On the last Saturday of each month, the Princesa Yaiza 5* Hotel in Playa Blanca holds a special gastronomy event known as KM0.
Predominantly aimed at guests, this event is also open to the public. There are two parts, a tasting menu at the Restaurante Isla de Lobos on Saturday evening, and an optional visit to the Finca de Uga in the morning.
The concept of KM0 is to source sustainable and local products in proximity to the restaurant. The KM0 menu at the Restaurante Isla de Lobos is predominantly sourced from the Finca de Uga, as well as other farmers, cattle breeders and fishermen on the island of Lanzarote.
We registered for the event on the 27th January 2018, the tasting menu in the evening is priced at €60 per person, with wine pairing available at €32 per person. The farm tour is €15 per person, from 11:00 – 14:00.
KM0 – Finca de Uga
We met the minibus from the hotel at the Finca de Uga, where we were introduced by Julia the hotel translator to Paco, our farm guide and Gonzalo, the chef who would be preparing our food for this evening.
Our first stop was the maternity wing, where heavily pregnant pigs are taken in preparation for the birth of their piglets. They have two breeds at the farm including the Cochino Negro Canario (Canarian black pig) and Cerdas Ibéricas (Iberian black pigs). The farm has successfully interbred both breeds to produce a piglet with the best of both characteristics, known as the Cochino Finca de Uga.
We walked through the large landscaped pig pens, which are planted to provide natural shade, each with a water feature, rain shower and fresh drinking water. Paco was happy to answer everyone’s questions. We discovered that their sows generally produce 3 litters within 2 years. When they are ready to mate, a male is introduced into a group of 25 female pigs for a couple of days. The length of gestation in a swine is the rule of threes: three months, three weeks and three days, for a total of 114 days.
The Finca de Uga is predominantly an award winning dairy with a mixed milking herd including 300 Cabra Majorera (goats), 300 Oveja Canaria (sheept) & 30 Jersey cows. The doe eyed Jersey’s are beautiful, they were happy for our group to walk amongst them petting and taking pictures. I also loved our visit to meet the goat kids and fluffy lambs. These youngsters were naturally inquisitive and I didn’t hesitate in crouching down to say hello. We collected some eggs from the Gallina Campera Negra Canaria (hens) who enjoyed the handful of fresh greens plucked from the plants growing at the side of their chicken coop.
There are around 1,000 animals living at the Finca de Uga and it’s obvious that their well being is of paramount importance. The fam has a very relaxed atmosphere, the animal enclosures are immaculately clean and ambient music wafts on the breeze.
Paco guided us through to the agricultural area of the farm, passing the finca’s own desalination plant. In the first plot green asparagus was sprouting, Gonzalo picked some for us to taste straight out of the ground, it was stunning! I have only tasted cooked asparagus before, and will definitely eat the green version raw in the future.
There are two large greenhouses which help to cultivate the more delicate crops. The first was half full of papaya, plus a variety of lettuce leaves and buddha’s hand trees with this unusual looking citrus fruit grown for it’s zest. The other was planted with tomato, cucumber, pepper and zucchini.
The crops are beautifully planted amongst the volcanic landscape, we are encouraged to try many of the different species as we pass. Our hosts are very generous and the chef’s basket of supplies for the kitchen now takes two people to carry.
(Click any image to open the gallery)
A large proportion of the land at the Finca de Uga has been dedicated to a vineyard, Unusually for Lanzarote the Syrah, also known as Shiraz growing here, has been planted in rows and trained along wires, rather than the traditional hoyos found in La Geria.
We follow the footpath past an abundance of fruit trees, sheltered from the wind by volcanic walls, wooden fencing and flamboya trees, which must look absolutely stunning when covered with their vibrant red blossom.
Taking a garden path we come upon a lovely patio area, set out with fruit cocktails and cheese boards, it was time to taste a variety of cheeses produced by the Finca de Uga. We particularly liked their green version of the almogrote cheese paste, which has been produced using fruit from the Moranga “miracle tree” aptly named for it’s nutritional value and variety of uses. There were a selection of cheeses available to purchase at €15 each.
There was just time to see the milking shed and the adult goats on the upper level of the farm. On route we walked past the old stable block, the finca used to be a horse centre. The equines were relocated to Andalusia in the 90’s, where they can graze naturally. Opposite the stable is an aviary & duck pond, complete with a flock of pink flamingoes!
Our tour was timed to perfection, the camel train from Timanfaya was passing the Finca de Uga as we excited.
KM0 – Restaurante Isla de Lobos
We have had the pleasure of dining at this restaurant, situated at the beachfront side of the Princesa Yaiza hotel on several occasions, and have yet to be disappointed. Apart from the KM0 monthly event, the hotel host Michelin Star Gastronomical days, with guest chefs.
We booked a table for 20:00 and were greeted with a passion fruit cocktail on arrival. The service is fabulous at this restaurant, the waiters manage a fine line between being ultimately professional but also personal & friendly.
Our menu for the evening was printed on an envelope which contained a gift of blue cheese from the Finca de Uga.
Pickled Tuna, Marinated Mustard and Avocado
Breaded Octopus with Chorizo from Teror and Honey
Crunchy Lamb, Pumpkin Foam and Smoked Milk Cream
Mango with Spiced Yoghurt and Buddha’s Hand
Wheat with Tomatoes, Basil and Cheese
Wine pairing: Tagalguen Blanco – D.O. La Palma
Avocado Gazpacho with Steamed Mussel in Malvasia Wine and Iced Cucumber
Wine pairing: Bermejo Fermentado en Barrica – D.O. Lanzarote
From The Surroundings
Japanese Dumplings Filled with “Majorero” Goat and Smoked Cheese
From Our Ocean
Wine pairing: Los Loros Sobra Lías – D.O. Valle del Güimar
Finca de Uga
Suckling Pig from Finca de Uga
Wine pairing: La Deriva – D.O.P. Islas Canarias
Passion Fruit and Mango
Wine pairing: Bermejo Malvasía Naturalmente Dulce – D.O. Lanzarote
Goat Yoghurt, Pineapple and Honey Rum
In summary, KM0 is a gastronomy experience that we highly recommend, this was a very special day out doing something different in Lanzarote.
Finca de Uga is an extraordinary farm, with fabulous attention to detail. It’s beautifully landscaped and the animals are so obviously relaxed in their environment. It was a privilege to be given a private tour of these facilities.
The Restaurant Isla de Lobos at the Princesa Yaiza hotel is one of the best on the island. We always look forward to dining at the variety of gastronomy evenings held in this location.
You can only book a tour of the Finca de Uga, if you book the KM0 tasting menu, which is normally held on the last Saturday of each month. For more information please contact the Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel in Playa Blanca.