A November 2007 trip
to Lanzarote by MichaelJM
Quote: Some nights we wanted to eat cheaply and here are some of the places that we tried for a cheap set meal.
The Noha restaurant offered a two course evening meal for less than 8 euro and this seemed to be a value that couldn’t be ignored. It’s a modern looking establishment which seemed to be unsure of its true identity, catering for the pizza fanatics—it had a modern electric pizza oven set into raffied wooden surround—and more traditional meals. The real Lanzarote was presented in the form of a chunky black stone surround to the bar area set against a modern barbecue looking area marked in chalk, ‘Grill Steak’. Overall the lighting was extremely harsh, if it were notched down a peg or two the restaurant’s ambiance would have been significantly enhanced.
We opted for the house red, a bottle of Castillo de Gredos (Spanish Tinto wine), which was initially a bit raw to the palette but was fairly acceptable after allowing it to breathe for a while. The tables were spacious and gave us plenty of room to sprawl out on smart, crisp, peppermint green tablecloths with a central striped runner. The waiter delivered the menus with panache and less subtly withdrew the set special menu. We certainly were not to be put off and asked to see the special, opting for onion soup, mixed salad, and a couple of steaks (strange that only 18 months ago I was totally off beef!). The onion soup with its floating cheesy bread was perfectly edible, but a bit thin, whilst my wife’s mixed salad was attractively substantial. (I resisted a ‘wish’ to have chosen differently and cooed enthusiastically over my starter.)Amusingly, the couple next to us were served with our meal, but after a raised eyebrow or two they rejected it and it was passed unceremoniously across to us. The steaks were cooked as requested—medium rare—and the chips were piping hot. The main course was nothing too special but the waiter had a great sense of humour and he really made the whole dining experience enjoyable if somewhat quirky.
Puddings were served as additional and "herself" and me were struggling to articulate our preference; the waiter pointed to a chocolate bomb for me (that’s spooky cause that’s what I was considering) and to a banana split for my other half (she confirmed that was her preference). I indicated I only wanted mine if it was ‘huge’ and when it arrived, it was. The waiter had squirted cream around the chocolate ice and at the table he poured copious amounts of extra chocolate sauce on the cream. I know this was excessively high in cholesterol, but as I’m on holiday three or four times a year, this was a treat I was prepared to "suffer". As I was savouring this pudding the waiter crept up behind and poured an ample portion of house rum onto my pudding. My word, that added flavour to this pre-packed sweet!Not top cuisine, but a decent enough meal for a very reasonable price.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 20, 2007
88 Avenida De Las Playas
+34 928 510 678
Restaurant | "Lani's Tex-Mex"
Once again we were armed with our free cocktail voucher and Cantina Tex-mex, on the Avenue de la Playa, had always stood out as a potential place to eat. Like the other Lani’s, a real effort had been made to convey the ethnicity of the cuisine through the ambience of the restaurant and the cantina is decked out in bright yellows and greens. As the others, it’s a stylised view of Mexico that’s presented here with the official welcomer clad in a bright poncho. She was a charming young woman, and with her broad, welcoming smile, she encouraged several waverers to eat in the restaurant.Once in there she tried to encourage diners to wear the sombreros that were scattered around the restaurant. Not many did but I think she enjoyed encouraging the younger men to try on a hat. Needless to say she paid little attention to me!!
Working on the same assumption as our visit to the Indian restaurant, we chose a set menu at a mere 7 euros, intending to add in a course if we were still peckish. There wasn’t a great deal of choice but there was plenty of food and we had no need to order any à la carte additions to supplement the set meal. Mexican food, I reckon, is best eaten with a decent cold beer (or two), and that’s exactly what we chose to accompany the spicy dishes.
If anything we were a little disappointed that the food was a little under-spiced, but it was tasty and the meat was of good quality. Service was somewhat erratic with either a surplus of staff or, at critical times (like when I needed another beer), none could be seen. But at the end of the day all the staff were friendly and seemed happy to be at work. They created a great ambiance and this place was always full, often with people waiting for tables.We got our card stamped and were promptly handed a full bottle of "champagne"—that’ll make for a decent accompaniment for any take-away meal that we decide to have back at the apartment.
Lani’s Tex-Mex is by no means the greatest restaurant in town but it does offer a decent meal very cheaply and if you enjoy a bit of Mexican this is an excellent place to savour the taste.
He escorted us down to the secondary entrance of the restaurant, pointing out broken floor tiles ("watch you don’t trip"). The illuminated sign had dropped the "w" and we were beginning to wonder if this was a wise choice. However, we were given a warm greeting by the restaurant’s patron and guided to seat next to the main entrance. It was certainly busy and diners were already crowded around a central reservation, which effectively was one large hot plate. A dish of prawn crackers was ceremoniously placed before us and the assumption made that we were interested in the "eat all you can" buffet. "Just help yourself when you’re ready," was the cheery message given to us by the waitress as she returned with our chosen tipple—the house red. The wine was really quite full bodied and fruity, for a cheap house, and we're soon filling our glass up for a second time before heading off for the food.
There proved to be a bottomless supply of tasty morsels throughout the evening as new containers were fitted, with reasonable regularity, into the hot plate. Starters merged into main course and after the third or fourth plateful I was still pleased with the taste sensation that Hong Kong Kowloon provided. The meat was well prepared and the sauces generally were really tasty, the only disappointment being a fairly bland sweet and sour.We took our time, whereas many diners appeared, gobbled their food, and disappeared, but we felt no pressure to move on. After ice cream, (standard pudding for Chinese restaurants) we were offered Chinese liquor. The young waitress suggested that we should look inside the glass before we drank and made a hurried re-positioning of the glasses. Inside were scantily clad adults—the waitress winked approvingly and left us to our drink and the bottle. You know, having drunk the shot, I just had to refill it a few times to ensure the inset didn’t wash away. Nothing to do with the photo, but the liquor was real tasty!
Cheap and cheerful? Yes, but outstanding value for money. Well worth a visit.
Hong Kong Kowloon
Puerto Del Carmen
Restaurant | "Lani Indian Tandoori"
The smells from this restaurant wafted enticingly onto Puerto del Carmen’s main thorughfare and we decided we’d have a taste of India, Lanzarote style. We opted for the two course appetiser for 7.95 euro, which gave a choice of starter and then a main course.
We decided to see how satisfying that was before opting for more. Armed with our token for free "welcoming cocktails" given to us at our recent visit to a Lani’s restaurant, we found a spacious table for two towards the centre of the restaurant. Large, ostentatious, silver gilt chairs offered real comfort in this extravagantly decorated modern establishment. Real effort had been made to bring India to Lanzarote, although clearly the décor was all contrived and stylistic.
The cocktail was not an elaborate affair, basically a sangria with a good helping of fresh fruit, but it was refreshing and of course complimentary! The meal chosen, we sat back enjoying the ambience of the place to await the starter. Freshly cooked chicken pakora and onion bhaji were delivered to our table and we dissected them in half, enabling us both to enjoy the different flavours and textures—an interesting selection of "dipped" accompanied them.The starter was soon devoured and I ordered a beer to accompany our main course (chicken korma and chicken jalfrezi). The main course arrived speedily but there seemed to be a problem with the beer. A lot of activity around the bar but no pints being pulled and then the reason for the tardiness was revealed; two waiters had been dispatched to the Lani’s next door to bring a new barrel of beer, which they were carefully carrying through the restaurant. Duly installed, the beer arrived just about in the time my wife had downed the last mouthful of her korma. "Peckish?" I enquired. "Just a bit," she responded, and she clearly felt the need for a bit more sustenance.
I signalled to the waiter and asked for the main menu again and this time we ordered a lamb biriyani with Nan Peshwari. When this was finally delivered to the table we could have no complaints; it was piping hot and extremely tasty. The nan was so reminiscent of our holiday in Kerala that we could almost envisage our night on the rice boat again!This was a great meal, which only became complicated when I went to pay. I laid down a 5% discount voucher, which meant the bill had to be re-calculated (a feat in itself) and then the visa machine was failing to ring out for a connection. After a couple of aborted tries I agreed it best if I paid in cash. The waiter looked relieved and I raided the small change to enable (just) the payment of the bill. That’s the downside of holidays—I’ll need more money out of the ATM!!
Lani's Indian Tandoori
Avenida De La Playas
Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote
Restaurant | "Terraza"
The Terraza is set up from the main avenue and as such has a more commanding view than most of the others on the street. However, you’re hard pressed to see the sea and so we contented ourselves with a spot of people-watching. Now Puerto del Carmen is not the place to see high fast cars or glamour, although we did spot many a "fashion statement" (a euphemism for the wearer’s substantial error at the point of purchase). But back to the restaurant—it’s a crisp and fresh looking restaurant decked out in cool blue, giving an almost clinical impression—here cleanliness was high on the agenda. We were sat near an open window, which coincidentally was a prime spot for watching the "off sales" for ice cream and pancakes. At one point I did think that this was a bad move as the milk shake machine whistled into action but that happened so infrequently that it was not intrusive.Despite its efficient presentation, service was somewhat casual and off-hand—perhaps it was because we’d opted for the "poor man's menu!!" I’m not suggesting that they disregarded our requests or that they were unresponsive, but there was never really a cheery smile or a pleasant acknowledgement from the waiter. Everything was serviced with clinical precision and even when the waiter "missed the plate" as he was serving the butter, he insisted that he must have another go by way of his spoon and fork service. I was more than happy for it to be left on the table—it was, after all, factory wrapped!My mixed salad starter was a large and healthy option (at least this was diet compliant) and included peppers; lettuce; onion; tomato; and long, tender, shoots of white asparagus. I savoured every morsel and added a conservative amount of olive oil and vinegar dressing. The second course was a new one on me—chicken lasagne. I know it’s not unique to Lani’s, but I have never had one before. It was delightful—piping hot. So after the first mouthful, I took my time and the chicken had a flakiness almost suggestive of fish. It did taste however of chicken and the lasagne was just packed with meat and oozed flavour from its subtle, if slightly anaemic looking, sauce. My wife’s spaghetti Bolognese however, was less ethnic and left an after "zing" that she really didn’t appreciate. Topping off a partially satisfactory meal, if less than adequate service, we enjoyed homemade chocolate chip ice cream and boy was it chocolaty, with crunchy slivers in every mouthful.
Service was the Terraza's downfall and we didn't reckon it was worth a second visit.
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on February 20, 2007
Calle Toscon 12 - Puerto del Carmen