Four years have passed since Fera Restaurant and Bar opened its doors in Palma de Mallorca. Although we used to eat there quite often, we hadn’t been since before Covid. My last review of Fera on this blog has been replaced by this up-to-date version.
When a French gastronomic-journalist friend wanted me to update my contribution to the Geo Guide Baléares, naming some of my favourite places in Mallorca, it was Fera Restaurant and Bar where we met for lunch. I’d mentioned it as a favourite in the last edition of the guide and it will be in the new one too.
Style & Substance
Fera’s a little tucked away in the heart of Palma de Mallorca but only a few steps away from the street known as Jaime III. The upper floor of the building – with a separate external entrance – is home to the Círculo Mallorquín, the social/cultural organisation founded in the mid-19th century. The 21st-century Fera occupies the ground floor with considerable style, good taste, and fascinating artworks.
Entry is through an attractive, traditional courtyard, and then automatic glass doors, into a foyer. First impressions of the place are of understated luxury and effortless style. Contemporary art is everywhere, against a décor of neutral and warm earthy colours, created by Sheela Levy, one of the owners. It’s not surprising to learn that Sheela is an interior designer and feng shui expert.
Three dining areas are available. As well as the main dining room, you can now eat in the rear garden. When we visited, thunder was rumbling and fat raindrops had started to fall, so we accepted the offer of a table in the Library – an intimate room also available for private dining for up to 16 people.
Simon Petutschnig’s in the Kitchen
I enjoyed executive chef Simon Petutschnig‘s cuisine even before he came to work at Fera – where he is now a partner in the business with Sheela and Ivan Levy. The charming, hardworking Austrian creates cuisine that’s essentially Mediterranean with Asian – particularly Japanese – influences. He’s an amiable, modest chef, who has worked in Michelin-star restaurants, as well as a couple of other restaurants in Palma.
What’s to Eat?
Like a few other restaurants now, Fera no longer offers its great-value lunch menu. A restaurant of this high quality doesn’t need to appeal to people looking for gourmet cuisine at a bargain price. Fera is a fine-dining establishment where discerning diners can choose one of Simon’s exquisite tasting menus or à la carte dishes (which include ingredients such as Wagyu beef, Simmental beef, and Gillardeau oysters).
We opted for the Fera Tasting Menu (69 euros), which was preceded by a flavourful tomato-water ‘tea’ appetiser. I’d like to point out that there is also a vegetarian tasting menu for the same price.
Premium ingredients are one of the reasons for the high standard of cuisine here. For instance, Simon uses sustainable Kvitsøy salmon from Western Norway – considered the finest salmon in the world. Our Kvitsøy salmon tataki dish was accompanied by avocado, ponzu, and mango and was bursting with flavour and freshness. Another example of quality is in the award-winning extra virgin olive oil, made from Arbequina olives grown on the Levy family estate Son Naava, near Montuïri. The luscious Son Naava EVOO is the only Demeter-rated biodynamic oil produced in Mallorca.
Don’t miss the opportunity to choose from Fera’s Coffee Menu, which details aroma-and-tasting notes for each choice. Cuisine as fine as Fera’s deserves a suitable finale – accompanied by irresistible petits fours.
An optional wine pairing (supplement of between 45 and 80 euros) is available for each of the four tasting menus (which include a dinner-only White Truffle menu).
We had wine by the glass, choosing one of the five wines produced with grapes from the Levy family’s Son Naava estate. The award-winning Son Naava Viognier was a deliciously fruity and silky white wine. I hope to drink it again.
As you’d expect in a restaurant of this quality, the service was professional but friendly too, with explanations given at the point of each dish’s delivery. Serving staff are well presented, wear uniforms, and speak English.
Fera Restaurant & Bar in Palma seems to have been elevated to another level since I last visited, making it the perfect choice for gourmet diners seeking a gastronomic experience in Mallorca’s capital. For some people, Fera’s prices may make it a special-occasion-only choice, but what a memorable eating-out occasion it will be!
Fera Restaurant & Bar is open for lunch and dinner from Thursday to Monday.
©Jan Edwards 2021