Tanino has been a focal point on the strip that is Benamara just outside of Guadalmina for some years now. Previously and old furniture showroom, I had my name on it until I was beaten to it by the then leaseholder of Tikitano who moved in and started ripping it apart. He ran out of money and the present owners picked up the pieces and turned it into the quirky eatery that it is today. It certainly seems bigger now than it was when I was looking at it. Warm and welcoming it’s difficult to work out what type of place it is. There are clothes on racks — presumably for sale — huge chill out area, terrace tables and the bric-a-brac decoration that gives the place its obscure charm.

Service is efficient but one of my pet hates, ‘please don’t put the wine bucket out of reach unless you’re going to be around to top up the glasses’! The wine list is relatively comprehensive but when ordering the house wine (without looking at the list) I was informed that I might prefer the ‘next one up’ at 4€ more. Looking at the house wine I had to agree — just have a better house wine!

I have eaten here many times over the years and have always been a bit confused about the menu. It can’t really be called fusion as that would imply that the chef blends different spices and ingredients to put a slant on a classic dish, but here you can eat Indian — Madras/Jalfrezi/Korma —  Chinese — Beef Wok/King Prawn Wok/ Duck Balls — Spanish — Mexican — Japanese — Classic, I could go on. You can also get a steak and the ubiquitous Beefburger. Strangely there is never much on the menu that jumps out at me. If I want to eat Indian or Chinese I tend to migrate to those restaurants. My friends however were happy to choose the Beef Wok and the Duck Balls while I decided on two starters. My friends enjoyed their dishes.

I was recommended the Carpaccio of Pez Leche (literally milk fish). This fish is very subtle but was covered in garlic, black olives and other indistinguishable spices which rather took away from the delicate flavour. The Salmon Tartare was equally over powering but as it was salmon it is more robust and worked well with the wasabi, lime and coriander although there was not a studied balance to it. Desserts were acceptable but nothing to jump up and down about.

The Manager graciously accepted my comments re my dishes and all the staff were quite attentive but certainly not intrusive. Background music was nice but we were a little too close to the speakers but requests to tone it down a little were acted on immediately. Prices are not outrageous; starters between 6€ to 15€, mains all about 16€ but go up to 28€ for high-end products. If you choose well, you will eat well.

Open seven days per week from midday to midnight, lounge area with cocktails, great place for large tables with friends. They have also opened a sister restaurant in San Pedro.

Ctra de Cadiz, 168, Benamara                                       Telf: 952 883 259

E Mail: info@tanino.es                                                   www.tanino.es