Calle Juan Bariajo, 8 38660 Los Cristianos, Arona, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
+34 609 10 77 58
If you visit Tenerife you must visit El Cine. I stumbled upon this restaurant as my partner and I casually strolled away from the beach, in search for a lunch spot in the shade. Sceptically eyeing up the conveniently placed tourist bars, we noticed a queue leading up and into a secretive looking alley. Being Londoners instinct naturally lead us to joining the queue, upon which we discovered the wonderful El Cine.
Immediately we felt the electric buzz captivating the restaurant; friendly busy waiters, a mix of eccentrics, well fed looking locals, holidaymakers (who have taste), and the most important thing of all, atmosphere. We were seated after a few minutes wait, ordering 2 beers which came seconds later in ice-cold pint glasses, and officially we were off to a good start.
I can’t remember the last time I was so excited to be given a menu. A simple layout, pictures illustrating each meal, large font, no more than 12 dishes on offer, easy refreshing and trustworthy. First off the menu was the tomato and white onion salad with an olive oil and vinegar dressing, topped off with generous squirts of green verde sauce. I imagine some would cringe at the idea of raw white onion, but with the juicy tomatoes and salsa verde they were divine, adding crunch and tang.
Next a parade of royalty from the sea, smokey sticky octopus grilled so breathtakingly I wasn’t even sure it was octopus but some other heavenly creative we had not been told about. Sardines fat, juicy, fresh and demanding to be devoured one by one. Swordfish cooked perfectly and singing after a squirt of lime juice. Fragrant Cuttlefish you’d want to take home to meet your parents, A side dish of famous wrinkled salty Canarian potatoes, forcing you to declare the only time in your life you will that you love wrinkly balls. All this topped, dripped, spread and smothered with the locals favourite red spicy mojo sauce (the green sauce is coriander based and the red sauce made with red peppers).
Might I add that nothing we ate needed additional salt and pepper added to it, immaculate seasoning which is a talent in itself. After ordering our second pint, undoing the top button of our pants and sitting back to enjoy the surroundings, it became very clear why El Cine was so good. Its has charisma. It’s exciting, buzzing, hidden away from obvious street view, and it makes you feel welcome. Now that is something that many other restaurants have spent thousands, even millions trying to achieve but have failed again and again. Enough said, take your seat!