Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Pier 19, Las Palmas Marina Harbour, restaurant review

Las Palmas Sports Marina (El Muelle Deportivo) strikes me as one of those places which doesn't seem to take off. Through the years, businesses have come and gone, changes have been made, and still locals seem to shy away from it apart from weekends and holidays. Part of the reason could be attributed to its location, lying more or less midway from the shopping districts of Mesa y López and Triana.

Even getting there isn't straightforward. I suppose the bulk of the clients in the bars and restaurants in the marina are those who have their boats docked here. It's a shame as the harbour can be quite picturesque and there are a handful of restaurants to choose from, either from the shopping complex or the street running alongside the harbour. Parking is free for clients (get a validating ticket from the shop/restaurant).

Sports Marina, Muelle Deportivo, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Muelle Deportivo at dawn
Our choice for the day was Pier 19. It was Sunday afternoon, about 3.30pm. There were quite a few customers, some waiting for food, while others were on their last course. It's quite a big restaurant and for one this size, there weren't a lot of serving staff, so perhaps, they are seldom full. The waiting time between us getting a table and getting our food orders taken was a bit too long. But, when we were waited upon, the staff were smiley and helpful. Food didn't take too long to reach the table either.

Pier 19, Sports Marina, Muelle Deportivo, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Rollitos crujientes de langostinos y verduras sobre guacamole y salsa de soja
This dish is a fusion of Oriental & Mexican cuisine, "rollitos crujientes" being crispy rolls. When we ordered this, I must admit that I hesitated on the guacamole bit, but I was pleasantly surprised. The guacamole I've always tasted has been strong and heavy (strong on garlic and lime and heavy because of the creamy  and calorific avocado), but this wasn't the case at all. These should be eaten hot, and my only complaint was that the filling was just lukewarm. However, my companions said that was because I'd been busy taking photos! They might have been right as this was the first dish to arrive.

Pier 19, Sports Marina, Muelle Deportivo, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Crujiente de morcilla de Teror con miel de Palma
Morcilla de Teror (Teror is a town in the northern part of the island of Gran Canaria) is a sweet sausage made from ingredients such as cow's blood, lard, almonds, sweet potatoes, raisins, onions, cinnamon, aniseed, and other condiments. Miel de Palma is palm syrup. 

With ingredients like these, you can expect it to be sweet, and sweet it was, but it wasn't sickly sweet; they were rather tasty and, as the name suggests, crispy. We were fighting over who had the right to the last piece!

Pier 19, Sports Marina, Muelle Deportivo, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Revuelto de boletus con espárragos trigueros y trufa
I always appreciate it when chefs make an effort on presentation; it gives me the impression that they are keen to please not just customers' palate but their eyes, too. This dish of scrambled eggs with mushrooms, asparagus and truffle would taste just as good, no doubt, if it was slapped onto the plate, but it looks so much better like this. :)

Pier 19, Sports Marina, Muelle Deportivo, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Risotto negro de chipirones, langostinos y ali oli gratinado
Pier 19, Sports Marina, Muelle Deportivo, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Stirring in the ali-oli
Chipirones are what I called baby squids and ali oli is traditionally garlic and olive oil, but in the Canaries, it is usually a form of garlic mayonnaise.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I read "ali oli gratinado (grilled)", but I was certainly surprised by the aspect of this, so much so that I forgot that it was ali oli, thinking it was grated goat's cheese instead. Expecting it to be rather heavy, I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't. Nor was it salty as a lot of black risottos here in Las Palmas tend to be (the blackness comes from the ink of the squids). Creamily yummy!

Pier 19, Sports Marina, Muelle Deportivo, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Ravioli de ricotta, puerro, cherry y langostinos
This was the last of the surprises. Surprise because of the size of the raviolis! I'm more used to the small ones - I've never seen them of this size. These raviolis were stuffed with ricotta, leeks and maybe some prawns. I'd expected the cherry to be the fruit, but they meant cherry tomatoes! Haha.

This was the least popular of today's dishes although it was very good, too. The prawns were more like shrimps and the colouring was somewhat unnatural. Nonetheless, at the end, we were using what bread was left to clean up the sauce!

Name: Pier 19
Location: Calle Joaquín Blanco Torrent, 35005 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Website: (the website isn't very good; the menu can be seen directly here)
Type: Spanish, fusion
Tel: 928 24 39 21
Verdict: Highly recommended!