The town of Santa Maria del Camí in Mallorca is home to a restaurant where you’ll eat a paella that’s memorable for all the right reasons. Va d’Arròs ‘Arrosseria d’Autor’ serves signature paellas and other rice dishes from rice maestro Kike Martí.
A native of Valencia, Kike has become an adopted mallorquín. I first enjoyed his flavourful paellas when he worked at Ponderosa Beach restaurant in Playa de Muro. After he left their kitchen a few years ago, he established Arrózame – a company that offers caterings and showcookings but also training for chefs in the fine art of rice cooking. There’s more to this type of cuisine than you may think. Arrózame now has a presence in Bolivia, Uruguay, Malta, and Spain.
Kike opened Va d’Arròs in autumn 2021 but it was only this week that we tried the place for the first time. It won’t be the last.
The restaurant is in the town centre on the main road through Santa Maria del Camí. If you’re really lucky you may even be able to park outside, but otherwise it’s not too difficult to find parking in a side street. Va d’Arròs is in a strip of bars and eateries, all with tables outside at the front.
We ate indoors, rather than al fresco, so we were able to appreciate the air conditioning and observe the staff at work.
Va d’Arròs has a long bar counter on the left-hand side as you enter the restaurant. The interior is attractive, light, and decorated with contemporary art. The kitchen is at the rear, with a hatch from where the dishes are collected by the servers. The music indoors is pleasant and unobtrusive.
The menu is printed in Spanish, English, and German. There are ten starter-style dishes to share. We had a good portion of battered squid (13€), which wasn’t greasy and kept us occupied while our paella was cooking. The menu has a choice of 8 paellas, 2 fideuas – a paella-like dish but made with fine noodles instead of rice – and three other rice dishes. The paella prices range from 17€-24€ (for lobster paella) – which we thought was good value for the quality.
The service impressed us: professional but friendly. Kike Martí himself brought our paella to the table. It was a generous size and full of delicious flavour, and had a good socorrat – the prized, caramelised part that develops as the paella cooks.
This visit we had no room for dessert, but we had a decent americano coffee before we waddled back to the car, feeling satisfied and determined to come to Santa Maria del Camí for more of Kike Martí’s signature rice dishes again soon.
Good to Know
Va d’Arròs is open every day except TUESDAY.
Dishes are also available to take away.
If rice dishes are not your thing, there are also a few meat and fish dishes, and three stews known as calderetas (priced from 20€-25€). (Like the paellas, these are for a minimum of two people).
Nice touch: super-chilled glass for my Free Damm Tostada alcohol-free beer.
The restaurant’s wine partner is Bodegas Angel (on the outskirts of Santa Maria del Camí). The winery is worth a visit if you’re in the area.
I also recommend a visit to APS Glass & Bar Supply (on the same road as Va d’Arròs, near some traffic lights) if you need new glassware. They stock some super designs and some of the prices are good too.
©Jan Edwards 2022