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An experience to remember at Electra 

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If music be the food of love, play on” would certainly be an appropriate mantra for the chic bistro Electra at Golf del Sur.

Now back to front-of-house, chef/wine connoisseur/restaurateur Paolo has always had a love affair with food, believing it should appeal to all the senses and come beautifully served and presented.

Electra, which is also a wine and tapas bar, has its own slogan – “When eating becomes a pleasure” – and customers are assured: “We try to offer you an experience in your life”.

Paolo rightly feels that when people come for a night out, they should receive the very best treatment and savour every moment, as well as the food on their plate.

Technically speaking, he may have left the kitchen but his influence is still very strong. He has taught his protégé Iana to cook in the same style. This is creative and full of flavour, invariably pairing beautiful products with one another, such as fresh lime and honey, raisins and apples, sweet orange and papaya and tomatoes with basil jam.

You feel that if these could be transferred on to canvas to create a painting, it would be in Picasso-style, abstract and full of colour and with a dramatic effect on the eye.

Paolo hasn’t lost his passion for cooking. It’s just that he feels he needs to be in the front-of-house to meet and greet customers, to point them in the right direction of their choices, to advise them on the right wine and to keep the dishes flowing. He still inspects each plate before it leaves the kitchen and is very pleased that Iana is carrying on his high standards.

You fill find Electra on the staggered terrace on the road side of San Blas square so parking is always readily available within a matter of yards.

We chose to sit outside on the small patio which has four to five tables so can accommodate couples or a bigger group if you pre-book. However, if you are feeling chilly, the bistro inside is delightful with modern but intimate decor, a lovely bar with a mosaic design and nice lighting.

We have eaten with Paolo many times, including when he first came to Electra four years ago. After a brief spell away, he is now back as co-owner and we found updates in the menu, as well as a new selection of tapas dishes which are available in the day-time, such as garlic mushrooms, chicken croquettes, Canary potatoes with mojo sauces, marinated olives and so on. Children’s tapas is also available. Electra’s tapas is not strictly Spanish; it too has Paolo’s touch.

There is a large menu board outside to tempt you and we had also perused the restaurant’s excellent website on http://electratenerife.com/ which is available in English so we had some idea of what we wanted to taste.

The dishes all sound lovely, from “Fish ravioli with a prawn and oyster mushroom sauce” (13.50 euros) to “Duck breast in a port wine and gooseberry reduction” (19.50 euros) and “King prawns marinated with garlic, chilli, fresh lime and honey, perfumed with basic and coriander” (16.50 euros). You can order lobster on request with a minimum of 24 hours notice.

But first, the starters. I opted for garlic prawns flambéd in brandy (nine euros) which made a dramatic entrance and tasted absolutely gorgeous whilst my dining partner enjoyed the warm beef salad with papaya dressed with a ginger, honey and mustard vinaigrette (10.50 euro) which was tasty and refreshing.

For the main course, we decided to share the “Slow roast shoulder of lamb marinated in garlic and fresh herbs” (available for two people at 17.50 euros pp). Paolo brought it out on a trolley to serve in front of us and it smelt wonderful. The meat just fell to bits as he carved it on to huge plates decorated with a salad, complete with flowers, another Electra touch. It came with piping hot Canary potatoes and a carrot puree with sweet potato crisps. Simply gorgeous.

To round off a great meal, we enjoyed “Sweet orange, papaya and cointreau tart with vanilla ice-cream” (seven euros) and a chocolate ice-cream dessert which Paolo created especially for my friend.

If you can’t decide what to eat, perhaps go for the tasting menu (minimum two people, 36 euros per person) which includes temptations such as “Warm duck with carpaccio” and “Scallops with foie gras” plus a selection of desserts.

As you would expect, Electra offers an extensive wine list, coffees, liquors, beers etc – one family stopped by simply to enjoy a few drinks on the patio and we encouraged them to return to enjoy the food, especially the lamb.

We found the arrival of the dishes exactly right but when the bistro is busy, you might have to wait a little bit longer but Paolo hopes his customers will understand that this isn’t a fast-food restaurant. He doesn’t want to compromise his standards by sending out anything but the best which is what he believes people deserve to get for their money.

Perhaps sometimes we are too eager to have dish after dish in record time – we need to sit back and relax, talk and enjoy the atmosphere and the wine and make it a real evening out. As Paolo says: “Eating is not just a need, it is also a pleasure.”

Though the casual caller is always welcome, it is always best to book a table if you can so please phone 665 812 136.

RS