If you like to eat at Michelin-starred restaurants on your travels and have visited Mallorca, chances are you’ve eaten at the excellent Andreu Genestra, named after its chef and proprietor. This restaurant has held one Michelin star since 2015 and much of the delicious creative cuisine is based on produce grown on the land adjoining the rural Hotel Predi de Son Jaumell (Capdepera), where it’s located under Andreu’s arrangement with the hotel owners.
But if your funds won’t stretch to a Michelin-starred splurge, I’d like to recommend the hotel’s other restaurant – also under Andreu’s control. After enjoying dinner there with friends visiting from the UK, we made a return visit recently for an al fresco dinner at Bistro Senzill. Again, we sat on the wisteria-covered terrace, which must look stunning when the climbing plant is in flower (a good excuse to return – not that one is needed!). The bistro is also open for lunch and some dishes are available throughout the afternoon from 12:30-18:30h.
The menu has various sections: ‘Senzill Moment’, ‘Sharing Platters’ (available from 12:30-18:30h), ‘Our Specialities’, ‘Josper Section’, ‘Senzill’s Garden’ and ‘Sweet Sighs’. If that’s not enough choice, check out the ‘Suggestions’ menu and the four-course tasting menu. The varied cuisine should offer something to suit most people, including vegetarians – as you would expect in a hotel that clearly has international appeal.
We started our dinner by sharing a portion of the Lebanese fattoush with marinated red tuna and Mallorcan cheese (15€) and samosas of red shrimp from Cala Rajada with sweet-and-sour yogurt (12€). We had already tucked into a selection of delicious home-made bread, which came with flavoured butter. The fresh-tasting fattoush was a generous portion and we had three well-filled samosas.
Bistro Senzill has a tandoor oven and, as a fan of good Indian cuisine, I couldn’t resist the tandoori sea bass with biryani rice (26€), which deliciously surpassed my expectations. (Andreu Genestra loves spices and, during his last visit to India, must have boosted the country’s spice trade before returning to Mallorca). Our very good dinner ended with us sharing the goat’s cheese ice cream with spicy honey and carrot cake (6€).
Wines & spirits
If you’re not driving, I’d recommend a pre-meal G&T, made from the cleverly named gin Ginestra (12€). It’s made by the Mallorcan drinks company Tunel (which makes the famous green liqueur known as ‘hierbas’) to the recipe created by Andreu and his knowledgeable restaurant maître d’ David.
The wine list at Bistro Senzill features wines from Mallorca and the Peninsula, with organic and biodynamic wines marked as such. Helpfully, the white wines are divided into categories: fruity, light, & dry; intense & perfumed, and structured & aged in oak barrels. The reds are categorised as: young, fruit, & fresh; medium body, and powerful, rich & aged in oak barrels.
You may not be surprised to learn that the enterprising Andreu also has his own wines (and vines). The four wines on the list when we visited were Genestral Blanc, Genestral Rosé, Genestral Negre Jove, and Genestral Negre Criança. With the exception of the latter, these are also available by the glass (5€). If you eat at Andreu’s excellent-value Palma restaurant Aromata, you’ll find his wines there too. (By the way, a three-course lunch at Aromata costs 15,50 euros – which includes bread and a glass of wine, beer, or water. For the quality, it is a genuine bargain).
Worth a return (or first) visit
As well as the relaxing ambience, attractive setting, and good food and drink, we had pleasant efficient service at Bistro Senzill; it all added up to one of those evenings that stick in the memory for all the right reasons. The hotel (including its two restaurants) is due to close mid-November for the winter break, so there’s still time to try Andreu Genestra‘s Bistro Senzill this season in Mallorca.
Prices correct at time of writing.
©Jan Edwards 2017