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Imagination has no limits at the stylish GOM restaurant 

PAGE 37

It takes quite an imagination for a chef to present the images and aromas of Tenerife on a plate but then Raul Brito is a real leader in innovation.

Heading up the team at the stylish Taburiente Hotel in Santa Cruz and the hugely succesful GOM restaurant which is open to all, he tells me: “Imagination has no limits.”

He is right, of course, but to be able to take ideas and turn them into delicious food is an amazing skill. Even more spectacular is that his wonderful dishes are totally affordable, despite the four-star status of this ultra-modern hotel and the avant garde decor of GOM.

On a recent visit, I was stunned to find the menu of the day for just 15 euros, inclusive of three courses, bread, a drink and coffee!

Had I not been sampling a selection of the dishes, I would undoubtedly have chosen zucchini creamy soup with smoked salmon, followed by cod fillet confit with coriander, mojo sauce and potatoes and rounded off by three chocolate cake, with a glass of wine and coffee.

It’s hardly surprising that residents and visitors alike are flooding into GOM which is just a stone’s throw from the beautiful green lung of the Garcia Sanabria park which is bordered on one side by the famous Rambla and calle Dr. Jose Naveiras on which the hotel stands.

I took a taxi from the main bus station and it cost me less than four euros to the Taburiente where the front doors literally open on to the park’s greenery.

You can access GOM either form this main entrance of the hotel or by its own doors on the other side.

All nationalities are enjoying the dishes invented and created by Raul who at 36 has a wealth of experience in the restaurant trade, having started his training at the world famous El Bulli.

He went on to chef at numerous top hotels and restaurants in Tenerife, including his home town of Puerto de la Cruz where he opened his own establish-ments and acted as a consultant for the opening of several others, all of which broke the traditional mode.

It goes without saying that Raul is a totally innovative chef. How else could you describe a man who has been inspired by the black sands and rocks of Tenerife to produce a dish worthy of the sea shore or uses as his starting point the early morning mists of the magical forest of Anaga.

It is not just Canarian food that he likes to produce, however. His inspirations come from around the world and he has trained in unique techniques, such as emulating the smokiness of the traditional wood fires as demonstrated when the dome of my main course of a delicious risotto with wild mushrooms, topped with artichokes and a poached egg was lifted in front of me. Simply and utterly delicious.

Raul believes in using only the best and freshest of ingredients and therefore seasonality is a key to his menus. At GOM, for instace, the team uses 600 different leaves, many of them grown to order in a local finca.

One simple tiny root can convey an incredible taste and transform a dish.

Raul is totally passionate about his work. It is a calling, not just a career and he hopes to enchant his customers who are of all nationalities, British included.

“I want them to think of nothing else but my food,” he says.

The city tour bus stops in this area by the park so it is well worth popping in to enjoy your lunch or dinner at GOM.

Apart from the menu of the day, there is an a la carte with delicious choices like turbot en papillote with prawns, clams and mussels or black pork confit with sweet wine sauce, Fuerteventura grilled goat cheese and mashed sweet potatoes.

Or perhaps try the Galician beef sirloin with sauteed vegetables and spicy potatoes or grilled octopus with free range eggs and sundried red pepper oil. Dishes on this a la carte range from five euros to 20 euros so you can tailor your choices to your budget.

This isn’t an austere restaurant.Its interior decor gleams with chrome and glass but the atmosphere is very welcming, with beautifully laid tables, cutlery and plates.

The menu is in Spanish and English so you know exactly what you are getting and diners with allergies are catered for.

Some of Raul’s cuisine is what he describes as environmental gastronomy, hence the portrayal of the beach scene using Tacorone black potatoes and squid ink.

All of his dishes are full of flavours and unsual tastes and combinations but not to excess. Nothing over-rides another ingredient but there are surprises galore.

I personally loved the clever little touches like his trademark lollipops made with guava and cheese and the lemon champagne sorbet served in a little jam jar and sipped through a straw.

A new menu was introduced with effect from September 1st and you might also like to take a look at the Christmas offerings, with the seasonal menu another bargain at just 25 euros.

GOM is very happy to deal with special occasions and party bookings and the hotel itself caters for weddings.

My visit was simply charming and I cannot recommend to you enough to follow in my footsteps.

Restaurante GOM

Reservations: 922 27 60 58

Opening: Tuesday to Saturday

13:00 to 16:00 / 20:00 to 23:00

C/Dr. Guigou,29

Santa Cruz