Lloseta – a small town near Inca, in the Raiguer region of Mallorca – may not be on the travel itinerary of most visitors to the Spanish island, but it does have a few attractions (and, admittedly, a not particularly appealing cement works on the outskirts of town).
Lloseta has a pretty good theatre, and the Renaissance Palacio d’Ayamans, with its impressive gardens. But, for lovers of gastronomy, Lloseta is best-known as the home of the restaurant named after its owner/chef, Santi Taura.
Plenty to smile about
Santi always seems to have a smile on his face – and with good reason: you need to book a table at his restaurant well in advance (although it’s always worth phoning to see if there’s been a cancellation if you have a short-notice urge to eat there). It’s that popular. Santi used to have a cellar restaurant too in Lloseta, but closed it to focus on his place in Carrer Joan Carles I, which seats around 40 diners.
We were among the first to sit in the new area at the back of the restaurant, which has an opaque glass roof and a tiny sliver of enclosed garden at the back. At lunchtime, natural light floods in.
Creative Mallorcan cuisine
Santi Taura’s six-course tasting men costs 33 euros, excluding drinks and VAT (10%), and is available for lunch and dinner. The cuisine is Mallorcan, with the artisan chef’s modern touches, and the menu changes weekly. We began with warm crusty homemade bread (made from the Mallorcan variety of wheat known as xeixa), served with green olives and Santi’s own-brand olive oil, and an amuse-bouche from the kitchen.
There are three starters, then fish, meat and dessert courses. There’s also the option to add a cheese course, but I’ve been reviewing a lot of restaurants recently (Santi Taura was a private visit, unrelated to work) and it doesn’t seem to take long for me to feel full again!
One of my favourite plates comprised seasonal calçots (a type of spring onion, from Cataluña) cooked in a black tempura batter, served with orange, ginger and carrot sauce. But, to be honest, I swooned over every course (the German couple at the next table seemed quite bemused by my enthusiasm). The fish course was turbot; the meat was duck (cooked with celery and chestnuts); the dessert was . . . well, take a look for yourself.
For the high-quality cuisine, excellent service (Santi also came out of the kitchen several times to speak to diners), and reasonably priced wines (including a few New World, as well as Mallorcan and Spanish), eating here is a great experience and one that any gourmet shouldn’t miss. If you’re coming to Mallorca this summer, I’d book your table now . . .
Top tip: Take the train and you’ll be able to enjoy the wine without worrying about drinking/driving. The Palma-Sa Pobla and Palma-Manacor trains both stop at Lloseta (the station before Inca) and, from the station, it’s about a seven-minute walk to Santi Taura. If you’d like to make the most of a meal at Santi Taura, a stay at The Pink Pepper Tree in Lloseta is recommended!
©Jan Edwards 2014