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The Oyster Catcher, as excellent as ever as Tenerife restaurants enjoy better times 

With Tenerife enjoying record visitor numbers, it’s great to see how many of our good restaurants are buzzing again, as it was in yesteryear.

But with the boom also comes new problems for such establishments. With more customers than ever before, standards have to be maintained, together with the quality of the food and the service.

Thankfully, when we visited the very popular Oyster Catcher in Los Cristianos to catch up with owner Angel and his team, we found nothing had been compromised.

Despite the restaurant being full by 8.30pm on our Thursday night rendezvous, the experience was as good as ever and we watched as even a big party of nine was deftly dealt with.

There is nothing worse than having to sit around waiting to be served or constantly watching the kitchen to see if your food is coming out. Aspects like this could well harm any establishment which takes the busier island for granted.

Not at the Oyster Catcher. We were warmly greeted the moment we stepped over the threshold and it was great to see Angel behind the flambe trolley where he puts on a deft display of creating superb dishes. The sight of the flames is an attraction in itself.

The ethos of the Oyster Catcher under Angel, a very experienced restaurateur and hotelier, both in Spain and in the UK, has always been “You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces, just good food from fresh ingredients.”

This formula obviously works. The Brits in particular love this restaurant along the “strip” of Avenida San Fran-cisco at CC El Mirador, not least because it is in easy walking distance from most of the hotels and apartments in Los Cristianos. If you arrive by car, there is invariably parking close by and it’s also on the bus route.

The food here is plentiful and of an international flavour so it attracts all nationalities as well.

The menu is very extensive, in various languages, and explains in detail exactly what you get. Prices vary so you can tailor your meal to your budget, whether you opt for pasta, a roast at any time, fish or meat. Portions are very pentiful.

I had fond memories of the shrimp cocktail salad (8.75 euros) which I loved on a previous occasion and found it as superb as ever. At the other end of the scale, my partner opted for a portion of garlic bread (2.75 euros) because he knew his main course of steak ale pie with chips and fresh veg (10.50 euros) was going to be quite a challenge (and it was because he was served a huge slice!)

We were accompanied by my sister, visiting from the UK, who had heard a lot about the Oyster Catcher and wanted to see it for herself.

She was thrilled with her starter of bruschetta topped with the restaurant’s own pesto, tomatoes, olive oil and feta cheese (4.50 euros) and even more enamored with her flambed fillet steak in green pepper sauce with brandy and cream (18.50 euros).

Like most people, she is very fussy about her steak but said it was “the best I have tasted for years”, being soft and succulent and melting in the mouth. All the dishes come with veg and potatoes so you don’t pay any extra. It’s a sign of a good steak when absolutely nothing is left on the plate!

I chose the stroganoff which Angel also cooked on the flambe trolley. Simply deli-cious!

This dish was 16.50 euros but to give you an example of how you can tailor your budget, a lasagne bolognaise is 7.20 euros, pan fried fillet of sea berch is 10.20 euros, roast leg of lamb is 9.20 euros or a Canarian Caesar salad is 7.20 euros. There are also daily specials on the blackboard and freshly-made soup.

Drink prices are very reasonable too. A bottle of the house wine is 12.75 euros, for instance.

If you dish is to be made up at the flambe trolley rather than in the kitchen, the raw ingredients will be brought to your table to show you first. A nice little touch and all adding to the atmosphere. Angel is like a cocktail maker at the flambe trolley, often juggling two pans at once and liquor bottles at the same time! Do bring your camera along for some unusual holiday snaps.

The Oyster Catcher also serves a mean cooked breakfast, snacks and has a special menu for children.

Like Angel, the staff here speak English and make up a very pleasant team, always willing to help with a smile.

We love the interior of this restaurant, especially at night, and so will you. It gives off a warm hue with candles and its red decor. There are two sections. One is the restaurant itself, completely under cover, the other is the terrace with covers to protect against the elements.

As with most of our res-taurant visits, we always seem to spot the list of desserts before we even start so just couldn’t resist! We just about managed to finish off our crepe suzettes, also created on the flambe, chocolate fudge cake and apple pie. Naughty, yes, but oh so nice!

Another very delightful evening was rounded off with shots of honey rum and a fond farewell to Angel and his team which is echoed many times over by his customers who stop to shake his hand.

Do make a point of going our for a meal to the Oyster Catcher. You really won’t be disappointed. Of course you can call in without booking a table but if you want to make absolutely sure or if you have a big party, please ring on 922 78 80 38. See also their website (in English) on http://www.oystercatcher.es/