Eat a Great Paella in Santa Maria, Mallorca

Leave a comment
Eat
The maestro delivers

The town of Santa Maria del Camí in Mallorca is home to a restaurant where you’ll eat a paella that’s memorable for all the right reasons. Va d’Arròs ‘Arrosseria d’Autor’ serves signature paellas and other rice dishes from rice maestro Kike Martí.

Kike Martí

A native of Valencia, Kike has become an adopted mallorquín. I first enjoyed his flavourful paellas when he worked at Ponderosa Beach restaurant in Playa de Muro. After he left their kitchen a few years ago, he established Arrózame – a company that offers caterings and showcookings but also training for chefs in the fine art of rice cooking. There’s more to this type of cuisine than you may think. Arrózame now has a presence in Bolivia, Uruguay, Malta, and Spain.

Kike opened Va d’Arròs in autumn 2021 but it was only this week that we tried the place for the first time. It won’t be the last.

Location

The restaurant is in the town centre on the main road through Santa Maria del Camí. If you’re really lucky you may even be able to park outside, but otherwise it’s not too difficult to find parking in a side street. Va d’Arròs is in a strip of bars and eateries, all with tables outside at the front.

We ate indoors, rather than al fresco, so we were able to appreciate the air conditioning and observe the staff at work.

The Interior

Va d’Arròs has a long bar counter on the left-hand side as you enter the restaurant. The interior is attractive, light, and decorated with contemporary art. The kitchen is at the rear, with a hatch from where the dishes are collected by the servers. The music indoors is pleasant and unobtrusive.

The Menu

The menu is printed in Spanish, English, and German. There are ten starter-style dishes to share. We had a good portion of battered squid (13€), which wasn’t greasy and kept us occupied while our paella was cooking. The menu has a choice of 8 paellas, 2 fideuas – a paella-like dish but made with fine noodles instead of rice – and three other rice dishes. The paella prices range from 17€-24€ (for lobster paella) – which we thought was good value for the quality.

The service impressed us: professional but friendly. Kike Martí himself brought our paella to the table. It was a generous size and full of delicious flavour, and had a good socorrat – the prized, caramelised part that develops as the paella cooks.

This visit we had no room for dessert, but we had a decent americano coffee before we waddled back to the car, feeling satisfied and determined to come to Santa Maria del Camí for more of Kike Martí’s signature rice dishes again soon.

Good to Know

Va d’Arròs is open every day except TUESDAY.

Dishes are also available to take away.

If rice dishes are not your thing, there are also a few meat and fish dishes, and three stews known as calderetas (priced from 20€-25€). (Like the paellas, these are for a minimum of two people).

Nice touch: super-chilled glass for my Free Damm Tostada alcohol-free beer.

The restaurant’s wine partner is Bodegas Angel (on the outskirts of Santa Maria del Camí). The winery is worth a visit if you’re in the area.

I also recommend a visit to APS Glass & Bar Supply (on the same road as Va d’Arròs, near some traffic lights) if you need new glassware. They stock some super designs and some of the prices are good too.

©Jan Edwards 2022

Not Only a Meat Lover’s Restaurant: Lume & Co

Leave a comment
General

The weather was hot, the morning had been busy with appointments, and we were in the southwest of Mallorca – killing time before a mid-afternoon appointment in Port Calanova. Lunch would be the perfect time-filler.

But where to go? Neither of us fancied a busy resort eatery that day. And eating al fresco in 35+ degrees Celsius was definitely not on.

‘Somewhere rural,’ The Boss said, leaving it to me to choose where we’d have lunch. That’s quite a tall order in the southwest, where the coast is a string of popular holiday resorts – especially when time constraints mean you can’t travel too far.

I instantly thought of Olivera, one of the two restaurants at the countryside 5-star hotel Castell Son Claret. But there wasn’t time to get there and back and enjoy a leisurely lunch in its beautiful courtyard. Another time.

Then I remembered Lume & Co – a restaurant we ate in last year but hadn’t yet been back to. And it fitted the ‘rural’ request perfectly.

Lume & Co is located just outside the village of Genova, near Palma, yet feels a world away from urban life. It’s on a large site with ample parking and a rural feel. The building housing the restaurant is said to date back to the 15th century, which adds to its appeal.

We climbed the steps at the side of the building to enter via the courtyard where we’d eaten before. It’s an attractive, large space where we’d happily eat in slightly cooler weather. On this particular day we ate indoors in a beamed hall combining traditional Mallorcan architecture – wooden beams, terracotta ceilings, and stone walls – with attractive Scandi-style interior design. And the essential air conditioning.

Meat is the Speciality

Lume & Co is known best for its high-quality beef dishes – including Galician, Black Angus, and Wagyu. Speciality cuts (for sharing) here are chateaubriand, T-bone, and tomahawk – making it a go-to place for meat lovers.

Four other individual meat dishes include boned-out beef ribs, and pork ribs with home-made BBQ sauce.

Other Dishes too

The menu offers a good choice of starters to share and we opted for crunchy prawn rolls with a spicy sweet sauce of mandarin and tamarind (pictured).

Neither of us eat much meat and we both chose fish mains. The Boss had turbot with potato ragout, green olives, and dill beurre blanc – which he enjoyed. I had tuna tartare in a cucumber and padrón gazpacho, scattered with pistachios. In my opinion it was perfect for a hot day – both refreshing and satisfying. I wish I was having it for my lunch today.

Short of time, we skipped dessert and coffee to scurry off to our next appointment. That lunch at Lume & Co, a short drive from Palma, was the highlight of a busy and hot day out.

Good to Know

  • Lume & Co has its current menu (and prices) on its website. I wish a lot more restaurants did this as it avoids any unwelcome surprises when visiting.
  • This restaurant has a fireplace, which would further ramp up its appeal in winter.
  • Children are welcome and have a choice of three-main course dishes for kids.
  • The restaurant offers gluten-free bread on request, which makes me feel that the kitchen understands coeliacs. You’ll also find some vegetarian options.
  • Lume & Co is open Tuesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner. Check times during the summer months, as these may vary.
  • Lume & Co is the perfect place to escape the bustle and heat of Palma de Mallorca – yet is only a short drive away with no parking hassle. Business lunch anyone?

©Jan Edwards 2022

Check out Wild Mallorca in a New Balearic Guide

Leave a comment
General

Mallorca offers holiday experiences for all tastes and budgets, which is probably why TripAdvisor named it the top destination for 2022.

This month saw the start of United Airlines’ direct flights to Palma’s Son Sant Joan airport from Newark Liberty International (there’s a name that trips off the tongue), making it easier for people in the USA to visit this diverse Mediterranean island. Mallorca’s five-star hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants are proving a big draw for these visitors from America.

Hidden Mallorca

But if you want to discover the more authentic and wilder aspects of Mallorca – and have a touch of adventure in your soul – you’ll find a new book useful for your time on this island. Wild Guide Balearic Islands Hidden Adventures in Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza & Formentera.

Written by sisters Anna Deacon (author, journalist, and photographer) and Lizzie Graham (who’s lived a local’s life in rural Mallorca for more than twenty years), the book introduces you to hidden places and experiences in the Balearic Islands.

You’re unlikely to find sunburnt tourists and lurid inflatable beach toys on the hideaway calas Anna and Lizzie feature in this book. But it’s not all about hidden beaches: cliffs, mountains, watchtowers, ancient ruins, and rural idylls are also included. The places and experiences the adventurous sisters have included in this gem of a book are those they know and have enjoyed.

Where to Eat, Drink, and Sleep

My blog focuses on eating, drinking, and sleeping on the island of Mallorca and I’m featuring Wild Guide Balearic Islands because the book also includes places to eat, drink, and sleep that may appeal to anyone looking for something more authentic to the islands.

The authors’ suggestions include rural agroturismos and mountain refuges for sleeping, slow-food eateries, traditional cellar restaurants, produce markets, and wineries.

What’s Included in Wild Guide Balearic Islands

The first 35 of the 228 pages include a ‘Best for’ section, covering hidden coves, cliff jumps and sea caves, uninhabited islands (yes, they exist), hilltops and views, hikes and coastal walks, wildlife and nature reserves, sleeping and stargazing, and more. Sleeping under stars strewn across a sky without light pollution does sound tempting – even though I usually favour a five-star mattress.

The section relating to Mallorca is split into north, south, central, east and west –useful if you’re only likely to visit one particular area of this island. Each sub-section begins with highlights under the heading ‘Our perfect weekend’.

The book is crammed with glorious photographs, maps, and ideas. It’s the ideal guide for anyone in search of their inner explorer, or wanting to discover some of the lesser-known reasons why the largest of the Balearic Islands – Mallorca – has such wide appeal.

NOTE: Wild Guide Balearic Islands is also available from Amazon.

©Jan Edwards 2022

What’s New at Café Miró for 2022

Leave a comment
Eat

La Residencia in Deià is one of my three favourite hotels in Mallorca; I even included it in my novel Daughter of Deià – enjoying the hotel vicariously as I wrote the story. (My heroine was paying the bill!).

If your budget doesn’t stretch to overnight stays in this iconic property, you can still visit and take advantage of the gorgeous views over the village and out towards the Mediterranean, and enjoy the lush gardens.

The village of Deià is a hub of activity once holidaymakers start arriving in any number, but you’ll feel serenity wash over you within the perimeter of La Residencia, A Belmond Hotel.

New Opening Hours at Café Miró

This year, La Residencia has decided to keep Café Miró open all day from 12:30h until 23:00h. It’s a great development because now you can make the most of exploring Deià without watching the clock to make sure you don’t miss lunch service.

L-R Toni Torres, chef of Café Miró; Hanna Bornebusch, PR manager; Guillermo Méndez, executive chef La Resi.

The terrace offers gorgeous views and a relaxed ambience in which to enjoy dishes from Café Miró’s new menu. But if it’s your first visit to La Residencia, don’t miss the opportunity to check out the interior too, where you’ll find 33 original works by the Barcelona-born painter, sculptor, and ceramicist Joan Miró on display. And, as an aside, if you’ve never visited the Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró in Palma, it’s well worth going – for the chance to see the late artist’s studio on his adopted island. You can almost imagine him strolling in to take up his brushes.

The New Menu

My previous lunch at Café Miró was quite a while pre-pandemic; what we ate with friends was international fare. But this year’s menu feels much more Mediterranean and is more family-style; this means dishes in the middle of the table to share (although you don’t have to!). It’s a style of eating that, for me, epitomises the Mediterranean way of life. I love the idea that you can share several dishes, because it can be difficult to choose when faced with a menu of so many temptations.

Six of us sat down to lunch at Café Miró, sharing dishes placed in the centre of the table. Here are pictures of just some of what we enjoyed. I’m assured the octopus was delicious, although I cannot bring myself to eat it these days, after watching My Octopus Teacher on Netflix. Each to their own. We also had the most delicious cheesecake I’ve ever eaten – with fig jam. Sadly I wasn’t quick enough to take a photo before it was demolished.

Good to Know

Prices are of a level you’d expect in a 5-star hotel of high repute. Eating at Café Miró is a real treat though, and when you take into account the quality of the cuisine, the excellent service, and heavenly setting, it’s worth the splurge. What a great way to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, or just being in one of the most beautiful villages in Spain.

Afternoon tea perhaps?

The choice of spirits on the drinks menu is extensive and includes Mallorcan labels. If, like me, you have to drive from Deià, you’ll appreciate the good choice of non-alcoholic cocktails and drinks. I highly recommend the fresh lemon mint juice (12€). Who needs alcohol when you can sip this?

You can also come to Café Miró for a very civilized afternoon tea (15-18h).

Café Miró has live music every evening from 19:30h.

©Jan Edwards 2022

Discover and Taste Mallorca’s Traditional Cuisine

Leave a comment
Eat
Statue outside Mercat de l'Olivar
This statue sits outside Mercat de l’Olivar, Palma

Food markets have become a tourist attraction in their own right. Mallorca’s capital – Palma – is home to a market (with two adjoining halls) that few foodie visitors to the city will miss. The abundance of glossy, colourful and high-quality fresh fruit and vegetables at Mercado del Olivar, in the heart of Palma, puts typical Northern European supermarket produce to shame. And then there are the charcuterie, cheeses, meat, and amazing seafood stalls to ogle over. I’m sure that many visitors wander around wishing they could shop here on a daily basis.

The Stories Behind the Produce

However, Mallorca’s Mercado del Olivar (opened mid-20th century) is so much more than a feast for your eyes and Instagram feed. Like all produce markets, it’s a window into the local culture of food, history, and society. But how do you open that window and see beyond the tempting produce on display at Palma’s vibrant market?

My recommendation is to book a place on the Palma Market Tour & Traditional Cooking workshop with Deborah Piña, whose small business in the city is called Deborah’s Culinary Island. Deborah was born in Palma to a French mother, and speaks excellent English. She’s also delightful and her passion for, and knowledge of her island’s culinary identity make her the perfect guide and teacher.

The Palma Market Tour

Our knowledgeable guide, Deborah

My instructions were to meet Deborah and the other participants at 10:30h at the designated meeting point outside the Mercat del Olivar. Four of us were doing the tour and cooking workshop last Thursday (the maximum number of participants is six, to keep it an intimate experience). The other ladies were German (one of whom lives in Ireland).

Deborah gave us a brief background to the market before leading us in. We visited stalls run by vendors she uses for her own shopping and, as we went from stall to stall, she gave us an informative commentary on what we were seeing, and its place in Mallorcan culinary culture. Along the way, she shopped for some of the ingredients for the cooking workshop we’d be doing afterwards.

Let’s Cook!

A ten-minute stroll from the market took us to the Pane Nostro bakery (a stop for organic bread for the pa amb oli aperitif later), then moments later we arrived at Deborah’s atelier. Her workshop is an original 18th-century bakery, known as Forn de sa Llotgeta; you can still see the ancient ovens used to bake the bread. In this atmospheric setting, we prepared a menu of three traditional Mallorcan dishes that we would eat together for lunch.

The dishes cooked always use seasonal produce, so vary throughout the year. We made a starter of coca – a flat bread that’s the nearest equivalent of a pizza (but much healthier, as it doesn’t feature cheese); a delicious soupy rice dish containing artichokes, sobrasada, and butifarra; then a greixonera de brossat (a traditional Mallorcan dessert made from fresh cottage cheese) served with sweet, juicy strawberries which are already in season in Mallorca.

Preparing the dishes was a fun as well as educational experience, with Deborah giving us helpful kitchen tips as we worked.

Once the coca was in the oven baking, it was time for our aperitif. Deborah had laid out the Mallorcan bread, ramallet tomatoes (to rub on the bread) extra virgin olive oil, green and black olives, pickled sea fennel, botifarro, Menorca cheeses, and an organic sobrasada (from Son Cànaves of Llucmajor). The latter was a delicious revelation and I shall be seeking out this product for use in my own kitchen. Deborah poured us each a glass of Ribas Rosado, made from the Mantonegro grape, which paired beautifully with the sobrasada.

We learnt how to make a sofrito – the flavourful foundation of many traditional Mallorcan savoury dishes. This was the start of the rice dish we would be eating. And finally, we learnt to make the Mallorcan dessert.

Lunch is Served

We sat together for lunch at a long wooden table in a cosy, open room at the back of the atelier. Our dishes were served with an organic red wine from Son Vell in Son Macìa, near Manacor. By the end of lunch, we four participants had shared phone numbers and said we’d keep in touch. We’d all thoroughly enjoyed the Palma Market Tour & Traditional Cooking workshop and bonded through our love of Mallorca and its gastronomy.

My Verdict

A highly recommended experience for anyone who wants to find out more about Mallorcan culinary culture and produce. Although I’ve lived in Mallorca for 18 years now, I learnt a few things I hadn’t known – so this experience is worth doing whether you’re a visitor or foreign resident.

Good to Know

The Palma Market Tour & Traditional Cooking workshop takes place every Wednesday and Thursday morning and must be booked in advance. The cost (including lunch and wines) is 95€ per person. All ingredients are included, and aprons are provided.

Wear comfortable shoes, as you’ll be walking or standing for a large part of the day.

©Jan Edwards 2022

Dinner at Marc Fosh in Palma de Mallorca 2022

Leave a comment
Eat

On the day we moved to Mallorca, in April 2004, we ate lunch out at a Manacor restaurant (which no longer exists). Some people we knew on the island had recommended the place, which we discovered on arrival was astonishingly cheap. That was a ‘red flag’ moment for me.

After eating our lunch, the expression ‘one man’s meat is another man’s poison’ came to mind. We certainly weren’t poisoned, but that first-day lunch made me wonder if we’d ever eat the standard of food in Mallorca that we’d been able to enjoy back in Oxfordshire.

And then there was Marc Fosh

We needn’t have worried: we soon discovered the cuisine of British chef Marc Fosh. Back then, he was working in a rural hotel, at the helm of a restaurant that had gained its Michelin star in 2003. We stayed several times at this rural hotel for special occasions and it was only because we knew Marc would be cooking our dinner.

Marc has gained a great reputation in the years since he left the countryside to start his own business. He’s also been responsible for developing some of the young chefs in Mallorca who have since opened their own successful restaurants. Now a gastronomic destination, Mallorca has no shortage of great restaurants these days.

Dinner in Palma

Contemporary and stylish exterior

Marc’s eponymous restaurant in Palma has had one Michelin star since 2014. It’s located in the Hotel Convent de la Missió – a 17th-century building with a distinctly contemporary interior.

We dined there recently, courtesy of very dear friends in Oxfordshire who generously sent us a Marc Fosh gift voucher at Christmas for use when the restaurant reopened for the 2022 season.

To enable us to enjoy the restaurant’s excellent wines with our dinner, we booked a night’s stay at the 4-star Art Hotel Palma – which was more suitable for our budget than the 5-star Convent de la Missió (in which we have yet to stay).

Art Hotel Palma (which is a small, friendly hotel in a convenient location) doesn’t serve lunch or dinner, so we didn’t feel guilty about going out to eat. The walk from the hotel to the restaurant is just a few minutes, and was easily doable even wearing high heels (my first time in those for a long while).

Over winter, Marc Fosh Restaurant renovated its interior décor with some artistic touches. We sat in the atrium on this occasion and found the restaurant almost full when we arrived for our table at 8.30pm.

Menú Marc

Below I’ve pictured only one (mackerel and pea tartlet with summer savoury) of the four small dishes that constitute ‘Los Snacks’ – a tantalising start to dinner. The other seven plates from the menu are pictured, along with the cheese course – which was an optional extra. Three different petits fours were served afterwards.

Marc’s creative cuisine is contemporary Mediterranean, based on seasonal, local produce, and some less common ingredients – such as citrus albedo. The latter (I admit I had to google it) is the white part inside the skin of citrus fruit, which is nutritionally beneficial. Having read about it, I won’t be removing it painstakingly when peeling citrus fruit in the future.

The attractive presentation adds to the enjoyment of Marc’s food. Every dish was flavourful, interesting, and had the ‘wow’ factor.

If you’re curious, the four dishes of ‘Los Snacks’ were: Mackerel and pea tartlet with summer savory (pictured); Tomato and black olive Madeleine; Wild mushroom donut with truffle and macadamia snow, and Chicken skin crisp with liquid Caesar salad.

Wines at Marc Fosh

This restaurant is fortunate to have one of the Balearics’ best-known sommeliers. Head sommelier Giorgia Scaramella is Italian and was born in one of the country’s famous wine regions, Friuli Venezia Giulia. She likes to say, “wine is in my blood.”

Giorgia is charming as well as highly knowledgeable. As well as the wine we chose ourselves from the list, she suggested the perfect glass of wine to pair with the foie course and another to accompany the cheeses. Both were superb.

Service

We booked our table online and, if you want to eat at Marc Fosh Restaurant this summer, I recommend you book as soon as possible – even before you arrive on the island. This is a recommendation I’d make for any high-end restaurants this season, as Mallorca is expecting a busy tourist season.

The day before our dinner, we received an email with a copy of the menu asking us to confirm our booking was still required and also requesting details of any dietary issues. I once had a bad experience eating snails and asked that we didn’t have the snail jus with the lamb. After we’d settled ourselves at our table, one of the servers who attended to us confirmed that we wouldn’t have the snail jus – without us having to mention it first.

As you would expect in a Michelin-star restaurant, service is professional but friendly, and the servers explain each dish as they bring it to the table. Faultless service, in fact.

You can probably tell that we had a memorable dinner – thanks to the generosity of our wonderful friends Duncan and Kristina. You can’t go wrong if gifting a Marc Fosh voucher!

I mentioned Marc Fosh Restaurant twice in my novel Daughter of De– as a mark of my respect and liking for this chef/patron and his establishment. This novel – featuring a radio presenter’s mission to find her unknown father, and her saving of a cat refuge in peril in Mallorca – is available to purchase in e-book and paperback formats here.

@Jan Edwards 2022

Review of Es Torrent de Son Carrió Restaurant

Leave a comment
Eat
Find the church and the restaurant is across the street

Only a few small villages in Mallorca have a gourmet restaurant. One of these villages is Son Carrió, in the municipality of Sant Llorenç, which has fewer than 1,200 inhabitants.

Family-Run Restaurant

Es Torrent de Son Carrió is owned and run by chef Joan Galmés Miquel and his sommelier wife, Clara Ferrer, who runs front of house. Joan is from Manacor but trained and worked in Barcelona at El Túnel de’n Marc Palou, Lasarte, and Osmosis. In 2014 he came back to Mallorca with Barcelona-born Clara and opened Es Torrent de Son Carrió. The restaurant had a complete and attractive renovation in 2019, having been seriously damaged by the devastating terrible floods of October 2018.

Joan and his team use seasonal produce and contemporary culinary techniques to produce a standard of Mediterranean cuisine that surprises and delights.

What’s on the Menu?

The restaurant offers only weekly changing tasting menus – menús degustaciones:

Menu Torrentada – eight plates at 60€ (optional wine pairing for 25€)

Menu Torrent – five plates at 45€ (optional wine pairing for 25€). We had this menu, which also came with an appetiser and petits fours.

If you’re a cheese fan, there’s an optional cheese course for 12€ (we didn’t try it this time).

The selection from the wine cellar will please wine enthusiasts and includes a large choice of Spanish and international wines, as well as Mallorcan labels.

Need to Know

Es Torrent de Son Carrió is in the east of Mallorca, some nine kilometres from the well-known town of Manacor, and conveniently located for holidaymakers in resorts such as S’Illot, Sa Coma, and Cala Millor. I’d recommend travelling here by taxi or with a designated non-drinking driver so you can take advantage of the wines.

The restaurant is open for dinner only from 19:00h, Tuesday to Sunday. It’s busy at weekends, so be sure to book ahead if you want to eat here at the weekends.

Ample roadside free parking is available within sight of the restaurant.

©Jan Edwards 2022

Suite Treats Mallorca: Castell Son Claret

Leave a comment
Sleep

My last post about Suite Treats Mallorca featured a finca hotel full of authentic traditional features, in a hamlet near the village of Selva. In this post, I feature the suites at Castell Son Claret in southwest Mallorca. The immaculate, modern 5-star hotel is a former 19th-century castle set in a verdant paradise at the foot of the Serra de Tramuntana mountains, near Es Capdellà village.

Castell Son Claret reopened for the 2022 season on March 1st, with the news that during the winter months, the hotel converted four existing rooms into two more spacious and modern suites with private outdoor space. We haven’t seen these rooms yet, but last year stayed in two of the hotel’s other luxurious suites and can highly recommend them. Castell Son Claret’s website details the various types of suite and rooms available; these are the two suites we stayed in.

Privacy and your own pool (hotel photo)

Pool Suite at Castell Son Claret

A stylish suite with separate bedroom and lounge, and direct access to a fragrant and private garden with 10m2 swimming pool and sundeck and loungers from which to appreciate your good fortune. Like all the rooms we’ve stayed in at Castell Son Claret, this type of suite has a super-spacious and well-equipped bathroom.

This is the suite for you if you want privacy while you sunbathe or swim. Breakfast beside your own pool? Why not? A wonderful choice for a romantic getaway or honeymoon. Or for a novelist needing a peaceful writing sanctuary to meet a deadline.

Garden Suite

In 2020 Castell Son Claret added four new garden suites, in a newly constructed two-storey block within the grounds of the estate. It’s a pleasant short walk between these suites and the main hotel but you can be whisked there by buggy if you prefer. The two ground-floor suites have a private garden; we stayed in a first-floor suite, with a large, furnished balcony and the benefit of longer views of the glorious countryside from its elevated position.

News for Culture Fans

The traditional Castell Classics will return this summer, during June, July, and August. Among those performing during the 2022 season will be young singers from the Salzburg Festival, stars from the Zürich Opera House, and from the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Florentino. Find details here.

©Jan Edwards 2022

All is Good at Mirabona Restaurant, Mallorca

Leave a comment
Eat
What a glorious setting for a spring lunch

Mirabona translates roughly as ‘look good’ and it could not be a more appropriate name for the restaurant within the peaceful, hideaway Finca Ca’n Beneït in the foothills of Mallorca’s Serra de Tramuntana.

From its elevated position in the cosy hamlet of Binibona, Mirabona’s pretty terrace has a panoramic view across Mallorca. But there’s more than gorgeous bucolic views at this rural farm-to-table restaurant: the cuisine also looks – and tastes – good.

Spring Menu

Organic fruit, vegetables, and herbs grow in the Finca Ca’n Beneït gardens, which means the chefs – led by Joan Ferragut – have some great produce to hand, including olive oil pressed from the estate’s olives in the hotel’s original tafona. The cuisine is unpretentious, honest, and a good reason to make the drive out to Binibona, which is in the area of Mallorca known as El Raiguer.

I was fortunate enough to be part of a small gathering trying some of the new spring menu dishes for 2022. We also had the melt-in-the-mouth lamb (from the finca) with carrot cream but rain made us relocate indoors from the terrace just before this course, and I forgot to take a photo of that dish. I should give a special mention for the delicious desserts which, like the cake available for afternoon tea, are homemade.

L-R Toni Duran, Olga Jiménez, and chef Joan Ferragut

The spring weather in Mallorca isn’t great at the moment (today has been constant drizzle where I live, near Manacor). But sunshine and blue skies will soon return, and with it the beautiful blooms of Finca Ca’n Beneït’s wisteria, draping over Mirabona’s terrace.

Look out for Mirabona’s wine-pairing dinners, with wines chosen by sommelier Amy Dunn.

Mirabona is open daily for lunch (13-16h), and for dinner (19-22h). Book a table by phoning +34 871 811 871 or book online – where you’ll also find the menu details.

Follow Finca Ca’n Beneït on Instagram here.

©Jan Edwards 2022

Protur Chef Returns to Mallorca, March 17-20

Leave a comment
Drink / Eat / General

The 4th edition of Protur Chef happens next weekend in Mallorca. It’s not only a national culinary competition for cookery school students but also a long weekend celebrating gastronomy, with plenty for locals and visitors to Mallorca to enjoy. It’s free to attend, although there is a small fee for workshops (tallers) and the tastings (catas), which need to be booked in advance.**

Protur Chef was first held in 2017 and successfully repeated in 2018 and 2019. The pandemic put the brakes temporarily on this event but it’s back with an enhanced programme for 2022. As before, the venue for the weekend is the 5-star Protur Biomar Gran Hotel & Spa in Sa Coma.

The Culinary Contest at Protur Chef

Some 300 culinary students went through the selection process for this year’s Protur Chef. Eighteen finalists, representing 15 cookery schools from 13 cities across Spain, will be at the stoves on the professional stage, cooking and presenting their dishes to the judging panel. Eight of these students are from the Balearics. Cameras capture the action which is shown on giant screens for the audience.

Protur Chef Kids

The weekend also includes a competition for budding junior chefs, and I’ve loved seeing how enthusiastic and creative these children can be. The weekend also has children’s workshops for decorating tartlets, making wraps, and the popular Spanish cake decorated with sweets (tarta de chuches).

Other Events for Foodies

The Protur Chef weekend also offers workshops, tastings, show cookings, conferences, some special paired dinners, and a very tempting Gastronomic Market of Balearic products on Saturday (10-20h) and Sunday (10-16h).

Show cookings include chefs Marta Rosselló of Sal de Cocó (Forgotten Fish – Saturday 11h); William Tétard of Ses Rotges (The Art of Moulding Chocolate – Saturday 17h); and Tomeu Martí of the excellent Arume restaurant in Palma (Fusing Japan with Mallorca – Sunday 12:30h)

New for Protur Chef 2022

Two well-known chefs are behind Protur Chef: Tomeu Caldentey (whose restaurant Tomeu Caldentey Cuiner is also in Sa Coma) and Koldo Royo, who is an entertaining master of ceremonies. This year they’ve added new elements including the Cullerot Daurat (Golden Spoon) awards (presentation on Friday at 19:30h), and Protur Chef Celebrities, in which eight celebrities will have their knowledge of cooking put to the test. During this event there’ll be a charity draw with many prizes, for the benefit of the Aproscom Foundation in Manacor.

Find Out More

**Check out the full programme for Protur Chef 2022 here. Next weekend’s event promises to be a good reason to visit Sa Coma in Mallorca. A highly recommended weekend for foodies.

For more information about food, drink, and hotels in Mallorca, follow eatdrinksleepmallorca on Facebook.

©Jan Edwards 2022