The end of October marks the close of the main holiday season in Mallorca. With a collective sigh of relief and exhaustion, many restaurants and hotels shut their doors until the following spring. The 2022 tourist season has been very good, enhanced by the direct flights to Mallorca from Newark, USA, introduced in early summer.
This year, some hospitality establishments have extended their season slightly, which means it’s not too late to eat lunch or dinner at Restaurante 19 – located within the Swiss-owned lifestyle/furniture store Living Dreams, in Santa Maria del Camí.
We’ve had both lunch and dinner there recently; (no, not on the same day, although in my time reviewing restaurants for an annual guide, that did happen).
I reviewed this restaurant for a magazine some years ago but knew there had since been changes. During a chance encounter, the entrepreneurial restaurateur of Soul Sea Group – who operates four eateries in Porto Cristo – told me he’d done consultancy work for Restaurante 19 and that the experience there was now ‘at another level’; a level in which he knew I’d be interested.
We took visitors there for lunch in September and returned ourselves for a special-occasion dinner last week – when the evening was still warm enough to eat al fresco in the garden.
Tables are available indoors, on a covered, raised terrace, or sitting in the verdant garden. Driving through Santa Maria’s main street, you’d never guess that such a glorious outdoor space was there. During the day, this garden’s a haven from the busy road, where you sit among trees and plants, surrounded by stylish decorative items for the home and garden that would require some serious flexing of a credit card.
On both visits, we sat at the long, dark-wooden table that’s the centrepiece of the garden. The table is large enough that it can be shared with other diners without feeling as though you’re sharing. For our dinner visit, we initially chose a cosy table for two, but the lighting in that area meant we could barely see each other let alone read the menu. We moved to one end of the long table.
Asian flavours dominate the menu of tempting dishes. Prices are higher than in other Santa Maria restaurants, but the quality/price ratio is fair, taking every aspect of the experience into account.
The assorted bread rolls with olives and alioli come with the welcome addition of curry and coconut hummus – delicious. You pay 4,80€ for this, but the bread’s very good and that hummus is so moreish.
Of the dishes I tried this year, I’d flag up the homemade free-range chicken croquetas, flavoured with Madras curry and dried apricots. You get four for 11,50€ and if I could buy these by the dozen to take home, I probably would.
Next, the yellow Thai curry with line-caught hake, shiitakes, shallots, snow peas, confit tomato, and peanuts. It comes with a side of rice and is 28,90€. The generous piece of hake was perfectly cooked; I am salivating as I recall eating this deliciously spicy dish.
We found the service professional and pleasant. For our first visit, we were with someone who has a serious allergy to anything pork-related but our server was helpful and our companion felt confident in her menu choices.
Good to Know
The 2022 season is almost over for Restaurant 19 by Living Dreams; in November, opening is limited to the following dates:
Saturday, November 5th – lunch and dinner
Sunday, November 6th – lunch only
Saturday, November 12th – lunch and dinner
Sunday, November 13th – lunch only
The Restaurante 19 menu includes a section of dishes for younger diners.
The town has a popular market on Sunday mornings; if you want to combine a market visit with lunch at Restaurante 19, be sure to book a table.
Santa Maria del Camí is one of the towns served by the Mallorca train network, SFM. Take the train and you’ll save yourself the hassle of searching for a space to park the car.
@Jan Edwards 2022