Sebastian, chic, edgy and the place to be
If you are looking for somewhere chic and modern, head for Restaurante Sebastian in Torviscas Bajo, just five minutes from the beach-front.
This busy tourist area has lots of bars and places to eat but it’s not quite so easy to find somewhere edgy with contemporary decor and dishes with artistic flair. Enter Restaurante Sebastian! An added bonus is that it’s very accessible either by foot, taxi or car.
We had been looking forward to our review for some time, having admired the pictures on its excellent website, particularly the stunning bar and its unusual lighting effects. The on-line menu sounded very tempting and we had a good idea of what we would like to taste.
Our visit fully lived up to expectations in terms of hospitality, surroundings, service and food and we can see why Restaurante Sebastian has become a firm favourite for tourists and local residents alike.
One aspect which really shines for me is the very obvious thought and attention which has gone into marketing this restaurant. Its success has not happened by chance. The owners think about what people need in this tough economic climate and offer various options so you can tailor a visit to suit your budget.
Innovations include a lunch and early diner which offers three courses for 12.95 euros (menu changes daily) if you eat between 1pm and 6.30pm.
We also loved the attention to detail. The aluminium menu covers, the coloured lighting in the bar area which changes through the spectrums, the unusual-shaped plates, the chef’s signature logos on his dishes. We spent most of the evening remarking “Oh, that’s nice” or “that’s a good idea!”
It’s probably a cliché to say Restaurante Sebastian is a “hidden gem” but it is as you won’t automatically walk past it when out and about in Torviscas. Cliche or not, it is true. You only have to look at the 260-plus reviews on TripAdvisor to see that other customers feel the same. The comments are glowing. “Classy little gem”, “Excellent menu and great choice” and “More than a restaurant” are just some of the comments.
Managing partner and executive chef, Raul Roldan Munoz is praised as one of the best chefs in Tenerife and we loved his cooking, together with his hospitality. Despite his hectic schedule, he makes time to come out of the kitchen and say hello to all his customers. He particularly loves it when they set him a challenge to create a special dish to meet their requirements.
This all goes towards the restaurant’s ethos of being “more than just an eating place”. It should be an experience, as well as a chance to enjoy the cuisine which is described as “a fusion of familiar tastes and new flavours”.
My dining partner proved a typical example. Ordering the fillet steak (16.90 euros) – which he described as the best he had ever tasted – he didn’t want to miss out on his usual peppercorn sauce but was so tempted by the alternatives. Despite being a traditionalist, he simply loved the combination of rosemary, choriza, jalapinos and Rioja which he opted for as a second sauce and considered it di-vine.
The menu is hugely extensive and you can mix and match to suit your tastebuds and your pocket. There are salads and cold tapas and a selection of warm tapas which you can have as starters or as your main. There are meat dishes, fish, pizzas and a menu for children.
The tapas is priced be-tween five and eight euros whilst mains average at about 13 euros. I chose a warm tapas dish for my starter because I loved the sound of ravioli filled with pear and parmesan (7.60 euros) which was mouth-watering and followed up with Medallions of pork fillet steak in a sauce of cider, apple and Dijon mustard (12.80 euros). In both cases, it was the combination of ingredients which attracted my eye, reflecting what chef Raul is trying to do ie. to introduce the diner to new experiences.
This is part of the fun of trying to choose from the menu. There is something for everyone, whether it be garlic mushrooms (6.70 euros), chicken croquettes (5.70 euros), Ribeye steak (14.50 euros) cooked to your liking or a Vegetable pizza (7.50 euros) if you prefer to “place safe”. But if you like to experiment, temptations range from Fried mushrooms filled with spinach, prawns and blue cheese (6.75 euros), Fillet of cherne served on mashed potatoe with mango and fresh orange sauce (13.30 euros) or King prawns in cream of pineapple chutney and madras served with rice (13.90 euros). Just writing this makes me want to go back again!
There is also a three-course mix and match menu for 24 euros which in itself offers unusual dishes and there is an offer for Sunday lunch as well. The home-made desserts are also divine. I loved my apple strudel and ice-cream whilst a portion of warm chocolate brownie and ice-cream went down very well opposite me too! These were presented in a very pretty way.
During our evening, we were very well looked after by James, just one part of the friendly team here, and enjoyed the soft background music, on this occasion provided by Elmar, a singer/guitarist. You will find live music every night and this does help you to have a conversation without feeling as though everyone else is listening.
We chose to sit outside under the canopy but there are very options to suit your choice and the weather. You can see the bar area and its coloured lighting and unusual mosaics which all adds to the contemporary feel.
Do give Restaurante Sebastian a try as you won’t be disappointed and will make it one of your favourites, whether you live here or are on holiday. Special celebrations and party bookings can be catered for.
Call on 922 714 648 or check out www.sebastiantenerife.com (also for directions). If you are walking in San Eugenio, come down the slight hill with the shops and hotels on either side and turn right just part the Santa Maria apartments. Walk for a few more minutes until you see mini-market Los Atamanes on the left and Restaurante Sebastian is just behind this.