Santa Catalina and dinner at Puro Chef, Palma de Mallorca

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Our last evening in Palma I wanted to check out the Santa Catalina neighbourhood, just west of the town centre. Around five years ago this area was a bit run down and it started transforming itself into a trendy neighbourhood with lots of restaurant and bars. The vibe is similar to London’s Soho (bar the sex shops) or New York’s NoLIta but smaller. I really liked this cosy part of town and it felt much less touristy than central Palma.

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We walked around looking for a nice restaurant and maybe a bar to have a drink before dinner. The choice of both restaurants and bars was wide with both Indian, Japanese, Lebanese and of course Spanish.

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Outside this cool painted bar people were drinking on the pavement, just like in London.

We found a cosy café/bar/casual restaurant where we had a glass of wine and were offered homemade poppadums and mango chutney before heading a few doors down the street to Puro Chef for dinner.

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Walking past earlier that evening the German article in the window, about the gourmet chef, caught my eye and after looking at the menu I was convinced we’d experience some great cooking here.

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The nice looking menu was divided into different sections; one with gourmet pinchos, one with tapas to share, another with main courses (quite a few with Italian influences) and of course another with puddings. We were seduced by the pinchos and started there and they were so lovely we didn’t really branch out into maincourses or tapas (bar one).

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The amouse bouchen was fried Globe artichoke with foie gras which we loved. Just a hint of foie gras and crispy on the outside.

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The potato with prawn and tartar sauce was amazing and beautifully plated.

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Perfectly cooked scallop with potato and bell pepper purée with root crisps was another hit – so delicious!

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The only tapas dish we tried was the prawns (surprise) that were dipped in batter and deep-fried until crisp. The shells were so soft we ate it to not miss out on the crispy goodness. These were lovely too, but not as good as the pinchos!

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The pig’s trotters with fried quail’s egg and pickled pepper were full of umami and utterly delicious!

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These croquetas with morcilla and peppadew peppers served with pear jam were magnificent. The croquetas were of the perfect consistency; a soft and gooey on the encased in a crisp coating. And the sweetness of the pear worked well with the heat from the peppers.

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Fried cod with mayonnaise and herb oil was also very good.

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But these crispy pork rolls were to die for. Crispy, porky little rolls with some shredded vegetables and bathed in the most delicious sauce we had to order quite a few of these!

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We really enjoyed our evening here! The interior is modern and laid back, the waitresses sweet and very helpful and the chefs eager to impress. Not only were they good at creating interesting flavour combinations, they also had the techniques down, everything was cooked to perfection.

I expected good food in Palma and I am glad I got to have so much of it. And I utterly adore the modern tapas (which we see a lot of in London too); small plates created with classic ingredients but with some kind of added twist. Both Tapa Negra and Tast serve similar dishes in Palma and these three (Puro Chef included) restaurants really stood out as my favourites.

Back in London since two weeks I still dream of the amazing pinchos, WHERE can I find some here?!

Puro Chef, c/ Sant Magí 66, Palma De Mallorca, Spain

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