We have a mental list of the restaurants in Tenerife we want to visit. Restaurants go on that list for all sorts of reasons. One of those restaurants is Oliver’s With A Twist in Los Cristianos. The restaurant has mainly rave 5 star reviews on Tripadvisor where it’s classed as the number one restaurant in the resort and the number two restaurant on Tenerife.
As number five on that list is a Brit Bar I don’t take the list very seriously, but Oliver’s intrigues. However, it’s unlikely we’ll ever eat there as, apparently, you can’t just roll up and grab an empty table. The place is booked months in advance. We can’t say what we’ll be doing next week let alone in a couple of months. It’s incredible, the sort of thing you expect from Michelin star restaurants, except a few months ago I was able to book a table at Kazan, one of of the island’s Michelin star restaurants, a day in advance.
I’d love to find out for myself if the food was as good as the restaurants we’ve eaten at which we consider rank amongst the best on Tenerife we’ve tried so far. I know there are people who say it’s the best on the island in their reviews, but that’s something people often say without thinking it through so I don’t take them seriously either. If those folk have eaten at the likes of El Rincón de Juan Carlos, Kabuki, M.B, Kazan and Lucas Maes before making such a claim then I’ll bow to their judgement and eat my molecular hat. My money’s on my metaphorical hat remaining on my head rather than in my stomach.
Whenever I check out a restaurant I always have a look at the less than glowing reviews as well as the rave ones. Sometimes these can be clear nonsense, but at other times they provide valuable insights. The devil is always in the detail. Oliver’s don’t have many average to poor reviews but some of the ones they had got me thinking about our approach to writing Tenerife restaurant reviews.
Unfair negative online reviews are the scourge of businesses, especially in these times where there seems to be a plague of people who get a kick out of leaving unpleasant and potentially destructive comments, be that on forums, newspaper articles or reviews. I applaud owners who fight back and challenge those who are being unjustly unreasonable. Oliver’s do this. But they also challenge reviews where diners have judged the food as being only okay and this is what got me thinking.
Replying to a 3 star review where the reviewer classed the food as being average the owner questioned why they hadn’t complained at the time. This is what had me pulling at my chin and pondering.
Would I complain if I’d just eaten a meal in a restaurant that I felt was just okay? The answer is a clear no, of course I wouldn’t. What is there to complain about if there’s nothing actually wrong with the food? We often eat in restaurants on Tenerife, and in other destinations, where the food is just ‘fine’. And we don’t usually review them.
You might think it odd not to give people the ‘heads up’ when we rate a restaurant as being mediocre, but we have our reasons.
They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity, so why draw attention to somewhere which is just run of the mill? There are lots of restaurants in Los Cristianos, Las Américas, Costa Adeje, Los Gigantes, Playa de la Arena, Puerto de la Cruz and Santa Cruz etc. which we consider fall into the ‘mediocre’ category so simply never mention them. We generally only write about those where we’ve thoroughly enjoyed the food and the experience, or where there’s been something which makes the restaurant a bit different from the norm. We also will write a review where the experience was poor, such as with the Parador on La Gomera.
So next time we eat at a restaurant and the food falls into the okay bracket, we still won’t be replying with a variation of “actually it was only average” when asked if we enjoyed the meal. There might be a mumbled “it was fine” – that magnolia of words. But neither will we write a review.
Unless, of course, the average food is being served in any restaurant which is classed as amongst the island’s best restaurants by Tripadvisor reviewers.
Jack is co-editor, writer and photographer for BuzzTrips and the Real Tenerife series of travel websites as well as a contributor to online travel sites and travel magazines. Follow Jack on Google+