New: Farm-to-Table Cuisine at Terra Restaurant, Mallorca
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.
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!
British Cuisine with a Twist at Market Kitchen, Palma, 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Review of Lunch at Senseless Art Gallery & Cafe, 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.
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