keeping with the restaurant’s glory days. As a venue for parties, weddings or just a great night out, it now has the culinary muscle to match its reputation for excellent entertainment and will have guests spilling out into the Adeje night air vowing to return before their holiday’s over.
Tenerife Magazine’s five star rating for El Molino Blanco
Décor – 4 stars. A fabulous garden and enclosed courtyard setting with mature trees and plants in the heart of Costa Adeje with a traditional, Canarian rustic feel which raises to sexy when the sun goes down and all the little lights come on.
Menu – 4 stars. A nice combo of traditional Canarian – a rare thing in Costa Adeje – and family favourites with a strong emphasis on quality over quantity of choice. New menus in the pipeline promise better descriptors and some exciting new additions.
Food – 4 stars. Ingredients are fresh, top notch quality, cooked with competence and presented with flair. Meat lovers will struggle to choose between prime cuts of beef, pork and lamb while fish and seafood addicts can look forward to some first rate culinary catches.
Service – 4 stars. We were served by as many different waiting staff as we had courses and each one was smiling and professional. There’s an unhurried atmosphere and no wait between courses but we have yet to test them on a busy Saturday night.
Where, when and how
Avenida de Austria, 5, San Eugenio Alta (alongside Aqualand), Costa Adeje; +34 922 79 62 82; open daily 1pm to midnight.
Tapas average €3.80; starters average €12 – €14; main courses average €20. Our selection of desserts was €18. Lunchtime dining (table must be vacated by 5pm) is discounted by 20% and early evening ((table must be vacated by 7pm) by 15%. Our bill for three courses and drinks came to €103.87 discounted to €83.11.