Our restaurant dining this summer has largely been away from the tourist hotspots. We’ve been trying restaurants in towns, villages, and rural locations, in the hope of securing a short-notice reservation – because we tend to be spontaneous with our eating-out decisions. And in a busy summer like this one, it can be easier to secure a table in eateries outside Palma de Mallorca and away from the coast.
Last night we went to the town of Algaida to try Sa Casa Mallorquina for the first time. Previously an Italian restaurant, it’s now under the ownership of Monique Gueriaux, a delightful French lady. Monique re-opened Sa Casa Mallorquina as a gastronomic restaurant some four months ago, serving Mediterranean cuisine with good-quality ingredients.
Sa Casa Mallorquina is what it says: a Mallorcan house with traditional features you’d expect in a property dating from the 19th century. The house has been renovated with great care, and the attractive décor reflects Monique’s personality and warm hospitality.
Tables are available in several rooms in the house – one of which is perfect for private dining. What a beautiful space to celebrate an occasion with family or friends. Another room has a fireplace; if used in Mallorca’s cooler months, I’m sure this will be a big attraction.
We ate in the rear courtyard garden, which accommodates around 20 diners. It’s an atmospheric place to enjoy a meal, with well-spaced tables, comfortable chairs, attractive lighting, and unobtrusive background music.
The Owner, Monique Gueriaux
I couldn’t resist asking Monique how she came to buy a restaurant in Algaida. She told us she’d lived a long time in Mexico with her husband, who was quite a lot older than her. When he sadly died four years ago, Monique returned to Europe intending to start a business.
A former dancer and artist, with a passion for interior design (evident in this house), music, and catering, Monique knew she wanted to open a restaurant. In preparation, she studied at Ferrandi Paris, School of Culinary Arts – one of the leading professional training schools in France.
Mallorca – and the handsome 19th-century Algaida house – “seduced” her, she said. The dynamic Monique has plenty of ideas for the future at Sa Casa Mallorquina, and we look forward to seeing them come to fruition.
Chef Cristian Rivera Rodríguez
Mallorcan chef Cristian Rivera Rodríguez is at the helm in the kitchen. He may still be young – under thirty – but he’s come to Sa Casa Mallorquina with some useful experience. He’s worked at Hotel Valldemossa with Ricardo Rossi; gained three months’ experience at Michelin-starred Cliff House Hotel in County Waterford, Ireland, and continued his development by working on the Peninsula at restaurants with Michelin stars/Repsol ‘Sols’. In Mallorca, he also worked at Andreu Genestra’s Aromata in Palma. The influences are obvious in his cuisine.
Sa Casa Mallorquina offers two tasting menus:
Menu Son Amagat – 45€ – comprises six plates (with choice of meat or fish as principal dish) and accompanied by artisanal xeixa wheat and seed breads with olive oil from Son Catiu.
Menu Can Borrás – 65€ – nine plates (including fish and meat, and two desserts), accompanied by breads as above.
If your appetite isn’t for tasting menus and you prefer a three-course meal, you can choose individually priced dishes, à la carte-style, from the tasting menus.
Drinks are not included in the above prices; as a guideline, we had a tasty verdejo at 5€ by the glass. Features I particularly liked: hot food was served on hot plates or dishes; the moreish bread; and an excellent choice of Brodies’ infusions for those who can’t tolerate coffee in the evenings.
Paula – who had her professional training in London – heads the service, assisted by Isaac. Both were pleasant, efficient, and professional, and Paula explained each dish to us as it arrived.
Sa Casa Mallorquina made a good impression on me before we’d even arrived. I phoned during Friday afternoon to book a table for that night. Getting no reply, I decided to try again later but was pleased to receive a call back from the restaurant; they had checked for missed calls.
We loved Sa Casa Mallorquina and shall return. I always appreciate being able to eat dishes I would be unlikely to dream up and create in my own kitchen.
Good to Know
Algaida is just off the Ma15, so if you’re coming from either the Palma or Manacor directions, it’s an easy drive on a good dual carriageway. Once you leave the Ma15, follow the signs for centre.
Sa Casa Mallorquina is in the centre of Algaida, a short walk from the main square, Sa Placeta. Aim for the parish church of San Pedro y San Pablo. The restaurant is right opposite the main doors of the church.
A large, free public car park is about five minutes’ walk from the restaurant.
Opening hours now are Tuesday-Saturday 7pm-10.30pm (closed Sunday and Monday). Expect lunch service to be added out of season.
Their website is still under construction but you can follow Sa Casa Mallorquina on Instagram and Facebook.
Fan of Art? Don’t Miss …
Algaid’Art is happening on Saturday, 10th and Sunday, 11th September. There’ll be art exhibitions and music in locations around the centre of the town.
Head to Can Sant Café (Sa Plaça, 11) to see the superb Toros exhibition of paintings of bulls by the Algaida artist Sylvia Baker de Perkal – who will be present on Saturday evening from 6pm-10pm.
Times: Saturday 6pm-10pm & Sunday 10am-1pm
Sylvia Baker de Perkal was a fascinating guest on my podcast ‘Living in Rural Mallorca’. Hear what she had to say by clicking here.
©Jan Edwards 2022