Restaurante Pedagógico stands for Teaching Restaurant and it’s very appropiately called Malvasía, after the main grape grown in the island.
I had been to it once before, just before the whole pandemic nightmare started, so it didn’t make much sense to write about it back then. I went back last week just to refresh my memory of the experience.
You have to go through the small doorway on the Institute’s walls, it’s the building to your left with both steps and a wheelchair access rampt. It didn’t surprise me it has quite an industrial look to it both on the outside and the inside, think school hall type of environment. However, there was nice light music in the background filling the air. Also, I think it’s a nice touch to be able to see the kitchen through the window.
Through the academic year the students of Restauration and Tourism offer different types of menus, once or twice a week, usually on Thursdays and / or Fridays, including small à la carte menus, set menus, tapas menus, special days dedicated to a star ingredient like rice, or different cuisines around the word, etc.
Prices obviously change according to that, whether it’s a set price for the meal or dishes priced individually.
Bear in mind that only cash payments are accepted and booking is required. Serving times are quite short as well, on the day I went it was only from 14h to 16h. All these details are mentioned on the menu for that specific day. Once small criticism would be that the allergens icons and the writing on the menu could be a bit bigger to make it easier to read.
On the day I had booked, I arrived pretty much on time at 14h and the doors weren’t open yet. Only a few minutes after, when they did open, they informed me that I would be see to my table shortly. That happened just as promised: a lovely young woman checked my booking, took me to my table (I was given plenty to choose from) and brought me the menu.
My meal was a set menu, with only one choice per course except for the desert where I got a choice of two. I was surprised with an apperitif (of the solid kind, mind you), which wasn’t mentioned on the menu: I got some focaccia with a lemon butter on the side. This was the only dish that was a bit dissappointing as I found the focaccia to be quick thick, not very fluffy. But the lovely rosemary flavour that reached my nostrils made up for it.
Also, I was served a lovely warm roll and some herb butter, both of them delicious.
The starter was beetroot soup and it was served cold, with some crumbled goats cheese, olive drizzles and crispy crouton. I am not a beetroot fan, normally, I find its taste too “earthy” if that makes sense. However this soup felt light with well balanced flavours and textures. I really enjoyed it.
The pil-pil cod dumplings came swiftly afterwards, with both normal and gofio garlic mayonnaise. The later had me so intrigued, I must confess, it was the main reason I went to the restaurant that day, just to try it. It lived up to my expectations. It had a typical gofio toasted flavour, it was rich but light. Delicious.
I was so full at this stage that almost felt off my chair when I realised I still had the “carrilleras” meat dish as second course to go through! Not that the portions are huge or anything but I had been filling up nicely and I normally only have a light luch myself. They immediately saw my distress so they offered to pack it up for me to take away, for which I was very thankful.
Desserts were made to order, so I asked for a small banana. It was flambleed there and then on a station at the restaurant itself, not in the kitchen. I could have chosen crêpes suzette whith were made to order too. I pitied the guy who was making them when he would have to serve the only other table that was full that day… of 7 people!!!
Unfortunately I didn’t have time for coffee or an after meal drink as I had another appointment to attend so I had to decline when I was offered.
As I was driving I drank water, which very reasonably price at €1. That reminds me, drinks not included in the price of the set menu. Incidentally, they have a full bar including spirits, bears and a wine list – which I regret not having a peak to see what was on offer.
In relation to the service, the staff were very neatly dressed with matching full aprons and the service was very solicitous. For example, when I started to eat I realised I didn’t have a fork to eat the cherry tomatoes accompanying the foccaccia and as soon as I pointed it out, a fork almost magically appear. You could see some of the students were a little bit nervous but they made out with their eagerness to please.
Also, there was a small issue with the till when I paid my bill so it took a bit longer than I expected but sincere apologies for the delay were offered.
Of course, me being me, I forgot my “carrilleras” and while I was waiting to cross the road to head where I had parked I hear this voice calling out “¡Señora”! When I turned around I saw one of the waiters wave me at me so I followed him back into the restaurant where they were packing my second course take away. I hope my little embarassment made them feel a bit more at ease, or at least gave them a laugh!
Just remember that this is a teaching restaurant so if you are extremely picky and/or impatient, this is not your place. You need to go with a “give them a chance” mindset.
They are the future servers and chefs of the island and not only it’s nice to support them but overall, the quality of the food and the presentation was top notch. My recommendation is give it a go.
Restaurante Pedagógico Malvasía is located at the CIFP Zonzamas on Calle Barraquer, 6 in Arrecife.
You can follow them on Facebook to find out their weekly menus.
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