Fire up the BBQ for a Calçotada in Mallorca

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Nature provides certain foods for us at the most appropriate time of the year. Consider citrus fruit: oranges and lemons are abundant in Mallorca at this time of the year – when we most need a good dose of Vitamin C. And in the cooler months in Mallorca, when a fire or BBQ makes being outdoors cosier, the calçot season arrives.

What are Calçots?

Resembling slightly unkempt leeks, calçots are green onions but (with apologies to Star Trek) not as we know them, Jim. From planting seed onions to harvesting calçots takes around eighteen months, because the growth period is interrupted for a while.

Usually planted in autumn, they are harvested the following early summer and stored until late summer, when they’re trimmed and replanted.

As in the method for growing celery, the calçots are then ‘earthed up’, as though wearing shoes, to encourage growth. And that’s where the name comes from: the Catalan word for a shoe is the similar calçat.

When harvested in the early months of the year, most of the length of the calçots has become white and the flavour is much milder and sweeter than onions or spring onions (or scallions).

The calçot originated in the province of Tarragona in Catalunya and has PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) status. There, the city of Valls is famous for its Gran Festa de la Calçotada, which takes place on the last Sunday in January every year. As I write this, the day after the 2023 event, I imagine the cleaning up in Valls will take some time.

What Happens at a Calçotada?

A calçotada is when people gather to cook and eat calçots together. Traditionally, calçots are cooked until blackened over a fire of vine cuttings, then wrapped tightly in newspaper and allowed to steam, which loosens the burnt skins to reveal the tender heart of the vegetable.

Eating calçots is a fun and sociable, but messy business, especially as they are dipped in a spicy, nut sauce before they are eaten. Don’t wear your best clothes if you’re going to a calçotada – unless you’re looking for an excuse to buy some new ones.

Salsa per Calçots is available in jars in food shops and supermarkets, but it’s not difficult to make your own.

By the way, if you’re worried that eating only calçots won’t satisfy your appetite, they’re usually followed by a meat dish.

Calçots in Mallorca

You don’t have to travel to the Peninsula to enjoy calçots or, indeed, a calçotada. At this time of year, you’ll find them in Mallorca – although, depending where you buy your vegetables, you may have to place an order for them.

Local food-store chain Agromart Balear has more than 20 stores in Mallorca and if they don’t have calçots in stock will order them for you. My photo above was taken in the Manacor store.

If you’d rather someone else did the cooking, some restaurants offer calçots at this time of year and a Google search should reveal these. The best calçotades though are probably the simple ones enjoyed with friends at a rustic finca in Mallorca. Time to fire up the BBQ?

©Jan Edwards 2023

Review of Restaurante Peperoncino, Son Servera

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NOTE: PEPERONCINO IS CLOSED FOR THE WHOLE OF FEBRUARY 2023 FOR STAFF HOLIDAYS

I could credit the amiable Stanley Tucci or those adorable nonne on Pasta Grannies (on YouTube), but the fact is that my love for Italian cuisine began a long time ago at a restaurant in Cambridge, where I also drank my first Campari. That Italian restaurant, Don Pasquale, didn’t reopen in the city’s Market Square after the pandemic lockdown, bringing its almost fifty-year history to a close.

Enough of the nostalgia though, as I return to the business in hand: a review of an Italian restaurant in Mallorca that’s been a fantastic find.

Restaurante Peperoncino is in the town of Son Servera, in the Llevant region of Mallorca. It’s a family-run establishment by chef Giuseppe Carbonaro and his family, who took it over from his in-laws in 2015 and gave Peperoncino’s premises an attractive makeover in 2019. There are several distinct dining areas, including a roof terrace (seasonal) and a natural-light-filled covered interior courtyard (heated in winter). Our favourite space is the front dining room, for its ambience.

Giuseppe Carbonaro

You could be forgiven for mistaking the bearded, tattooed, and capped Giuseppe for a rock musician; his distinctive appearance is used to good effect in the Italian restaurant’s marketing. But there’s a lot more to Restaurante Peperoncino than Giuseppe’s image printed on some of the displayed items for sale. These items include his cookbook, Tuttavia, although it’s only available in German. Giuseppe grew up in Germany, where his parents ran a restaurant.

Peperoncino’s Cuisine

The menu is à la carte, with a selection of chef’s suggestions, and is offered for lunch and dinner. You’ll find a choice of mozzarellas and garnishes; pasta; meat and fish; risottos and focaccia, pizzas, and desserts. Giuseppe sprinkles his culinary creativity over authentic Italian dishes that are attractively presented and served by a team including his charming son Gian Luca.

Wine enthusiasts will find an excellent choice at Peperoncino, including some very fine wines at prices to match the quality. It’s a restaurant where you could come for anything from a celebratory meal to, as we’ve seen others do on our recent visits, a pizza, a pud, and a beer or glass of house wine.

If Stanley Tucci ever visits Mallorca, I think he’d really enjoy Restaurante Peperoncino. We’d be delighted to accompany him … and not just for the pleasure of his entertaining company.

Good to Know

Peperoncino is open every day except Tuesdays, for lunch and dinner. Lunch service is earlier than in some restaurants: from 12:30-15:00h.

During the holiday season, you need to make a table reservation a few days in advance but we’ve managed to book a table at a day’s notice recently. We’ve found the booking procedure on the website works well and is followed by a prompt email confirmation.

Son Servera has a large, signposted public car park that’s free of charge, about five minutes’ walk away from Peperoncino.

NOTE

We’ve also enjoyed dinners at the Porto Cristo Italian restaurant Osteria Dolores which, in the winter, has a log-burning stove to keep the place cosy. Sadly for diners, this restaurant is closed this year for a winter break until February 2023.

©Jan Edwards 2022

Chef-Aid Mallorca Supports World Central Kitchen

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Chefs / Eat

No, I hadn’t heard of World Central Kitchen* either until a few days ago. But thanks to the efforts of fourteen of Mallorca’s top chefs (six from Michelin-star restaurants), more people will become aware of this non-profit organisation, which has been feeding people in crisis situations around the world since 2010.

Remember Band Aid in the ’80s? Now, we have ‘Chef-Aid Mallorca’ with a specially composed song entitled ‘Don’t Ask Me Why’ – a fundraiser for World Central Kitchen.

The song was written by Marc Fosh, the only British chef in Spain at the helm of a Michelin-star restaurant (the eponymous Marc Fosh in Palma).

You can listen to ‘Don’t Ask Me Why’ on Spotify or check out this video to see the chefs performing the song. And if you can afford to, make a donation here to help World Central Kitchen continue its vital work.

Project Participants

The following chefs took part: Marc Fosh, Adrià Quetglas, Santi Taura, Andreu Genestra, Maca de Castro, Fernando Arellano, Tomeu Caldentey, Pau Navarro, Miquel Talent, Ariadna Salvador, Víctor García, Joan Marc Garcias, Jonay Hernández, and Lluís Pérez.

Musical arrangement was by composer Sergio Llopis and well-known Mallorcan singer/songwriter/musician, Jaime Anglada. The video was by multi-award-winning photographer and videographer, Nando Esteva, and Juan Monserrat from Foto Ruano in Palma. The final mastering of the song was done at the world-famous Abbey Road Studios in London.

I spoke to Marc at the media launch of ‘Don’t Ask Me Why’ by Chefs-Aid Mallorca and asked him how the idea for the fundraiser came about. Here’s what he said:

*What is World Central Kitchen?

World Central Kitchen was founded by famous Spanish chef, José Andrés, in response to the huge earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010. Since then, WCK has provided food relief in places including Puerto Rico, Australia, Nicaragua, Cuba, Cambodia, Uganda, Beirut, Texas, Louisiana, and Ukraine.

Just one day after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, WCK began providing food to Ukrainians affected by the war. The organisation has partnered with many restaurants in Ukraine to serve meals and set up sites across the border in other countries to feed refugees who have fled for their lives.

©Jan Edwards 2022

Son Mesquidassa – Olive Oil Tourism in Mallorca

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Eat / Mallorca extra virgin olive oil

On a narrow country lane between Felanitx and Porreres you’ll find the Son Mesquidassa estate … eventually. We were beginning to wonder whether we’d somehow missed the finca until I spotted the sea of olive trees to our left. Moments later, we saw the Son Mesquidassa sign at the entrance and knew we’d arrived.

It’s an impressive estate covering almost 100 hectares and is home to more than 150,000 olive trees. The majority are of the Arbequina variety but estate owners, the Rosselló-Castell family, have also planted l’Arbossana, Koroneiki, and Siktita varieties. They harvest around eight million tonnes of olives a year, from which they produce up to 200k litres of extra virgin olive oil. Son Mesquidassa is the largest producer of intensive olive farming in Mallorca, using sustainable agricultural practices. Their oils have Oli de Mallorca Denomination of Origin status.

Son Mesquidassa’s History

The Son Mesquidassa estate was founded in 1818 and you pass the original house as you drive towards the large, contemporary structure housing the shop, tasting room, video-screening space, tafona (press), bottling plant, and space – indoors and outside – to host a variety of events (including weddings). Work on the impressive building began in 2015, and it was inaugurated in 2019.

The Rosselló-Castell family bought the finca in 1986 and have since spent some eight million euros in creating the impressive Son Mesquidassa that visitors find today. It’s a fine example of olive-oil tourism in Mallorca.

Their Range of Olive Oils

We went to collect some Son Mesquidassa EVOO I’d bought online as a birthday gift for a friend. Inevitably perhaps, we came home with a bottle for ourselves too, as well as a jar of their preserved olives and a bottle of their wonderfully named Olidays EVOO.

These are their extra virgin olive oils:

Son Mesquidassa – Arbequina variety

Joan Rosselló (a homage to the founder of the business) – Arbequina and Picual

Can Troquet – Arbequina and Picual

Ni Verd Ni Blau – Arbequina

Olidays – early harvested Arbequina

I think the latter would make a great (and healthy) souvenir of Mallorca or a meaningful gift for someone back home. Olidays won the EVOOLEUM Silver Award in 2017 for ‘Most Innovative Label Design’.

Good to Know

Son Mesquidassa is open to visitors from Monday to Friday from 09:00-16:00h. Group visits should be arranged in advance.

Beware: The country lane between Felanitx and Porreres is narrow in places but some of the locals who use it drive like Fernando Alonso. You’ve been warned!

©Jan Edwards 2022

Mallorca’s Michelin Stars for 2023

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Eat / Michelin

The annual Michelin gala for Spain and Portugal took place last night in Toledo at the Palacio de Congresos ‘El Greco’. This event is when the NEW stars are announced, and the relevant chefs take to the stage to collect their chef’s jacket, embroidered with the Michelin star(s).

Mallorca has one new star for 2023. Javier Hoebeeck was in Toledo to collect his jacket for Fusión 19 in Playa de Muro (part of Grupo Boulevard). Sadly, you can’t eat at the restaurant until next year, as it’s now closed for the winter.

Mallorca retained all the stars from 2022, of which four are in Palma – each with one star:

Adriàn Quetglas

DINS Santi Taura

Marc Fosh

Zaranda

Other Michelin-starred Restaurants in Mallorca

Maca De Castro – Puerto de Alcúdia – one star

Bens d’Avall – Sóller – one star

Andreu Genestra – Capdepera – one star

Es Fum – Costa d’en Blanes – one star

Mallorca’s only two-Michelin-star restaurant is Voro in Canyamel.

Congratulations to all the teams at these Michelin-starred restaurants in Mallorca.

@Jan Edwards 2022

Review of Restaurante 19 by Living Dreams – Santa Maria, Mallorca

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Eat / Restaurants

The end of October marks the close of the main holiday season in Mallorca. With a collective sigh of relief and exhaustion, many restaurants and hotels shut their doors until the following spring. The 2022 tourist season has been very good, enhanced by the direct flights to Mallorca from Newark, USA, introduced in early summer.

This year, some hospitality establishments have extended their season slightly, which means it’s not too late to eat lunch or dinner at Restaurante 19 – located within the Swiss-owned lifestyle/furniture store Living Dreams, in Santa Maria del Camí.

We’ve had both lunch and dinner there recently; (no, not on the same day, although in my time reviewing restaurants for an annual guide, that did happen).

I reviewed this restaurant for a magazine some years ago but knew there had since been changes. During a chance encounter, the entrepreneurial restaurateur of Soul Sea Group – who operates four eateries in Porto Cristo – told me he’d done consultancy work for Restaurante 19 and that the experience there was now ‘at another level’; a level in which he knew I’d be interested.

We took visitors there for lunch in September and returned ourselves for a special-occasion dinner last week – when the evening was still warm enough to eat al fresco in the garden.

The Place

Tables are available indoors, on a covered, raised terrace, or sitting in the verdant garden. Driving through Santa Maria’s main street, you’d never guess that such a glorious outdoor space was there. During the day, this garden’s a haven from the busy road, where you sit among trees and plants, surrounded by stylish decorative items for the home and garden that would require some serious flexing of a credit card.

On both visits, we sat at the long, dark-wooden table that’s the centrepiece of the garden. The table is large enough that it can be shared with other diners without feeling as though you’re sharing. For our dinner visit, we initially chose a cosy table for two, but the lighting in that area meant we could barely see each other let alone read the menu. We moved to one end of the long table.

The Food

Asian flavours dominate the menu of tempting dishes. Prices are higher than in other Santa Maria restaurants, but the quality/price ratio is fair, taking every aspect of the experience into account.

The assorted bread rolls with olives and alioli come with the welcome addition of curry and coconut hummus – delicious. You pay 4,80€ for this, but the bread’s very good and that hummus is so moreish.

Of the dishes I tried this year, I’d flag up the homemade free-range chicken croquetas, flavoured with Madras curry and dried apricots. You get four for 11,50€ and if I could buy these by the dozen to take home, I probably would.

Next, the yellow Thai curry with line-caught hake, shiitakes, shallots, snow peas, confit tomato, and peanuts. It comes with a side of rice and is 28,90€. The generous piece of hake was perfectly cooked; I am salivating as I recall eating this deliciously spicy dish.

The Service

We found the service professional and pleasant. For our first visit, we were with someone who has a serious allergy to anything pork-related but our server was helpful and our companion felt confident in her menu choices.

Good to Know

The 2022 season is almost over for Restaurant 19 by Living Dreams; in November, opening is limited to the following dates:

Saturday, November 5th – lunch and dinner

Sunday, November 6th – lunch only

Saturday, November 12th – lunch and dinner

Sunday, November 13th – lunch only

The Restaurante 19 menu includes a section of dishes for younger diners.

The town has a popular market on Sunday mornings; if you want to combine a market visit with lunch at Restaurante 19, be sure to book a table.

Santa Maria del Camí is one of the towns served by the Mallorca train network, SFM. Take the train and you’ll save yourself the hassle of searching for a space to park the car.

@Jan Edwards 2022

Feel at Home when Dining at Sa Casa Mallorquina

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Eat / Restaurants

Our restaurant dining this summer has largely been away from the tourist hotspots. We’ve been trying restaurants in towns, villages, and rural locations, in the hope of securing a short-notice reservation – because we tend to be spontaneous with our eating-out decisions. And in a busy summer like this one, it can be easier to secure a table in eateries outside Palma de Mallorca and away from the coast.

Al fresco in Algaida

Last night we went to the town of Algaida to try Sa Casa Mallorquina for the first time. Previously an Italian restaurant, it’s now under the ownership of Monique Gueriaux, a delightful French lady. Monique re-opened Sa Casa Mallorquina as a gastronomic restaurant some four months ago, serving Mediterranean cuisine with good-quality ingredients.

The Place

Sa Casa Mallorquina is what it says: a Mallorcan house with traditional features you’d expect in a property dating from the 19th century. The house has been renovated with great care, and the attractive décor reflects Monique’s personality and warm hospitality.

Tables are available in several rooms in the house – one of which is perfect for private dining. What a beautiful space to celebrate an occasion with family or friends. Another room has a fireplace; if used in Mallorca’s cooler months, I’m sure this will be a big attraction.

We ate in the rear courtyard garden, which accommodates around 20 diners. It’s an atmospheric place to enjoy a meal, with well-spaced tables, comfortable chairs, attractive lighting, and unobtrusive background music.

The Owner, Monique Gueriaux

I couldn’t resist asking Monique how she came to buy a restaurant in Algaida. She told us she’d lived a long time in Mexico with her husband, who was quite a lot older than her. When he sadly died four years ago, Monique returned to Europe intending to start a business.

A former dancer and artist, with a passion for interior design (evident in this house), music, and catering, Monique knew she wanted to open a restaurant. In preparation, she studied at Ferrandi Paris, School of Culinary Arts – one of the leading professional training schools in France.

Mallorca – and the handsome 19th-century Algaida house – “seduced” her, she said. The dynamic Monique has plenty of ideas for the future at Sa Casa Mallorquina, and we look forward to seeing them come to fruition.

Chef Cristian Rivera Rodríguez

Mallorcan chef Cristian Rivera Rodríguez is at the helm in the kitchen. He may still be young – under thirty – but he’s come to Sa Casa Mallorquina with some useful experience. He’s worked at Hotel Valldemossa with Ricardo Rossi; gained three months’ experience at Michelin-starred Cliff House Hotel in County Waterford, Ireland, and continued his development by working on the Peninsula at restaurants with Michelin stars/Repsol ‘Sols’. In Mallorca, he also worked at Andreu Genestra’s Aromata in Palma. The influences are obvious in his cuisine.

The Cuisine

Sa Casa Mallorquina offers two tasting menus:

Menu Son Amagat – 45€ – comprises six plates (with choice of meat or fish as principal dish) and accompanied by artisanal xeixa wheat and seed breads with olive oil from Son Catiu.

Menu Can Borrás – 65€ – nine plates (including fish and meat, and two desserts), accompanied by breads as above.

If your appetite isn’t for tasting menus and you prefer a three-course meal, you can choose individually priced dishes, à la carte-style, from the tasting menus.

Drinks are not included in the above prices; as a guideline, we had a tasty verdejo at 5€ by the glass. Features I particularly liked: hot food was served on hot plates or dishes; the moreish bread; and an excellent choice of Brodies’ infusions for those who can’t tolerate coffee in the evenings.

Service

Paula – who had her professional training in London – heads the service, assisted by Isaac. Both were pleasant, efficient, and professional, and Paula explained each dish to us as it arrived.

Verdict

Sa Casa Mallorquina made a good impression on me before we’d even arrived. I phoned during Friday afternoon to book a table for that night. Getting no reply, I decided to try again later but was pleased to receive a call back from the restaurant; they had checked for missed calls.

We loved Sa Casa Mallorquina and shall return. I always appreciate being able to eat dishes I would be unlikely to dream up and create in my own kitchen.

Good to Know

Algaida is just off the Ma15, so if you’re coming from either the Palma or Manacor directions, it’s an easy drive on a good dual carriageway. Once you leave the Ma15, follow the signs for centre.

Sa Casa Mallorquina is in the centre of Algaida, a short walk from the main square, Sa Placeta. Aim for the parish church of San Pedro y San Pablo. The restaurant is right opposite the main doors of the church.

A large, free public car park is about five minutes’ walk from the restaurant.

Opening hours now are Tuesday-Saturday 7pm-10.30pm (closed Sunday and Monday). Expect lunch service to be added out of season.

Their website is still under construction but you can follow Sa Casa Mallorquina on Instagram and Facebook.

Fan of Art? Don’t Miss …

Algaid’Art is happening on Saturday, 10th and Sunday, 11th September. There’ll be art exhibitions and music in locations around the centre of the town.

Head to Can Sant Café (Sa Plaça, 11) to see the superb Toros exhibition of paintings of bulls by the Algaida artist Sylvia Baker de Perkal – who will be present on Saturday evening from 6pm-10pm.

Times: Saturday 6pm-10pm & Sunday 10am-1pm

Sylvia Baker de Perkal was a fascinating guest on my podcast ‘Living in Rural Mallorca’. Hear what she had to say by clicking here.

©Jan Edwards 2022

Review of Dinner at Can Salom, Petra

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Eat / Restaurants

We’ve eaten a few times at this restaurant in the centre of Petra but, until last week, hadn’t done so since 2019 (pre-Covid). This small town in Mallorca is best known as the birthplace of Fra Juniper Serra, who left Mallorca to set up missions on the west coast of America. He also took some Mallorcan vines with him, thereby planting the seed – so to speak – of California’s famed wine industry.

Petra's parish church of Sant Pere
Early evening sun on the parish church in Petra

Petra is well worth a visit for its authentic, agricultural-town vibes. It’s a popular refuelling point for groups of cyclists in the cooler months, when you’ll be dodging bikes and dazzled by brightly coloured Lycra stretched across some bodies that should know better.

On our 2019 visit for dinner at Can Salom, we ate downstairs in the cellar restaurant. This isn’t like some of the cellar restaurants you’ll find in towns such as Inca; this one is light, modern, and decorated with contemporary art rather than the wooden ends of vast wine barrels.

The piano was a hint of something to come. We were there on a quiet night and, after we’d eaten, restaurant director Joan Riera Salom surprised us by sitting down to play the piano and sing.

Be assured that Can Salom isn’t one of those restaurants with cheesy, singing waiters. Tenor Joan Riera Salom – at the head of the restaurant that’s been in the same family since 1969 – studied music from 2008 until 2012 at the Conservatori Superior del Liceu de Barcelona. His fine voice has pleased audiences at concerts in Mallorca.

Dinner at Can Salom in 2022

Statue of Fra Juniper Serra in Petra
Petra’s most famous son looks over the square

Unlike some restaurants in Mallorca, Can Salom is fortunate in having local people in its team, which means none of the staff accommodation problems that some Palma restaurants have. Two of the young men who served us were brothers who live in their family home in Petra.

For our latest visit we ate in the square itself. Joan makes a lot of effort to create an appealing ambience at night. Tablecloths, lights on the tables, potted plants, and a variety of standard lamps dotted around create an indoor feel outdoors – enhanced if your table is under one of the attractive trees which create a natural, green ‘ceiling’.

If you want to eat in a village atmosphere on a balmy Mediterranean summer’s night amid the buzz and chatter of local diners as well as visitors, Can Salom in Petra ticks all the boxes.

Our Food

We shared two tapas/starters. Portions are generous and next time we’ll share only one, to leave space for dessert. We had chipirones (12,50€) and mushroom croquettes (7,50€). The Boss opted for a tasty main of squid-ink tagliatelle with salmon (15,90€) and I had large, grilled prawns with a salad (18,50€). I’d definitely have those again. Delicious.

For price guidance: an Aperol spritz costs 6,50€; a glass of rosado cava, 3,50€; a large bottle of sparkling water (their own), 3,50€, and an Americano coffee, 2€.

Although we hadn’t been for a long time – and it was unlikely that Joan recognised us – we arrived to the warm welcome of an old friend. If we felt royally looked after that night, we soon realised we were in great company: Joan was treating everyone like royalty.

Good to Know

Park in the area around the parish church – Església de Sant Pere – and it’ll take you only three or four minutes to walk to the Plaça del Pare Serra, where you’ll find Can Salom. In summer, most diners eat al fresco on the square, under the stone gaze of the statue of Petra’s most famous son.

Can Salom in Petra is open until November 1st, then closes for a winter break.

©Jan Edwards 2022

Reserve a Table at Mallorca’s La Reserva Rotana

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Eat / Restaurants

La Reserva Rotana Golf & Wine Resort is a beautiful, rural hotel near Manacor, with a private nine-hole golf course and a helicopter pad. The hotel sits in 200 hectares of land, including the golf course, vineyards, and vegetable garden.

We haven’t stayed in this 5-star hotel for the simple reason that it’s too close to home to justify the expense of paying for an overnight stay. For several reasons, though, we have become fans of La Reserva Rotana’s restaurant Anator.

The Setting

At the end of May, we had dinner in the restaurant’s cosy courtyard, sheltered from any breezes.

Our next visit was for lunch, by which time it was warm enough to be eating on the spacious, open terrace with its beautiful, bucolic views over Sa Vall – the fertile valley that’s the source of some of the fruit and vegetables sold in the local town. The setting is gorgeous – particularly as the sun sets – and it’s hard to believe you’re so close to busy Manacor.

I feel sorry for chefs working in the intense heat of July and August in Mallorca but, at Anator’s summer terrace, the food is prepared in an open-sided kitchen, which must surely be a more comfortable place to work than some indoor kitchens.

The Cuisine

Before 2021, the only time I’d eaten in La Reserva Rotana was for a review I was commissioned to write for a magazine. We didn’t see the bill at the time, having been invited, but imagined the amount would be commensurate with the hotel’s five-star status.

Last year we went to eat there again – partly because it’s our closest restaurant to home and I didn’t want to drive too far. We were surprised to find that Anator offers a set-price, executive menu for lunch and another for dinner. If you’re on a limited budget, it’s good to know how much your meal is likely to cost – although you have to add any drinks you order to your bill. La Reserva Rotana offers its own wines as well as other labels.

We’ve been back to Anator already a few times this year, when lunch costs 29€ for three courses. We had a choice of two starters and three mains (one of which was veggie); there was no choice for dessert, but cherries and lemon sorbet worked for me. These were our choices, and for a five-star hotel restaurant, I think the value for the cost was fair.

Dinner is a three-course affair (with no choices) at 49€. Of course, you can also order à la carte – which we did on our last visit for dinner. These were a couple of the dishes we chose then.

The Verdict

Easy and signposted access from Manacor, with ample parking space.

Good service and tasty, well-presented dishes.

Other benefits include being able to combine lunch and golf; arrive by helicopter (oh, I wish), and combine your visit with a horse-riding excursion locally with the wonderful people and horses of Naturacavall

Small niggle: restaurant prices on the website are not up to date.

©Jan Edwards 2022

Review of Übeck Restaurant in Manacor

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Eat / Restaurants

Javier Hoebeeck – who’s the chef behind the culinary creations at the Playa de Muro restaurants Fusion 19 and Gaikan – is the owner of the eatery Übeck in Manacor. Fusion 19 is on my list of restaurants in Mallorca I’d like to try, but the 80€ per head price tag for what does look like a fabulous tasting menu means we’ll have to save our visit for a special occasion.

T-shirts too!

Javier’s Übeck restaurant in Manacor is an affordable, if different, alternative, as we discovered recently when we went for lunch on a whim.

Übeck is located on Manacor’s Avenguda d’es Torrent. It’s not the smartest street in Manacor but it has the advantage of ample street parking (metered), which is ideal if you don’t want to walk too far to a restaurant in the sizzling summer heat. Übeck stands out for its bright exterior signage in yellow and black, so it’s easy to find.

The Interior of Übeck

Contemporary, clean, light, and attractive sum the interior up well. Übeck is quite small, seating around 20 people at the most. The colours yellow and black are used again in the décor.

Most of the cooking/plating is done behind the bar/counter, so diners can see what’s going on.

This restaurant has no outdoor seating.

The Menu

One of the things I love here is that the menu is displayed outside on the wall – in English too – so you can check the offerings before you go in. That’s especially important if you’re a vegetarian.

Übeck uses local produce to create dishes with flavours of the world.

The menu offers eight starters – three of which are suitable for vegetarians. Prices range from 6-9€.

Choose from eight mains (two vegetarian), priced from 8,50 to 14,50€. Four side dishes are each 2,85€.

We shared one portion of six fried chicken gyozas (7,50€) to start. They came with coconut cardamon sauce and home-made sweet chili. Our main courses were udon wok with crispy prawns (13,50€) and spiced veggie shaorma with vegetables and yellow curry (14,50€). Portion sizes are generous.

The two desserts (each 6€) looked appealing but we had no room to eat anything else. Not a problem, as we shall return with larger appetites and looser waistbands.

Übeck also offers a dish of the day (from a choice of two) and a drink for 9,75€ and some specials. Oh, and you can order take-out too – in environmentally friendly packaging.

Drinks

The wines are displayed on shelves marked with the bottle prices. Some are available by the glass. Bottle prices looked fair: Miquel Gelabert’s Golós Blanc, for example, is 17€. They have a special-edition vermouth and also hidromiel, the fermented honey drink we know in England as mead.

The Service

Gabriel and Cassandra

We ate at lunchtime, when there were another five people eating. Gabriel and Cassandra, wearing their bright-yellow, branded T-shirts and black aprons, were in charge of everything. Gabriel took our orders and served our dishes; he’s efficient and pleasant, happy to chat and explain anything unfamiliar.

The Verdict

We’re definitely going back. Good value, a pleasant environment, and tasty dishes. I’ve already decided what I’ll try next time!

©Jan Edwards 2022