Taste Mesón in a nutshell
Set in a beachside, bodega-style restaurant, Taste Mesón offers foodie-standard cuisine that you feel comfortable eating without digging the suit out of the case.
It's Gran Canaria Info's sort of restaurant.
Taste Meson does things its own way and it started that trend when it opened up in the relaxed local town of Arguineguín rather than in one of Gran Canaria's resorts. This is perfectly in keeping with its laid-back atmosphere and no-nonsense attitude to food.
To find Taste Meson, walk down to Las Marañuelas beach on the western side of Arguineguín and head towards the marina. You'll see a ramp going up to a big square overlooking the boatyard. Taste Meson is half way up the ramp (look out for the round doorway).
Here we have another example of how this restaurant does things its own way. Taste Meson opens between 18.00-22.30 in the winter and 19.00 to 23.00 during summer. Last seating is 21.30 in winter and 22.00 in summer.
Taste Meson closes for holidays (they deserve them) on May 20th, 2017 and reopens on July 15, 2017.
What is the food like?
Lots of smart Gran Canaria restaurants have a chef with Michelin star pretensions. Taste Meson has FOUR chefs all with experience in top and Michelin-starred restaurants. But don't expect them to be trying to get the Michelin man's attention; they are too busy extracting the maximum amount of flavour out of every dish.
The kitchen uses local Gran Canaria ingredients as much as possible. For example, the Chevre Chaud is made with goat cheese from Valsequillo and the pork is local black pig (huge, ugly but very tasty critters unique to the Canary Islands). However, the beef is flown in fresh from Denmark and the wines come from all over the world.
Taste Meson is Swedish-run so several dishes have a clear Scandinavian influence (the smoked fish pot for example) but it isn't a Scandie restaurant. Think of the food as 'the best version of what you order that you'll ever taste'.
The Canarian pork and potato puree flavored with roasted garlic is the best big of pig we've ever tried while the Texas Chili Beef is so packed with flavour you'll want to order two (the beef is cooked for 18 hours). The citrus delight desert is a must. Really!
What brings all these different tastes together is the wine. Taste Meson is big on pairing each dish you order with the right wine and they do a fine job of it. If you've been drinking supermarket Riojas and whites while you're in Gran Canaria, the wines you try here will blow you away.
The Taste Meson experience
Now, if you are like us, then the idea of a tasting menu bring up images of posh restaurants with starched tablecloths, too many forks, and the sort of experimental cuisine that sometimes should remain in the chef's imagination.
Well, after trying a selection of the dishes we are happy to report that this isn't the case at Taste Meson. It's done away with tablecloths altogether, the knives and forks come in a pot (albeit hand-crafted by a Norwegian artist), and there are no airs-and-graces here at all.
Taste Meson is a tasting restaurant so you get small portions with four dishes equivalent to a substantial main course. There are also some half-portion dishes but really you should try as many things as you can because each dish is something special.
Your waiter explains the whole concept if it's your first visit and will then suggest (in a non-snooty way) the right wine to go with what you choose. Our advice is to just go with what your waiter suggests because it's so worth the experience.
Gran Canaria Info Tip: Go for the chef's choice menu and you get a random selection of four tasting dishes and matched wines.
Gran Canaria's best selection of wine
We don't think there's another restaurant in Gran Canaria with 270 different wines from around the world (including 30 champagnes and cavas). We are sure that no other restaurant offers them all by the glass.
Should you try Taste Meson?
The short answer is yes, definitely. The food, wine and location are superb.
The longer answer is, look, Taste Meson does spectacular tasting dishes paired with some of the world's best wines. Obviously, it's not a budget place. That said, when it comes to value for money, it's right up there with the best.
You will spend upwards of 50 euros per person if you have four tasting dishes, a dessert (or two) and a glass of wine paired with each dish.
The food, the location, the experience; in our book it's money well spent and if you're looking for a spot for that special holiday meal without the stuffiness, this is top of the list.
Gran Canaria Info Tip: Arrive at Taste Meson before 18.00 and you get to try two tasting dishes for the price of one. You get an hour to try everything you can at half the menu price.