My wife, son and I were eagerly and enthusiastically looking forward to our visit to Tehuelche Grill as we had tried unsuccessfully to book twice previously and only secured a table by booking two days in advance... this place must be good!
Ceratinly, as we were shown to our table on the terrace overlooking the valley towards San Pedro de Alcantara and the mountains, the views were stunning... and our waiter was most solicitous. The choice of cocktail aperitifs was good also... and they even offered to produce them without alcohol for our (disappointed!) twelve-year-old.
For starters, my wife chose the Argentinian Pies, stuffed with beef, lamb, ham and cheese, or spinach - beef and spinach were her choices and she declared them to be light and very delicious; I went for the seafood "vol-au-vent", which was also extremely good... succulent prawns, avocado, fruit and fresh salad all topped with a Marie Rose sauce that was neither too cloying, nor too sharp and served in a kind of deep-fried crepe that made an edible 'bowl' for the contents - it was lovely, but it was not a vol-au-vent!
For main course, my wife chose Lamb Fillet, which was both tasty and perfectly cooked for her... to my taste, slighty dry and overcooked. Our son went for the Tuna Canelloni and he thought he was on safe ground as rules of combining fish and cheese in pasta dishes are quite clear... he does not like cheese! He was clearly disappointed when his dish arrived covered in a mountain of freshly grated cheese and as a result did not eat it - when we explained that our son does not like cheese and noted that the menu described the dish as having "Tuna, White Sauce & a Tomato & Garlic Sauce" (no mention of cheese anywhere), the waiter shrugged and took his food away. Ho-hum!
My main was Tenderloin Steak and I asked the chef to prepare it as he saw fit (after all, chef knows his meat better than I do!) - it arrived on the rare side of medium rare (perfect) and was clearly well hung meat. Rather surprisingly, it came in three pieces (did it even come from the same beast?) and it has been salted prior to cooking, which resulted in very tasty meat that was cooked well, but as dry as dust... the salt had drawn out all the meat juices and any succulency had leached into the barbecue.
Both my wife and I had a shared portion of "poor man's" potatoes (Patatas a lo Pobre) to which cream had, somewhat unnecessarily, been added and some of the best vegetables either of us had eaten since we had been on holiday. In all honesty, the pan-fried vegetables were the star of the show, a goodly selection quickly tossed in a pan and served hot, but not overcooked - delicious and I almost wished I had forgone the steak for a whole portion of veggies as my main course... and I'm a dedicated carnivore!
Our son was the only one who chose dessert and he went for the Brownie with Icecream, which was light and generous, served with beautiful vanilla icecream and the ubiquitous 'squirty' cream that the Spanish seem to adore... he loved it!
The wine list was both good and comprehensive, with house wines being around €14 a bottle and options moving into three figures; I was driving, so none for me and my wife was disappointed that there were no half-bottles offered, so she stayed with the strawberry Mojito's! They do, generously, offer to seal a part-drunk bottle for you to take home, if you do not mind looking like a confirmed alcoholic as you take home what you have not drunk! If, however, you choose your wine to compliment the food you have ordered, it is unlikely that what you take home will be used for much else than the stock-pot!
As a firm supporter of WYSIWYP (What You See Is What You Pay), I am always annoyed by the addition of 'service charges' to bills... but, at least if the service is poor, you can subtract the amount! Annoyingly, at this restarurant, the prices on the menu EXCLUDE value added tax, which you cannot avoid and which is added at 10% to the bill... and there is also a €1.80 cover charge.
So, to sum up, our experience her was rather like the curate's egg... good in parts! The setting was stunning; the car parking was free; the service was good and unobtrusive; the wine list was fine, but could have better addressed solo-drinkers; some of the food was great, some less so.
I did note that most of the clientelle were holidaymakers and many were eastern European (not a problem to me, as my wife is Russian), so I suspect that the locals find places of better value and leave Tehuelche to the glitterati of Puerto Banus... and if you are staying in Estepona town, you will need to add about a €25 taxi-fare each way to your bill, as this is located right at the far extremities of the district and much closer to Puerto Banus.
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