Today, July 1st, is a big day for one couple in Mallorca—opening their bistro to customers for the first time. When several restaurants on the island have still not reopened after the end of Spain’s state of alarm, opening a new business may seem a brave move, but Raft 19 Bistro had been slated to open before Covid-19 scuppered plans.
Visit Cala Gamba
Raft 19 Bistro finally opens today in Cala Gamba, on the outskirts of Palma de Mallorca. I have to confess that, although I have an intimate knowledge of Mallorca (having lived here for 16 years), I had not been to Cala Gamba before. This small port is between Ciudad Jardín and Can Pastilla and is a lot quieter than both those places, appearing to be mainly residential in nature.
We managed to park (free of charge) on a side street when we visited last week. Owners Doro (manager) and chef Murray invited us and a few others to a media lunch to showcase the food and the wines they’re offering.
Raft 19 Bistro has plenty of space, filled with natural light from large windows, and offers views of the sea, just across the road. Doro is an accomplished artist and has used her skills to create a relaxed and attractive interior.
A Culinary Pedigree
Bistros may be all about casual eating, but New Zealander Murray has an impressive culinary pedigree, having owned a group of restaurants of different types in Australia and been a superyacht chef, cooking for a VIP owner.
His food is Mediterranean and all made on the premises. Murray takes inspiration for his dishes from his visits to market, where he chooses the freshest of seasonal local produce. His cuisine isn’t fussy, but is honest and usually based on no more than four ingredients. Those ingredients are allowed to shine in Murray’s kitchen.
Chef treated us to an array of his dishes (portions of some of the dishes pictured at this occasion were smaller than usual, to enable us to try more dishes). We also tried excellent fish and chips with tartar sauce, twice-baked Gruyere cheese souffle (another must-try), and Grana Padano cheese with Soller apricot-orange jam (Doro makes the latter).
Good Food Needs Good Wines
Doro and Murray work with two local purveyors of wines and have a choice of Spanish and Mallorcan wines to please wine enthusiasts. Manual Perez from Microvinos was at our media lunch to showcase some of the wines you’ll be able to enjoy over a relaxed lunch or dinner (or brunch at weekends) at Raft 19 Bistro.
Raft 19 Bistro is open from Wednesday-Sunday for lunch and dinner, but you can also come for coffee from 11am.
Reserve your table at Raft 19 Bistro by phoning (+34) 971 946 344 and see their website for more information.