On the day we moved to Mallorca, in April 2004, we ate lunch out at a Manacor restaurant (which no longer exists). Some people we knew on the island had recommended the place, which we discovered on arrival was astonishingly cheap. That was a ‘red flag’ moment for me.
After eating our lunch, the expression ‘one man’s meat is another man’s poison’ came to mind. We certainly weren’t poisoned, but that first-day lunch made me wonder if we’d ever eat the standard of food in Mallorca that we’d been able to enjoy back in Oxfordshire.
And then there was Marc Fosh
We needn’t have worried: we soon discovered the cuisine of British chef Marc Fosh. Back then, he was working in a rural hotel, at the helm of a restaurant that had gained its Michelin star in 2003. We stayed several times at this rural hotel for special occasions and it was only because we knew Marc would be cooking our dinner.
Marc has gained a great reputation in the years since he left the countryside to start his own business. He’s also been responsible for developing some of the young chefs in Mallorca who have since opened their own successful restaurants. Now a gastronomic destination, Mallorca has no shortage of great restaurants these days.
Dinner in Palma
Marc’s eponymous restaurant in Palma has had one Michelin star since 2014. It’s located in the Hotel Convent de la Missió – a 17th-century building with a distinctly contemporary interior.
We dined there recently, courtesy of very dear friends in Oxfordshire who generously sent us a Marc Fosh gift voucher at Christmas for use when the restaurant reopened for the 2022 season.
To enable us to enjoy the restaurant’s excellent wines with our dinner, we booked a night’s stay at the 4-star Art Hotel Palma – which was more suitable for our budget than the 5-star Convent de la Missió (in which we have yet to stay).
Art Hotel Palma (which is a small, friendly hotel in a convenient location) doesn’t serve lunch or dinner, so we didn’t feel guilty about going out to eat. The walk from the hotel to the restaurant is just a few minutes, and was easily doable even wearing high heels (my first time in those for a long while).
Over winter, Marc Fosh Restaurant renovated its interior décor with some artistic touches. We sat in the atrium on this occasion and found the restaurant almost full when we arrived for our table at 8.30pm.
Below I’ve pictured only one (mackerel and pea tartlet with summer savoury) of the four small dishes that constitute ‘Los Snacks’ – a tantalising start to dinner. The other seven plates from the menu are pictured, along with the cheese course – which was an optional extra. Three different petits fours were served afterwards.
Marc’s creative cuisine is contemporary Mediterranean, based on seasonal, local produce, and some less common ingredients – such as citrus albedo. The latter (I admit I had to google it) is the white part inside the skin of citrus fruit, which is nutritionally beneficial. Having read about it, I won’t be removing it painstakingly when peeling citrus fruit in the future.
The attractive presentation adds to the enjoyment of Marc’s food. Every dish was flavourful, interesting, and had the ‘wow’ factor.
If you’re curious, the four dishes of ‘Los Snacks’ were: Mackerel and pea tartlet with summer savory (pictured); Tomato and black olive Madeleine; Wild mushroom donut with truffle and macadamia snow, and Chicken skin crisp with liquid Caesar salad.
Wines at Marc Fosh
This restaurant is fortunate to have one of the Balearics’ best-known sommeliers. Head sommelier Giorgia Scaramella is Italian and was born in one of the country’s famous wine regions, Friuli Venezia Giulia. She likes to say, “wine is in my blood.”
Giorgia is charming as well as highly knowledgeable. As well as the wine we chose ourselves from the list, she suggested the perfect glass of wine to pair with the foie course and another to accompany the cheeses. Both were superb.
We booked our table online and, if you want to eat at Marc Fosh Restaurant this summer, I recommend you book as soon as possible – even before you arrive on the island. This is a recommendation I’d make for any high-end restaurants this season, as Mallorca is expecting a busy tourist season.
The day before our dinner, we received an email with a copy of the menu asking us to confirm our booking was still required and also requesting details of any dietary issues. I once had a bad experience eating snails and asked that we didn’t have the snail jus with the lamb. After we’d settled ourselves at our table, one of the servers who attended to us confirmed that we wouldn’t have the snail jus – without us having to mention it first.
As you would expect in a Michelin-star restaurant, service is professional but friendly, and the servers explain each dish as they bring it to the table. Faultless service, in fact.
You can probably tell that we had a memorable dinner – thanks to the generosity of our wonderful friends Duncan and Kristina. You can’t go wrong if gifting a Marc Fosh voucher!
I mentioned Marc Fosh Restaurant twice in my novel Daughter of Deià – as a mark of my respect and liking for this chef/patron and his establishment. This novel – featuring a radio presenter’s mission to find her unknown father, and her saving of a cat refuge in peril in Mallorca – is available to purchase in e-book and paperback formats here.
@Jan Edwards 2022