UPDATE JUNE 2020: Zaranda – which had 2 ‘Sols’ will not be reopening at Castell Son Claret
Two restaurants in Mallorca are celebrating, after the Guía Repsol awarded its ‘Sols’ for 2020. One new ‘Sol’ was awarded to DaiCa in Llubí and to VORO at the Park Hyatt Mallorca, in the northeast resort of Canyamel.
The Guía Repsol is Spain’s answer to the famous red book, the Michelin Guide. The Guía Repsol website explains that ‘Sols’ (Suns) are “prestigious distinctions awarded to the best restaurants and chefs. A symbol of culinary excellence demonstrating Repsol’s connection with and support for Spanish gastronomy.”
The awards were announced and presented on February 24th in San Sebastian, following inspections of more than 1,300 restaurants during 2019.
For 2020, the guide awarded a total of 102 new ‘Sols’. In total across Spain there are 39 restaurants with three ‘Sols’; 152 establishments with two ‘Sols’ and 354 restaurants with one ‘Sol’.
We’ve eaten at DaiCa quite a few times, but I was shocked to realise that the last time was in September 2018 (Really? Time flies by). We’ll be paying a well-overdue return visit very soon.
If you’ve never visited the village of Llubí, not far from Inca, you’ve missed the treat that is eating at DaiCa – a restaurant and petit hotel, owned and run by maître and sommelier David Ribas and his wife, chef Caterina Pieras.
Both have worked in several Michelin-starred restaurants in Catalunya and, before they opened DaiCa, in 2012, Cati was head chef at Es Vi restaurant at the Castillo Hotel Son Vida.
Their combined experience shows at DaiCa, where the cuisine is based on a respect for local, seasonal, and organic produce. Cati’s inspired dishes are rooted in the cuisine of Mallorca and Catalunya, using modern techniques and artistic presentation.
DaiCa restaurant is located within two back-to-back sympathetically restored stone townhouses, joined by a delightful courtyard with tables for outside dining.
Until the end of March, Daica is open Thursday to Sunday, but website has details of which days are open for lunch/dinner/both.
I wrote the following information last summer after dinner in the restaurant; it reflects VORO – a seasonal restaurant – at the time.
When the smart restaurant VORO opened in 2019 at the 5-star Park Hyatt Mallorca, in Mallorca’s northeast resort of Canyamel, there was no doubt that the cuisine would be exceptional. This fine-dining restaurant has a talented young team in the kitchen, led by chef Álvaro Salazar. He previously worked in Puerto Pollensa at Argos, which was still in its debut year when Michelin first awarded it a coveted star. VORO was awarded a Michelin star for 2020.
The Andalusian chef’s culinary awards include Chef of the Year 2017, from the association of Balearic gastronomy journalists, and Cocinero del Año 2018 at the Feria Alimentaria de Barcelona. Álvaro describes his cuisine, based on high-quality seasonal local products and showing Andalusian influences, as free spirited.
Álvaro and his entire team left Argos to open VORO, where the environment better reflects the high standard of gastronomy and service. The dining room’s décor is sophisticated but unfussy and comfortable. Modern art hangs on the walls; the floor is of dark wood and attractive hydraulic tiles, and the lighting is stylish. The main dining room seats around sixteen diners and only one table was vacant on the Tuesday we visited. A huge table in a separate area is ideal for groups of up to 12 diners.
Food and wine
Open for dinner only, the adults-only VORO offers a choice of two well-balanced tasting menus: the 11-course VORO and 15-course DEVORO. Each dish is exquisitely presented and explained at the table by a member of the pleasant service team. Restaurant director Mario Wolgast is charming and speaks perfect English. He explained that the menus evolve with the seasonality of the ingredients.
VORO offers around 100 wine references in an impressive list; the intention is to more than double this number. Can’t choose? Opt for one of the two well-chosen wine pairings.
Prices here do reflect the luxurious setting and high standard of gastronomy and service, but if you’re looking to impress someone, are celebrating a special occasion, or relish memorable dining experiences, dinner at VORO ticks all the boxes.
VORO reopens on March 14th, 2020.
Mallorca’s other ‘Sols’
The following have retained their existing ‘Sols’:
3 ‘Sols’ – Maca de Castro.
2 ‘Sols’: Andreu Genestra, Béns d’Avall, El Olivo, La Fortaleza, DINS Santi Taura, Zaranda.
1 ‘Sol’: Aromata, Casa Manolo, Ca na Toneta, Can Toni Moreno, Es Racó de Teix, and Marc Fosh. NEW: DaiCa & VORO.
Jan Edwards ©2020