• Review of Lunch at Port Petit, Cala d’Or

    The top end of Cala d’Or marina

    Cala d’Or in Mallorca has no shortage of restaurants, especially around the marina. So how do you choose where to eat in the face of what looks like a bewildering choice? Well, you could go for a restaurant that’s been satisfying diners in Cala d’Or for 35 years: Port Petit.

    Not only does the smart Port Petit have a great location and gorgeous views over the marina from its dining room and terrace, but also a well-deserved reputation for fine dining. The Michelin Guide for 2023 includes it in its recommendations for Mallorca. 

    French chef Gérard Deymier first opened his Port Petit restaurant in 1988. Today, his chef son Màxime – who has the self-named restaurant at the nearby Vall d’Or Golf Club – is in charge. The Mediterranean cuisine reflects French heritage but now shows international influences, including Asian and Peruvian. The family finca supplies some home-grown vegetables and herbs. Choose from à la carte or the gourmet or tasting menus or, at lunchtime, the Bistro Menu. 

    The Bistro Menu at Port Petit

    We went on a Sunday and were able to park easily on the street a short walk from the restaurant – although that may not be the case in high season. Once seated on the terrace, we studied the Bistro Menu, with its choice of three starters, three mains, and two desserts. Lunch included a promising start of warm bread roll, alioli, tapenade, and olives. I chose a crisp pastry tart of seasonal vegetables with warm sobrasada vinaigrette and salad; my husband had the marinated salmon with cauliflower pickles and beetroot ketchup. 

    For mains, my delicious seafood tempura included pieces of salmon, mussel, prawn, and squid, with a seasonal salad; I declined the accompanying black garlic alioli.  Across the table, my husband ate and relished his confit leg of duck, sautéed potatoes with mushrooms, bacon, and poultry jus. 

    Desserts were a refreshing pineapple carpaccio roasted with black pepper and served with coconut sorbet, and a more calorific French petit choux craquelin (a type of brioche) with pistachio cream and orange compôte. 

    Wines at Port Petit

    As you’d expect from a restaurant of this quality, the wine list has a good choice of Mallorcan, Spanish, and French wines. But there’s also a white and a rosado from its own vineyard, Viña Querel, which Gérard planted in 2008. I enjoyed a glass of their Flor de Cerezo rosado

    Service from Paco and the team was excellent, and they didn’t know I was reviewing the place. So, for that service, the tasty food, and the scenic location, I consider the Bistro Menu at 26,50€ (including VAT) to be good value. We shall return to Cala d’Or … and Port Petit.

    Good to Know

    • Port Petit is open for lunch (13:00-14:45h) and dinner (19:00-22:30h) but is closed all day Tuesday and on Wednesday lunchtime. 
    • Port Petit publishes its latest Bistro Menu (and other menus) on its website. I wish other restaurants would follow suit.

    Jan Edwards ©2023

  • Review of Dinner at Es Torrent de Son Carrió

    Es la bomba!’ I’ve often heard this said in Spain to describe someone or something that’s excellent. It is, of course, the Spanish translation of the American slang, ‘It’s the bomb!’. Hand on heart, I’d never used this expression in Spanish or English … until recently. And it happened in a small Mallorcan village.

    The village of Son Carrió

    Not far from Sant Llorenç in the Llevant area of Mallorca, Son Carrió is on the route of the Via Verde – the former railway line between Manacor and Artà. Now it’s a peaceful, rural ‘green way’ for walkers, cyclists, and horse riders. Son Carrió is also only a short drive from Mallorca’s east coast resorts. The village has a beautiful 19th-century church with a fan rose window that’s best seen at night to appreciate the stained glass. After dinner at Es Torrent de Son Carrió, you’ll see this in all its glory as this dinner-only gastronomic restaurant is right across the road from the church.

    Es Torrent de Son Carrió

    Chef Joan Galmés Miquel and his wife Clara Ferrer (front of house and sommelier) own Es Torrent de Son Carrió. Joan was born in Manacor but trained and worked in Barcelona; his CV includes the renowned restaurant Lasarte, owned by Martín Berasategui, and the restaurant Osmosis, where he became the chef.

    In 2014 Joan returned to Mallorca with Clara and they opened their restaurant in Son Carrió. When we first visited, the interior was typical of many traditional malloriquín eateries – but the food was anything but traditional. We were thrilled to find such innovative and flavourful cuisine in a small village not too far from home.

    In 2019, after the devastating floods of autumn 2018, Es Torrent went through a metamorphosis; today, the interior of Es Torrent is stylish and contemporary, like Joan’s cuisine – which features seasonal produce, and both modern and traditional culinary techniques, in a tasting menu (menu degustación).

    New for 2023

    After almost ten years with a similar concept, Joan and Clara have made some changes for the 2023 season. This year the tasting menu changes each month (rather than weekly), and comprises seven plates (70€). To this, you can add an optional course of artisanal cheeses (12€) and/or a wine pairing (seven wines) for 30€. Instead of the previously printed menus, diners now have a digital device on the table detailing the menu and the wine list: ‘An environmental decision to save paper,’ Clara told us.

    In addition, Es Torrent de Son Carrió now offers two sittings: 19:00h and 21:00h.

    April Tasting Menu

    Here are photos of the dishes we ate at Es Torrent de Son Carrió from the menu for April.

    Wines at Es Torrent

    Clara knows her stuff when it comes to wines and you can expect a fine pairing with each course if you have the optional maridaje. As the designated driver, I was unable to take advantage of this, but the wines featured appealed. The main wine list has around 50 Mallorcan references but there are other Spanish and international wines available from the ‘cellar’.

    Good to Know

    Parking is easy and free in Son Carrió, with plenty of spaces opposite the sports complex and within sight of the restaurant.Es

    Es Torrent de Son Carrió also has a new website this year, where you’ll find details of the menu and wine pairings for the current month.

    Verdict? The final dessert (and the whole meal) was, as they say here, la bomba!

    Jan Edwards ©2023

  • New: Farm-to-Table Cuisine at Terra Restaurant, Mallorca

    One of Terra’s vertical ‘orchards’

    Farm-to-table food is increasingly available in Mallorca, where restaurant chefs who have the space to do so, grow at least some of the fresh produce they use – or obtain it from a trusted local farmer or smallholder. It’s a good sign when you see a raised bed bursting with greens or herbs just a short walk from the restaurant kitchen door. So the sight of the vertical orchards, crammed with herbs and edible flowers, made me smile as I went into the new Terra restaurant for a media lunch.

    Terra (which is Spanish for ‘earth’) is the latest restaurant reincarnation at the luxurious 5-star St Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort. The last time I ate there, this restaurant – which has a large terrace with gorgeous views of the lush gardens and the sparkling Mediterranean – was called Aqua. Everything has now changed – although the executive chef, Markus Wonisch, is still in charge of the cuisine.

    Terra’s new look is from Barcelona-based interior designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán, who has created a fusion of the ambience of the kitchens of noble Mallorcan houses with the elegance associated with the St Regis brand. In keeping with the restaurant name, the décor incorporates natural colours and materials and feels airy and comfortable.

    The Cuisine

    Lunch began with artisan bread, accompanied by Na Capitana extra virgin olive oil. This is a very special oil, produced from the olives on the hundreds of trees on the golf course of Son Muntaner. I’m a massive fan of olive oils from Mallorca (I have two dessert spoonfuls of it every morning before breakfast), but couldn’t resist also trying the herb butter – which was very moreish. We were off to a good start at Terra. Here are the three dishes I ate and would order again.

    New Mar Sea Club to Open in June

    Guests staying at the St Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort will have another place to enjoy drinks and summer dishes this year. The new Mar Sea Club is under construction in an area of the garden that has superb sea views. And this being a St Regis property, it’ll be stylish.

    With a new look to the hotel’s Michelin-starred Es Fum, the new Terra restaurant, and the new Mar Sea Club, it could be time to book a stay at the St Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort.

    Good to Know

    The underground car park at the hotel has more electric-car charging points than I’ve seen in any one place!

    Jan Edwards©2023

  • British Cuisine with a Twist at Market Kitchen, Palma, Mallorca

    Your hosts, Amber and Rob Kirby – two of the friendliest restaurateurs you’ll find in Mallorca

    It’s fair to say that British food once had a bad rap and was often described as ‘bland and boring’. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case. Last week, Michelin added 21 restaurants in Britain to its list of starred establishments for 2023.

    Britain now has 164 starred restaurants (from one to three stars) – of which 74 are in London. And it’s not just at Michelin-starred restaurants where the chefs have stepped up to the hotplate to raise the image of their country’s cuisine in recent decades.

    One such chef is now cooking in Mallorca’s capital, Palma, having moved here with his wife to fulfil their dream of opening their own restaurant, in the autumn of 2021.

    Rob and Amber Kirby are flying the flag for British cuisine – with a twist – at their Market Kitchen. Their cosy 30-seater restaurant couldn’t be much closer to the indoor fresh produce market at the heart of Palma’s Santa Catalina district.

    Chef Rob Kirby

    Rob Kirby has been a chef for 40 years, although he doesn’t look old enough to have been working that long; this life has clearly suited him. He’s wracked up some notable achievements: he’s cooked for the British royal family, been a regular BBC television chef-contributor, authored three cookbooks (one of which won an award in the World Gourmand Cookbook Awards 2011), and is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts. If that doesn’t whet your appetite to try his cuisine, I don’t know what will.

    Market Kitchen

    Located on a corner, Market Kitchen is a small restaurant with a big ambience. Hints of the couple’s nationality and their great sense of humour are evident in the décor. The open kitchen at the rear offers glimpses of the culinary action. The uplifting soul music playing will have your toes tapping under the table.

    The main courses on the day we visited included ‘proper’ cottage pie, home-cured salt-beef bagel, and fish ‘n’ chips with home-cut fries and French-style peas with lettuce. For us, it had to be the latter. If there’s one dish a British expat misses, it’s probably good fish and chips. And Rob’s doesn’t disappoint, with a generous chunk of perfectly cooked cod in a light and crispy batter made with Rosa Blanca beer. This hoppy lager was first brewed in Mallorca in 1927; today, the brewery is in Barcelona but there are plans to bring it back to Mallorca – where it has a lot of fans. Oh, and there was even the traditional Sarson’s malt vinegar.

    But I’m jumping ahead, having omitted to tell you that Amber Kirby is one of the warmest and most hospitable hosts I’ve met in Mallorca. I can’t imagine her ever not smiling. If you go to Market Kitchen having had a rough day, Amber’s welcome will be transformational.

    We went for lunch and started with a cocktail each as we looked at the short menu. We don’t often drink cocktails but had heard how good they were here. The Boss had a blood orange mimosa (10€) and I had a refreshing cucumber martini (14€). I shall be dreaming of the latter in my hammock during the ‘dog days’ of this coming summer.

    Amber brought us each a small cup of mushroom soup with a mushroom croquette as a complimentary appetiser. As soon as we tasted it, we knew we were in for a culinary treat.


    If we lived in Palma, this would be a regular eating-out spot. ‘Nuff said.

    Good to Know

    • At the time of writing, Market Kitchen is open for lunch Thursday to Sunday and for dinner, Thursday to Saturday.
    • Market Kitchen has also gained a great reputation for its traditional Sunday roasts.
    • If you’re on social media, follow marketkitchenpalma on Instagram or Market Kitchen Palma on Facebook for news and mouthwatering images.
    • Find Rob Kirby’s cookbooks on Amazon.
    • Santa Catalina has street parking, although this popular area is often busy. Pay in advance at the parking meters and be aware that parking is free for some periods. Public underground parking is available in the nearby Passeig Mallorca.
    • The menu at Market Kitchen changes weekly to make the most of the fresh seasonal produce sourced from the market across the road. But you’ll always find a choice of British dishes – made lovingly with Rob Kirby’s creative twist.

    Jan Edwards©2023

  • Mirabona Restaurant’s New Tasting Menu

    The subject of tasting menus and their declining popularity made the press earlier this year when chef René Redzepi announced he was closing his 3-Michelin-star restaurant Noma in Copenhagen at the end of 2024. But tasting menus are still popular and very much in evidence in Mallorca, where many of the people who enjoy them are probably visitors to the island.

    I love a tasting menu from time to time. It takes away the decision about what to choose from an à la carte menu and provides an element of surprise, but more importantly enables me to try a variety of tastes and textures, giving a broader view of the chef’s technical and creative skills. Eating your way through a tasting menu must be better for the digestive system too, with smaller plates eaten over a longer period than it takes to eat the traditional three courses from an à la carte menu.

    So I was pleased to try the new tasting menu in Mirabona Restaurant at the romantic Finca Can Beneït hotel in the hideaway hamlet of Binibona. Chef Raúl Linares Pinzón joined the hotel only in December 2022, so this was an opportunity to discover his culinary style. By the way, you don’t have to be staying at Can Beneït to eat in Mirabona but do book in advance for lunch or dinner.

    Chef Raúl Linares Pinzón

    Born in Palma, Raúl is still only in his mid-twenties but has already gained some useful experience and respect since he started work. Raúl wanted to be a chef from the age of seven but probably didn’t imagine that, in his early twenties, he’d win a prize for his prawn croquetas (he won the first edition of the Concurso de Cocina con Gamba de Sóller in 2021) or be working under the tutelage of chef Álvaro Salazar at the two-Michelin-star Voro in Canyamel, Mallorca.

    Now he’s at the helm of the Mirabona kitchen at this 10-room rural hotel in the Serra de Tramuntana foothills, with the benefit of an extensive organic vegetable and herb garden for his seasonal cuisine. His dishes offer an authentic flavour of Mallorca.

    Tasting Menu

    As the menu could change with the availability of ingredients, I’m not reproducing the menu here, but below are photos of the tasty dishes on the menu I ate last week. Some of the ingredients: octopus, lamb, mussels, guinea fowl, turbot, quail, and carob.

    More Reasons to Eat at Mirabona

    Mirabona has scored points over restaurants serving only tasting menus in that it also offers an à la carte menu so, if you’re not a tasting menu fan, you can still enjoy Raúl Linares Pinzón’s cuisine.

    Mirabona’s English sommelier, Amy Dunn, probably knows more about Mallorcan wines and the stories behind the producers than many islanders. Amy’s enthusiasm is infectious and adds to the enjoyment of the wines she recommends. Amy also hosts wine-tasting events here from time to time. (Give the hotel a call to find out when the next one is).

    There’s melodic live music in the restaurant on Saturday nights from the couple known as The Mars Music and, on Sunday lunchtimes, acoustic sessions with Jean Paul Ramon.

    When it’s warm enough, you can eat on the terrace with its extensive views across Mallorca. When the wisteria is out, it looks particularly beautiful.

    Jan Edwards ©2023

  • Learn the Art of Food Plating & Presentation in Mallorca

    Food plating and presentation can make the difference between an enjoyable meal and a memorable one. It’s said we eat with our eyes because the appearance of the dish when it’s put in front of us makes the first impression – and stimulates our digestive juices.

    Aspiring chefs, professional chefs, yacht chefs, and yacht stewards/cooks have an opportunity later this month to learn the art of food plating and presentation, for career acceleration, from two chefs with top reputations in Mallorca: Fernando P Arellano and Claire Hutchings.

    Fernando P Arellano (Michelin-starred Zaranda restaurant in Palma) and Mallorca-based private chef Claire Hutchings (former sous chef to Fernando at Zaranda) – who reached the final three contestants competing in the BBC’s Masterchef: The Professionals and won the 2018 rematch – are getting together to share their proven expertise and culinary knowledge in two one-day workshops. All the details are shown below.

    ‘Food presentation is the key to pulling all five senses into the experience of eating,’ Claire tells me. ‘Food plating is so important as it’s the first impression a customer has of you; they visually eat your food before tasting it. If a dish looks clumsy and too big, then it’s instantly not appealing to the eye and changes your opinion of it even if the taste is good. Good plating and presentation add elegance and the element of design to your food.’

    Get Your Discount

    Places are limited for these potentially career-enhancing one-day plating and presentation courses, so book early to be sure of yours.

    Quote eatdrinksleepmallorca when you book and you’ll get a 10% discount on the price shown.

    Jan Edwards©2023

  • New Repsol Sols & a Michelin-star Move

    Alicante was the centre of attention for the Spanish gastronomy world last evening: the Repsol Guía held their annual gala dinner to announce the new ‘Sols’ for 2023. These awards are the Spanish equivalent of Michelin stars.

    Mallorca’s new Sols are as follows – and both recipients are in the resort of Canyamel:

    Voro – 2 Sols (Voro also has 2 Michelin stars)*

    Can Simoneta – Canyamel – one Sol. I am delighted for chef David Moreno and his excellent team at this 5-star hotel.

    Total Sols in Mallorca

    One 3-Sols restaurant

    Six 2-Sols restaurants

    Eleven 1-Sol restaurants

    Repsol ‘Recomendados’

    The following Mallorca restaurants are new recommendations for 2023:

    Es Pi – Deià

    La Gran Tortuga – Peguera

    La Vieja de Jonay Hernandez – Palma*

    Nus – Santa Catalina, Palma

    Sa Pleta by Marc Fosh – Canyamel

    Terrae – Pollença

    As you may have noticed, Canyamel is now quite the foodie destination!

    *These reviews are pre-pandemic, but will give you an idea of the cuisine available. Any prices mentioned will have changed, of course.

    For a full guide to all the Repsol Sols in Spain (new and existing) for 2023, click here.

    A Michelin-Star Move

    Mallorcan chef Andreu Genestra is relocating his one-Michelin-star, eponymous restaurant from Capdepera to the countryside near Llucmajor. After a decade at Predi Son Jaume Rural Hotel, Genestra will re-open in April in the new location of Hotel Zoëtry, a 5-star hotel on the 14th-century Finca Sa Torre. Andreu Genestra restaurant also has a green Michelin star for sustainability. Senzill, Genestra’s bistro at Predi Son Jaume, will remain there.

    Although the hotel in Llucmajor has changed hands and name in recent years, it won’t be the first time that a Michelin-star restaurant has been under its roof. When Andreu’s friend, chef Fernando P Arellano, relocated his starred restaurant Zaranda from Madrid to Mallorca, it was on this very same property.

    Jan Edwards ©2023

  • New Reasons to Stay at Finca Can Beneït, Mallorca

    We had our third stay at Finca Can Beneït hotel in Binibona last week, to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Our first stay was to check the place out in April 2021, shortly after Toni Duran – a charming Mallorcan with more than 20 years of international hotel experience – bought the place.

    The following year we stayed there for our wedding anniversary; it was such a memorable and enjoyable experience that we checked in again this year.

    Since Toni Duran has been the owner, he’s been investing in sensitive enhancements to this centuries-old property with his Can Beneït guests and sustainability in mind. We couldn’t wait to see what had been done since our last stay.

    New Garden Spa

    Before going to our suite, adjacent to the 200-year-old chapel and the surviving medieval walls, we had a look at the new wellbeing facilities. The former sauna, which was close to the outdoor pool, has been converted into a spacious treatment room where therapist Joana offers facials, massages, and body rituals.

    Products used in these treatments are from the Barcelona company, Natura Bissé – which has four times been voted the world’s best spa brand in recent years.

    The wooden sauna is now housed in a restored stone building in the garden area. To improve sustainability, it’s the type that functions only when someone is using it, thus saving energy.

    Mere steps away from the sauna are a plunge pool (heated in the cooler months), an outdoor shower, and a couple of chairs for relaxing in the outdoor but sheltered, private space. The sauna and this plunge pool area are bookable by the hour for exclusive use.

    Close by is a new open-air yoga lawn.

    To create these new spaces and preserve the integrity of Can Beneït, Toni Duran chose to renovate old stone buildings on the property that no longer had a purpose – thus giving them a new lease of life and creating something special for discerning hotel guests.

    Other New Features

    The 200-year-old chapel is now a space for art, although elements identifying its original purpose are still in place.

    The hotel has invested in new, more comfortable dining chairs too – perfect for a long, leisurely lunch or dinner in the Mirabona Restaurant.

    Produce from Can Beneït’s organic kitchen garden has increased with the addition of more beds for vegetables and herbs.

    Good to Know

    • If you’re into yoga, pack your gear: the hotel has regular morning classes and that yoga lawn where you can salute to the sun amid fresh air and the sound of birdsong.
    • Take walking boots/shoes to take advantage of some of the bucolic lanes and tracks around Binibona.
    • The hotel offers bicycle hire (including electric bikes) and has storage facilities for bikes.
    • A few places nearby are worth a visit – if you can tear yourself away from tranquil Can Beneït. Nearby Campanet is home to some caves that are well worth a visit. The Black Vulture Conservation Foundation at Finca Son Pons is also interesting to find out about the world’s only island population of black vultures and the associated work to protect these and other birds of prey in the Serra de Tramuntana. Look up to the sky above Finca Can Beneït and you’re likely to see some of these magnificent birds on the wing.
    • Read more about Can Beneït here.

    Jan Edwards©2023

  • Review of Lunch at Senseless Art Gallery & Cafe, Sencelles

    Walking from the car park down to the church in Sencelles

    Walk around the small town of Sencelles – in the heart of the agricultural plain known as the Pla de Mallorca – and you’ll realise there’s something special about this place.

    Many of the old houses have a decorative ceramic plaque or tile fixed next to the front door to commemorate the town’s most famous daughter: Sister Francinaina Cirer lived from 1781 to 1855 and was beatified by Pope John Paul II. The nun founded the town’s Convento de las Hermanas de la Caridad de Sencelles.

    A Taste of Belgium in Sencelles

    Sencelles is also a place to experience the day-to-day life of a typical Mallorcan rural town. And the delicious Belgian fries on offer at Senseless Art Gallery & Café. Yes, you read that correctly. Belgian fries. In an art gallery. Which is also a café.

    Senseless Art Gallery opened in 2018 and began serving breakfast, excellent coffees (try their speciality coffees), and lunch in November 2021, when it added ‘& Café’ to its name.

    We parked in the public car park (free) and walked towards the church, pausing to look at the variety of tiles depicting Sor (Sister) Francinaina. A left turn just before the church took us into the street named after her, where we found our destination at number 51.

    Senseless Art Gallery and Café was smaller than I had imagined, but small can be beautiful (and it is here). Immediately we spotted the welcome log fire – even on a sunny winter’s day in Mallorca, it can feel chilly. Owner Julia Fischer-Bernard greeted us warmly and offered us the last available table in this cosy space. We hadn’t booked but shall do so in future, having realised how fortunate we were to get a table without a reservation.

    Lunch for 19€

    We were there for the three-course lunch, which was not only delicious but also good value. It began with a cup of delicious courgette soup, with a hint of coconut (not pictured).

    Although Julia wasn’t born in Belgium, she grew up there and her partner is Belgian; when I asked her why Belgians make such good fries, she laughed, saying, “I think Belgians are born with the ability in their blood!” All the food is home-made and fresh each day.

    Alcoholic drinks include Belgian beers, a small selection of wines by bottle or glass, red vermouth, and L’Apéro Amargo – a drink made from organic oranges at the finca Can Cavall Blau in Sencelles. After a sample, we bought a bottle for home.

    Lunch ended with a speciality coffee from Indonesia (2€ for an espresso). Trenggiling has notes of spices, chocolate, and brown sugar, and is roasted and supplied by Syra Coffee in Barcelona.

    The Gallery

    Don’t leave Senseless Art Gallery & Café without having a look at the artworks and the selection of artisan items for sale.

    Julia is also a talented artist – see her website link below – and you can see some of her lighting designs in the gallery. She’s also a translator with her own agency, Conexion Mallorca. Check out the reels on the Senseless Instagram page and you’ll see that Julia also has a terrific sense of fun. I liked her and her partner immediately.

    Verdict & Good to Know

    We loved our lunch at Senseless Art Gallery & Café and shall certainly return.

    • It’s open only on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, from 09:00h to 18:00h; their breakfast items are popular with locals. They also serve lunch between 13:00h and 15:00h. Each week Senseless Art Gallery & Café publishes its set menu (19€) on its Instagram page.
    • Make a reservation by calling (or WhatsApp) Julia on +34 674 72 90 98
    • Senseless is on Instagram as senseless_art_gallery
    • Find out more about Julia Fischer-Bernard’s unique designs of lights and lamps here.
    • Between Sencelles and Costitx, you’ll find what’s known as the archeological route of Sencelles, which covers some interesting remains from the Talaiotic period in Mallorca.
    • The Sencelles area is also home to two wineries: Son Prim and Celler Can Ramis (in the town itself).

    ©Jan Edwards 2023

  • Review of Lunch at Bartomeu, Sa Coma

    I’ve been a fan of Mallorcan chef Tomeu Caldentey’s cuisine since before I began this blog. He was the first Mallorcan chef on the island whose cuisine was awarded a Michelin star, which he maintained for 14 years.

    In 2018 Tomeu gave up the star to change his restaurant concept to something more affordable, and, judging from his cheerful whistling as he worked last week during our latest visit, a lot less stressful.

    He created his new concept, Tomeu Caldentey Cuiner, in the same premises as his former Michelin-starred Bou in Sa Coma, on the east coast of Mallorca. The chef was no longer running a brigade but taking the lead role in his gleaming contemporary kitchen. He’s the modest star of his own cooking ‘show’, with an enthusiastic audience seated around the counter watching him work before they enjoy the fruits of his culinary labours.


    In the wake of the strict Covid restrictions in Mallorca, Tomeu opened his second restaurant, Bartomeu, serving only lunch. Bartomeu is in the same premises as Tomeu Caldentey Cuiner, and is located at one end of the Protur Sa Coma hotel – although it has its own independent entrance. Today, Tomeu operates both Bartomeu and Tomeu Caldentey Cuiner.

    What is Bartomeu

    Bartomeu offers a set lunch menu on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. The menu changes every week and is published in advance on social media. Lunch begins with a round loaf of Tomeu’s moreish olive oil bread and a spicy mayo to spread on it. If we lived closer to Sa Coma, this bread would be my dietary downfall; it’s so moreish.

    The Migdia menu offers five plates, the aforementioned bread and mayo, water, and coffee for 22€. Other drinks are at an extra cost and are self-service. Help yourself from the wide choice and tell Tomeu what you had when you pay the bill. A vermouth cost us 3,50€ and a glass of wine, 4€.

    Tomeu serves the dishes himself (he has an assistant in the kitchen) and it’s clear he enjoys contact with his customers.

    The Bartomeu space is filled with natural light, which feels even more uplifting on a sunny day. The capacity looked to be around 20 people, so it feels quite intimate and relaxed. The latter is helped by the fact that Tomeu wears an apron over a T-shirt and jeans, rather than chef’s whites.

    You do need to book at least a day in advance for this lunch, which is popular with locals. As soon as we read that Bartomeu was open again last Wednesday after a month’s winter closure, we booked our table. Bartomeu has two sittings for lunch: 1.30 & 2.30pm.

    Our Lunch Last Week

    We had a very satisfying lunch, with a variety of textures and flavours. The ambience here is relaxed and friendly. We went for the 2.30pm setting, as that is about the usual time we eat lunch at home. We think lunch at Bartomeu is excellent value and are happy to recommend it.

    Good to Know

    A large free car park is just across the road. For an enjoyable post-lunch walk, head for the nearby headland, Punta de n’Amer.

    ©Jan Edwards 2023