The Gastronome Restaurant Reviews - M.B, Calle María Zambrano, Carretera General, TF-47, 2, Km 9, 38687, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

Address: Calle María Zambrano, Carretera General, TF-47, 2, Km 9, 38687, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

Visit: 24 April 2024

Award: 2 Michelin Stars

Price: ***


The Review

M. B is a two Michelin Star restaurant located at the luxury Ritz Carlton Abama hotel in Tenerife. Here, chef Erlantz Gorostiza carries out the vision of Martín Berasategui who currently holds twelve Michelin stars in total, more than any other Spanish chef. M.B gained its first Michelin star in the 2010 guide and the second star in 2014.

Dress standards are “elegantly casual” in the restaurant, and men should wear long trousers, as one guest found out when he was asked to return to his room and change his shorts before he was allowed to enter.

There were two tasting menus available, the Great Classics menu (€180) or the Great Tasting menu (€210), as well as an a la carte menu.  We chose the Great Classics menu that consisted of some of Martín Berasategui’s classics, homemade breads and butters, canapes, six savoury courses, an optional supplement dish, and a dessert, as well as an optional cheese trolley and an optional petit fours trolley (both as supplements).  Each of the descriptions of the courses on the menu was accompanied by the year it was created.

We started with a series of canapes served with our drinks in the lounge area.  First was a truffle gelatine over a parfait of foie gras that had sweet, oak smoke flavours.  Next was a delicate caramelised tartlet with mushroom foam topped with artichoke crisps and sunflower seeds.  Then fried brioche with green tea, sour cream, and Iberian ham.  Next was an Amaretto sour cocktail, with different textures and temperatures.  All the canapes were technically impressive, but, for me, they all lacked salt which diminished their flavour.

Stuart Clarke Restaurant ReviewWe were then escorted to our table.  A selection of breads including garlic, olive, Canarian potato, and sweet banana, were presented on an impressive bread trolley that was wheeled to the table.  Olive oil and a range of butters and salts included classic French butter, wholemeal, seaweed, mushroom, roasted red pepper, and peanut.  The different colours of the butters were highlighted by presenting them on a white artist’s palette, and this has replaced the range of butters that were formed into different coloured crayons that impressed us on previous visits to M. B.

The first formal course of the evening was (1993) caramelised millefeuille with layers of smoked eel, foie gras, and caramelised green apple, with a spring onion cream on the side.  This was excellent.

The next course was (2013) cherry Canarian tomato tartar in a faux tomato, served on frozen pearls of cheese, basil and tomatoes, with broken gazpacho gelatin, and two faux olives filled with a liquid centre.  This was technically impressive and visually stunning, but lacked flavour.

The (2011) local red tuna tartar was dressed with kimchi sauce, olive and citrus ponzu noodle, crushed ginger, raspberry, M. B Excellsius oscietra caviar, served with three pieces of marinated red onion.  This had excellent flavour from very good tuna and caviar.

Next, the (2016) calamari in different textures imitating macaroni and tagliatelle, was served with a carbonara foam, “El Hierro” Island smoked cheese foam, Parmesan crisps, and finished with a sprinkle of guanciale (Italian pig cheek).  El Hierro is the second-smallest and farthest south and west of the Canary Islands.  This was a clever representation of an Italian carbonara using calamari.  It was an excellent course that had great flavours.

Next, was an optional course of (2024) white asparagus with red king prawn and light blackthorn mushroom mayonnaise (a supplement of €19).  Unfortunately, the white asparagus had little flavour.

The (2012) red mullet dish was served with edible crystals, horseradish and salsify, a small salad topped with a lotus root crisp, with a beurre blanc sauce flavoured with calamondin (a sour citrus fruit sometimes called “calamansi” or “Philippine lime”), creamed lotus root, and fresh herb blossom.  The “edible crystals” were the treated fish bones that were placed along the top of the fish to represent scales and were crunchy when you eat them.  Unfortunately, the addition of the bones was a step too far for me!

Stuart Clarke Restaurant ReviewMuch better was the (2015) black Canarian suckling pig in two textures, a terrine made from the pig leg, and a crispy roll from the pig rib.  This was the best dish of the evening.  Served on a lemon marinade, it was accompanied by spiced port and red wine quince, and cylinders of green apples filled with rosemary mousse and cardamon.  This had great flavour and was superb.

We were offered cheese from the trolley (an option at a supplementary charge) but decided to continue with the dessert which was the (1995) warm apple tart, with apple sorbet, and cinnamon liqueur Chantilly cream.  This was a very good dessert with good apple flavours and textures.

Then we were served an unusual dessert/petit four of beetroot meringue and yoghurt, on a bed of red roses.

We returned to the lounge for coffee and were offered the optional petit four trolley which had revolving shelves full of delicate sweet snacks.

Service was superb throughout the meal.  The staff took time to explain the dishes to me and were very friendly.

I’ve eaten at M. B a number of times before and I have always been hugely impressed.  Tonight, I think I chose the wrong menu.  A menu showcasing Martin Berasategui’s greatest classic dishes naturally focuses on his hugely impressive technical culinary talent and, for me, this detracted from the basic enjoyment of simply eating great food.

This remains one of the top restaurants in Tenerife.  The food is superb and the service top drawer.  I will be returning next time I visit Tenerife.

The Menus

The Great Classics menu:

The Great Tasting menu:

The a la carte menu:

The Food


The People

Martín Berasategui Olazábal is a Spanish chef currently holding twelve Michelin Stars in total, more than any other Spanish chef.  A champion of Basque cuisine, he is the owner of his namesake restaurant in Lasarte-Oria (Gipuzkoa), Spain, (25 minutes outside San Sebastián) which was awarded three Michelin Stars in 2001.  The restaurant was voted 29th-best restaurant in the world in both 2008 and 2011.

At the age of 14, he began working in his parent’s restaurant, Bodegón Alejandro, in San Sebastien.  He was sent to France to train as a pastry chef when he was 17, and he learned classical techniques under the likes of Didier Oudil, Michel Guerard and Alain Ducasse.  At the age of 20 he took over his parent’s restaurant, earning his first Michelin Star there by the age of 25.

In addition to his three stars at Restaurante Martín Berasategui, he holds three at Lasarte, in Barcelona and another two at M.B, in Tenerife.  He has also received one Michelin star for Oria, the sister restaurant of Lasarte, that is also located in the Monument Hotel in Barcelona.  He owns other restaurants around the world including two in the Dominican Republic and one in Mexico.

Erlantz Gorostiza started his culinary career at Galdakao Hotel & Catering Secondary School before working as pastry chef at Zeruena Restaurant.  He studied at Leoia Secondary School to become a Head Chef, and on completing his education, he worked at restaurants Aretxondo and 1 Michelin Star Andra Mari in Galdakao.  In 2000, he was Line Chef at 1 Michelin Star Cubita Kaia in Bibao, and in 2001, he moved to El Poblet in Valencia.

In 2003 and 2004 he worked at El Celler de Can Roca as Butcher Chef.  In 2005, he started work as an intern at Martín Berasategui’s Lasarte Restaurant.  In 2008, he became Head Chef at Manuel de la Osa’s 1 Michelin Star Restaurante Las Rejas, in Cuenca.

Erlantz moved to Tenerife in 2010 to lead the kitchen at M.B Restaurant at the Ritz Carlton Abama Hotel, maintaining the 1 Michelin Star and gaining a second star in 2014.  In 2016 he also opened Txoko by Martín Berasategui at the Abama Hotel, and in 2017 he was also appointed Executive Chef at Melvin Restaurant by Martín Berasategui at Las Terrazas de Abama Suites.

The Restaurant

Entrance to the restaurant:

The entrance to the restaurant:

The restaurant:

The lounge area inside the restaurant:

The Wine

The wine pairing options:

The wine list:

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