Mallorca’s Michelin Stars for 2023
The annual Michelin gala for Spain and Portugal took place last night in Toledo at the Palacio de Congresos ‘El Greco’. This event is when the NEW stars are announced, and the relevant chefs take to the stage to collect their chef’s jacket, embroidered with the Michelin star(s).
Mallorca has one new star for 2023. Javier Hoebeeck was in Toledo to collect his jacket for Fusión 19 in Playa de Muro (part of Grupo Boulevard). Sadly, you can’t eat at the restaurant until next year, as it’s now closed for the winter.
Mallorca retained all the stars from 2022, of which four are in Palma – each with one star:
DINS Santi Taura
Other Michelin-starred Restaurants in Mallorca
Maca De Castro – Puerto de Alcúdia – one star
Bens d’Avall – Sóller – one star
Andreu Genestra – Capdepera – one star
Es Fum – Costa d’en Blanes – one star
Mallorca’s only two-Michelin-star restaurant is Voro in Canyamel.
Congratulations to all the teams at these Michelin-starred restaurants in Mallorca.
@Jan Edwards 2022
Review of Restaurante 19 by Living Dreams – Santa Maria, Mallorca
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
Review of Dinner at Can Salom, Petra
We’ve eaten a few times at this restaurant in the centre of Petra but, until last week, hadn’t done so since 2019 (pre-Covid). This small town in Mallorca is best known as the birthplace of Fra Juniper Serra, who left Mallorca to set up missions on the west coast of America. He also took some Mallorcan vines with him, thereby planting the seed – so to speak – of California’s famed wine industry.
Petra is well worth a visit for its authentic, agricultural-town vibes. It’s a popular refuelling point for groups of cyclists in the cooler months, when you’ll be dodging bikes and dazzled by brightly coloured Lycra stretched across some bodies that should know better.
On our 2019 visit for dinner at Can Salom, we ate downstairs in the cellar restaurant. This isn’t like some of the cellar restaurants you’ll find in towns such as Inca; this one is light, modern, and decorated with contemporary art rather than the wooden ends of vast wine barrels.
The piano was a hint of something to come. We were there on a quiet night and, after we’d eaten, restaurant director Joan Riera Salom surprised us by sitting down to play the piano and sing.
Be assured that Can Salom isn’t one of those restaurants with cheesy, singing waiters. Tenor Joan Riera Salom – at the head of the restaurant that’s been in the same family since 1969 – studied music from 2008 until 2012 at the Conservatori Superior del Liceu de Barcelona. His fine voice has pleased audiences at concerts in Mallorca.
Dinner at Can Salom in 2022
Unlike some restaurants in Mallorca, Can Salom is fortunate in having local people in its team, which means none of the staff accommodation problems that some Palma restaurants have. Two of the young men who served us were brothers who live in their family home in Petra.
For our latest visit we ate in the square itself. Joan makes a lot of effort to create an appealing ambience at night. Tablecloths, lights on the tables, potted plants, and a variety of standard lamps dotted around create an indoor feel outdoors – enhanced if your table is under one of the attractive trees which create a natural, green ‘ceiling’.
If you want to eat in a village atmosphere on a balmy Mediterranean summer’s night amid the buzz and chatter of local diners as well as visitors, Can Salom in Petra ticks all the boxes.
We shared two tapas/starters. Portions are generous and next time we’ll share only one, to leave space for dessert. We had chipirones (12,50€) and mushroom croquettes (7,50€). The Boss opted for a tasty main of squid-ink tagliatelle with salmon (15,90€) and I had large, grilled prawns with a salad (18,50€). I’d definitely have those again. Delicious.
For price guidance: an Aperol spritz costs 6,50€; a glass of rosado cava, 3,50€; a large bottle of sparkling water (their own), 3,50€, and an Americano coffee, 2€.
Although we hadn’t been for a long time – and it was unlikely that Joan recognised us – we arrived to the warm welcome of an old friend. If we felt royally looked after that night, we soon realised we were in great company: Joan was treating everyone like royalty.
Good to Know
Park in the area around the parish church – Església de Sant Pere – and it’ll take you only three or four minutes to walk to the Plaça del Pare Serra, where you’ll find Can Salom. In summer, most diners eat al fresco on the square, under the stone gaze of the statue of Petra’s most famous son.
Can Salom in Petra is open until November 1st, then closes for a winter break.
©Jan Edwards 2022
Reserve a Table at Mallorca’s La Reserva Rotana
La Reserva Rotana Golf & Wine Resort is a beautiful, rural hotel near Manacor, with a private nine-hole golf course and a helicopter pad. The hotel sits in 200 hectares of land, including the golf course, vineyards, and vegetable garden.
We haven’t stayed in this 5-star hotel for the simple reason that it’s too close to home to justify the expense of paying for an overnight stay. For several reasons, though, we have become fans of La Reserva Rotana’s restaurant Anator.
At the end of May, we had dinner in the restaurant’s cosy courtyard, sheltered from any breezes.
Our next visit was for lunch, by which time it was warm enough to be eating on the spacious, open terrace with its beautiful, bucolic views over Sa Vall – the fertile valley that’s the source of some of the fruit and vegetables sold in the local town. The setting is gorgeous – particularly as the sun sets – and it’s hard to believe you’re so close to busy Manacor.
I feel sorry for chefs working in the intense heat of July and August in Mallorca but, at Anator’s summer terrace, the food is prepared in an open-sided kitchen, which must surely be a more comfortable place to work than some indoor kitchens.
Before 2021, the only time I’d eaten in La Reserva Rotana was for a review I was commissioned to write for a magazine. We didn’t see the bill at the time, having been invited, but imagined the amount would be commensurate with the hotel’s five-star status.
Last year we went to eat there again – partly because it’s our closest restaurant to home and I didn’t want to drive too far. We were surprised to find that Anator offers a set-price, executive menu for lunch and another for dinner. If you’re on a limited budget, it’s good to know how much your meal is likely to cost – although you have to add any drinks you order to your bill. La Reserva Rotana offers its own wines as well as other labels.
We’ve been back to Anator already a few times this year, when lunch costs 29€ for three courses. We had a choice of two starters and three mains (one of which was veggie); there was no choice for dessert, but cherries and lemon sorbet worked for me. These were our choices, and for a five-star hotel restaurant, I think the value for the cost was fair.
Dinner is a three-course affair (with no choices) at 49€. Of course, you can also order à la carte – which we did on our last visit for dinner. These were a couple of the dishes we chose then.
Easy and signposted access from Manacor, with ample parking space.
Good service and tasty, well-presented dishes.
Other benefits include being able to combine lunch and golf; arrive by helicopter (oh, I wish), and combine your visit with a horse-riding excursion locally with the wonderful people and horses of Naturacavall
Small niggle: restaurant prices on the website are not up to date.
©Jan Edwards 2022
Review of Übeck Restaurant in Manacor
Javier Hoebeeck – who’s the chef behind the culinary creations at the Playa de Muro restaurants Fusion 19 and Gaikan – is the owner of the eatery Übeck in Manacor. Fusion 19 is on my list of restaurants in Mallorca I’d like to try, but the 80€ per head price tag for what does look like a fabulous tasting menu means we’ll have to save our visit for a special occasion.
Javier’s Übeck restaurant in Manacor is an affordable, if different, alternative, as we discovered recently when we went for lunch on a whim.
Übeck is located on Manacor’s Avenguda d’es Torrent. It’s not the smartest street in Manacor but it has the advantage of ample street parking (metered), which is ideal if you don’t want to walk too far to a restaurant in the sizzling summer heat. Übeck stands out for its bright exterior signage in yellow and black, so it’s easy to find.
The Interior of Übeck
Contemporary, clean, light, and attractive sum the interior up well. Übeck is quite small, seating around 20 people at the most. The colours yellow and black are used again in the décor.
Most of the cooking/plating is done behind the bar/counter, so diners can see what’s going on.
This restaurant has no outdoor seating.
One of the things I love here is that the menu is displayed outside on the wall – in English too – so you can check the offerings before you go in. That’s especially important if you’re a vegetarian.
Übeck uses local produce to create dishes with flavours of the world.
The menu offers eight starters – three of which are suitable for vegetarians. Prices range from 6-9€.
Choose from eight mains (two vegetarian), priced from 8,50 to 14,50€. Four side dishes are each 2,85€.
We shared one portion of six fried chicken gyozas (7,50€) to start. They came with coconut cardamon sauce and home-made sweet chili. Our main courses were udon wok with crispy prawns (13,50€) and spiced veggie shaorma with vegetables and yellow curry (14,50€). Portion sizes are generous.
The two desserts (each 6€) looked appealing but we had no room to eat anything else. Not a problem, as we shall return with larger appetites and looser waistbands.
Übeck also offers a dish of the day (from a choice of two) and a drink for 9,75€ and some specials. Oh, and you can order take-out too – in environmentally friendly packaging.
The wines are displayed on shelves marked with the bottle prices. Some are available by the glass. Bottle prices looked fair: Miquel Gelabert’s Golós Blanc, for example, is 17€. They have a special-edition vermouth and also hidromiel, the fermented honey drink we know in England as mead.
We ate at lunchtime, when there were another five people eating. Gabriel and Cassandra, wearing their bright-yellow, branded T-shirts and black aprons, were in charge of everything. Gabriel took our orders and served our dishes; he’s efficient and pleasant, happy to chat and explain anything unfamiliar.
We’re definitely going back. Good value, a pleasant environment, and tasty dishes. I’ve already decided what I’ll try next time!
©Jan Edwards 2022
Finca Serena Wines Now Available
In 2019 when we first stayed at the 5-star rural hotel Finca Serena in Mallorca, the vines had not long been planted. It was the first time I’d ever thought about the degree of patience required by anyone planting a vineyard.
Last week I was among those invited to try the first wines from these vineyards, at an event hosted by hotel director Álvaro González and sales manager Juan Segura.
The Finca Serena estate, in the heart of Mallorca (near Montuïri), covers more than 40 hectares – 10 of which were planted with the native mallorquín vines Premsal Blanc, Callet, Giró Ros, and Monastrell.
Conditions are favourable for vines grown here: the land is less than 100 metres above sea level; sunshine bathes the vineyard for 300 days a year, and thermal winds cross the land. But those benefits don’t mean this was an easy project: tons of stones and rocks had to be removed from the land before the vines could be planted.
Acclaimed Winemaker for the Project
Winemaker Tomeu Llabrés of Vins Ca’n Verdura in Binissalem is responsible for the resulting organic white and rosé wines. Tomeu’s Ca’n Verdura wines are both 100 per cent Mallorcan and very modern in style – qualities sought for Finca Serena’s wines.
The resulting wines have the designation DO Tierra de Mallorca and are relatively light, with an ABV of 11.5% alcohol. This makes them perfect for summer sipping during the afternoon by the hotel pool or enjoying in the hotel’s restaurant, Jacaranda; the latter is open to the public as well as guests staying in the hotel and offers a BBQ on its terrace every Tuesday and Thursday.
The Finca Serena Rosado is made from Callet grapes; the Blanco from Premsal Blanc. Both are balanced, with a lasting, final subtle acidity. Harvesting was manual, in boxes of no more than 12kg of grapes.
Finca Serena is part of the Único Hotels group in Spain, owned by Pau Guardans –whose dream it was to have a vineyard at his Mallorca hotel. Único will open a second hotel on the island next year.
The group’s other properties – Grand Hotel Central (Barcelona, Hotel Único Madrid, The Principal Madrid, and Mas de Torrent (near Girona) – also offer Finca Serena wines to their guests.
©Jan Edwards 2022
Dreams of Owning a Vineyard in Mallorca?
One hundred and fifty thousand euros won’t buy you the perfect holiday home in Mallorca these days. But if you have dreams of owning a vineyard – or at least a part of one – on this Balearic island and have that kind of spare capital begging to be invested in something Mediterranean, a new project could get your corkscrew twitching.
Montesion Wine Estate
Two well-known names in the world of wine in Mallorca have combined forces: the renowned agronomist and viticulturist Carlos Feliu, whose biodynamic winery Bodega Can Feliu is in Porreres, and Ivan Levy, whose own estate’s biodynamic wine brand Son Naava is a must-try at his gourmet restaurant Fera in Palma.
Their collaboration is the new project Montesion Wine Estate – twenty hectares in one of the best vine-growing areas in Mallorca. The aspiring vineyard owner with 150,000 euros to invest will own the rights to one hectare of vine-growing land for a period of twenty years. They can choose between two grape varieties and either both white or red, or one of each.
The first vintage is harvested after the third year of planting, so a degree of patience greater than my own is required before the investor can drink their own wine. To help alleviate the wait, Montesion Wine Estate will provide a barrel of wine for the first and second year after planting.
No Work Required
All the hard work associated with wine production is carried out for the investor, adhering to biodynamic principles and certified by Demeter. It’s just a matter of the hectare-owner wielding a corkscrew and enjoying their own wine. And the satisfaction of making that vineyard-owning dream come true. Even if it is only a hectare.
©Jan Edwards 2022
Eat a Great Paella in Santa Maria, Mallorca
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
Not Only a Meat Lover’s Restaurant: Lume & Co
The weather was hot, the morning had been busy with appointments, and we were in the southwest of Mallorca – killing time before a mid-afternoon appointment in Port Calanova. Lunch would be the perfect time-filler.
But where to go? Neither of us fancied a busy resort eatery that day. And eating al fresco in 35+ degrees Celsius was definitely not on.
‘Somewhere rural,’ The Boss said, leaving it to me to choose where we’d have lunch. That’s quite a tall order in the southwest, where the coast is a string of popular holiday resorts – especially when time constraints mean you can’t travel too far.
I instantly thought of Olivera, one of the two restaurants at the countryside 5-star hotel Castell Son Claret. But there wasn’t time to get there and back and enjoy a leisurely lunch in its beautiful courtyard. Another time.
Then I remembered Lume & Co – a restaurant we ate in last year but hadn’t yet been back to. And it fitted the ‘rural’ request perfectly.
Lume & Co is located just outside the village of Genova, near Palma, yet feels a world away from urban life. It’s on a large site with ample parking and a rural feel. The building housing the restaurant is said to date back to the 15th century, which adds to its appeal.
We climbed the steps at the side of the building to enter via the courtyard where we’d eaten before. It’s an attractive, large space where we’d happily eat in slightly cooler weather. On this particular day we ate indoors in a beamed hall combining traditional Mallorcan architecture – wooden beams, terracotta ceilings, and stone walls – with attractive Scandi-style interior design. And the essential air conditioning.
Meat is the Speciality
Lume & Co is known best for its high-quality beef dishes – including Galician, Black Angus, and Wagyu. Speciality cuts (for sharing) here are chateaubriand, T-bone, and tomahawk – making it a go-to place for meat lovers.
Four other individual meat dishes include boned-out beef ribs, and pork ribs with home-made BBQ sauce.
Other Dishes too
The menu offers a good choice of starters to share and we opted for crunchy prawn rolls with a spicy sweet sauce of mandarin and tamarind (pictured).
Neither of us eat much meat and we both chose fish mains. The Boss had turbot with potato ragout, green olives, and dill beurre blanc – which he enjoyed. I had tuna tartare in a cucumber and padrón gazpacho, scattered with pistachios. In my opinion it was perfect for a hot day – both refreshing and satisfying. I wish I was having it for my lunch today.
Short of time, we skipped dessert and coffee to scurry off to our next appointment. That lunch at Lume & Co, a short drive from Palma, was the highlight of a busy and hot day out.
Good to Know
- Lume & Co has its current menu (and prices) on its website. I wish a lot more restaurants did this as it avoids any unwelcome surprises when visiting.
- This restaurant has a fireplace, which would further ramp up its appeal in winter.
- Children are welcome and have a choice of three-main course dishes for kids.
- The restaurant offers gluten-free bread on request, which makes me feel that the kitchen understands coeliacs. You’ll also find some vegetarian options.
- Lume & Co is open Tuesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner. Check times during the summer months, as these may vary.
- Lume & Co is the perfect place to escape the bustle and heat of Palma de Mallorca – yet is only a short drive away with no parking hassle. Business lunch anyone?
©Jan Edwards 2022