Fans of Japanese cuisine have plenty of choice these days when eating out in Palma de Mallorca. I’m a big fan of Japanese cuisine and it took little to persuade me to try Kasui Japanese Grill and Cocktail Bar, in the regenerated area of Sa Gerreria. Once a somewhat shady red-light district, Sa Gerreria is now safe to walk around at night and is home to an increasing number of trendy restaurants and bars.
One of these is Kasui Japanese Grill and Cocktail Bar, which opened in Palma’s trendy Plaça Raimundo Clar in September 2019. Owners Paco García Sánchez and Miki Cerdá launched their project on the back of their international restaurant experience.
Paco worked in London for six years. He was at Lima Restaurant with the chef Virgilio Martínez (owner of Restaurant Central in Peru); Lima was the first Peruvian restaurant in Europe to gain a Michelin star (in 2014). Paco also worked at the Japanese restaurant Roka in London, as bar manager for their cocktail bar Shochu Lounge, and opened the company’s Roka Mayfair and, in Miami, ETARU Las Olas.
Chef Miki has worked for the Sheraton and Jumeirah hotel groups, and in Barcelona’s former Hotel Omm (now known as Sir Victor Hotel), and at London’s Roka. He also spent time working in Japan and Singapore.
From the moment you arrive, these two Mallorcan friends’ international experience is evident in the high standards of hospitality, food, and drinks.
Eat it, drink it, share it
On entering Kasui Japanese Grill and Cocktail Bar, you see a neon sign on the wall, reading, ‘Eat it, drink it, share it.’ The décor has something of a red vibe, which gives it a womb-like cosiness. Single tables line one wall, which faces the bar and open-kitchen counter, behind which Paco and Miki and his fellow chef Álvaro Busquets work their magic.
Miki is master of the ‘robata’ – the Japanese-style charcoal grill – and Paco mixes the excellent cocktails. A small alarm bell went off in my head when I saw the open grill. Would our clothes reek of cooking when we left?
We were remembering an evening when we went to a concert in Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, after eating in a nearby Japanese teppanyaki restaurant. It was a delicious and entertaining experience (the chef was a whizz with a knife), but we didn’t appreciate how much the cooking smells had permeated our hair and clothes until we took our seats in Symphony Hall. The twitching nostrils of the well-dressed couple sitting next to us were due to the lingering odour of cooking as a result of our sitting around the restaurant’s open grill. I’m pleased to report that our Kasui experience didn’t affect us in the same way – no doubt because of a good extraction system.
Paco’s signature Japanese cocktails awaken the taste buds for the delicious flavours to come. All cocktails – Japanese (my Sumida Blossom was divine) and classic – cost a reasonable 7,90€. Beers include bottled Japanese Kirin (3€). Wines are available by glass and bottle and, of course, sake and a range of spirits (some Japanese) are available.
The menu is divided into sections named as follows: Izakaya, Robatayaki (charcoal-grilled dishes), Kushiyaki (grilled skewers), Street Food, and Desserts. As the neon sign says, this is a place for sharing dishes. Two of us shared seven dishes (including dessert).
Every dish at Kasui was packed with flavour and interest and it would be hard to pick favourites. However, I’ll wave the flag for the soft-shell crab tempura with Japanese BBQ sauce (7,90€), the miso-marinated seabass with daikon emulsion (12,90€), and the meltingly tender beef-fillet skewers with spring onion and yakiniku sauce (8,50€). And for some sexy veggie dishes, try the Thai broccoli with sesame and ginger sauce (5,50€) and the lettuce buds with caramelized onion and apple ponzu (4,90€). Here are pictures of some of our dishes.
Our dessert of white chocolate and yuzu ganache with coconut crumble and passion fruit (5€) was both rich and refreshing. And too good to share. Something to bear in mind if you eat at Kasui Japanese grill and cocktail bar.
We had a delicious dinner at Kasui Japanese Grill and Cocktail Bar and shall return soon. Because this Palma restaurant is quite small, I recommend booking your table in advance. After we had booked, we received an email confirmation; on the day of our booking, a reminder, and after our visit, an email to check on our experience. In my humble opinion, Paco and Miki and their small team deserve to do well.
戻ります (which apparently means ‘We’ll return.’)
Good to know: Kasui Japanese Grill and Cocktail Bar is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays; open for dinner only on Wednesdays and Thursdays; for lunch & dinner on Fridays and Saturdays, and for lunch only on Sundays.
Jan Edwards ©2020