Restaurant Review: Kazan Sushi in Santa Cruz, Tenerife

Let me just start by saying that this was the best sushi I have ever eaten. Also, the only reason I'm writing this is because I think it's an experience worth sharing. Nobody is paying me to say this, I just genuinely think that everybody should have this experience at least once in their lifetime. 

We arrived in Tenerife on a chilly Friday morning. The day was slow and I was having one of my girly fits about having nothing to wear. Yeah, I know, #beginners. But it was thanks to my impatience with the travel blogger lifestyle that ultimately brought us to the shopping district of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. 

After about an hour of window shopping, our stomach began to growl violently with the craving of sushi. It had been so long (more than two months, can you imagine!?) since we'd had any kind of Japanese cuisine. We took to Foursquare for local recommendations. There are surprisingly few restaurants on Foursquare here in the Canary Islands, so we were lucky to come across this Michelin Guide place called Kazan, located just two blocks from the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Rave reviews, nice interior snapshots, and right on the harbor. Just our type of place!

Walking in was a little awkward. Yeah, sure, we were dressed "nice" by our own standards, but everybody in there seemed to be dressed to the nines. I'm talking dresses, heels, and jewelry. The only un-reserved seats were by the sushi bar. We had already waited outside for them to open, there was no way we were giving up now. Sushi bar it is.

The first plate to come to our table was a bowl of well salted miso soup with seaweed and tofu and this beautiful Mackrel (pescado azul) Nigiri and Octopus (pulgas) Nigiri. Personally, the octopus was a little too chewy for me, but maybe it's because I only like it fried. The Mackrel on the other hand was beautiful, fresh, and absolutely perfect. The fish on rice was topped with just the right amount of ginger and seaweed to refresh your palette at the last chew. 

Next, we decided to try something new. These cute little uramaki rolls are filled with a raw tuna and some veggies, topped with the most adorable fried quail egg and a tiny pile of roe. Dipped gently in soy sauce, this baby was a real roller coaster of flavors to enjoy. I plopped these babies right into my mouth whole and enjoyed every moment of the oozing quail yolks with the salty tuna. 

As if that wasn't enough enjoyment, we also ordered six pieces of a classic Eel Maki. This was of course good, but not nearly as mouthwatering as the scallops that came next. Absolutely tender and with the softest hint of melt-in-your-mouth buttery goodness. My smile grew wider with every bite of these babies. 

Little did I know what was coming up last... a surprise that confirms my theory that asking a friendly server for a recommendation or surprise really pays off.

For our final dish we couldn't decide on just one thing. Eel or more mackrel? One of the servers came to assist us. Seeing that we were unable to make a decision (come on, we were sitting right in front of the chefs! How could we pick jus one thing?!), he suggested a surprise

We went for the surprise... 

Moments later a plate with four scrumptious artisan sushi pieces was presented to us, along with a complimentary refill on the volcanic wine we were sipping. Our minds exploding with curiosity, we reached for the mussels first. 

Succulent and refreshing, the mussels were cooked in salt before served on rice with a delectable Japanese mayonnaise topping sprinkled with torched sesame, lemon zing, and an unidentified red decoration. The flavor-orgasm has begun. With every chew I felt a new wave of enthusiasm flash through my body, a kind of warm tingle in my cheeks. 

Words cannot describe the sensation that followed with the final treat... butterfish nigiri with truffles and sea weed. Each grain of rice felt sweet under the supple slice of butterfish. Each chew felt like a revelation, an unforeseen discovery of the senses. As the tiny meal became slowly devoured, the earthy truffle topping brought forward the sensation of true luxury, a well prepared meal, a happy tongue and body.

Our total came to 80 Euros. We don't remember the exact prices of each item anymore, but for a basic break down of what we ordered, here's a list:

2 Glasses of Canarian white wine + 2 on the house
2 Bottles of Still Water
1 Mackrel Nigiri, 2 pieces
1 Octopus Nigiri, 2 pieces
1 Eel Maki, 6 pieces

1 Tuna Uramaki with fried Quail Egg, 6 pieces
1 Scallops off the "Hot Food" menu, 2 pieces
1 Miso Soup with Tofu
1 Surprise sushi: mussels, 2 pieces
1 Surprise sushi: butterfish, 2 pieces