Lunch at La Bodeguilla, Palma de Mallorca

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Although I loved going back to two favourites, I also wanted to make sure to try a new (for me) restaurant in Palma. La Bodeguilla was high on my list and open on Sundays (result!), so I booked a table online for lunch.

I instantly took a liking to the place. Impossible not to when you’re greeted by a huge jamon ready for carving! The interior is cosy and semi-formal. It has white table runners and napkins but still feels relaxed. And walking into the restaurant you can sneak a peek into the kitchen behind the bar, which further adds to the relaxed ambiance.

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Seated we had a look at the menu and ordered some tapas to share and received an amuse bouche almost immediately after ordering the food. I actually don’t know what it was, but the creamy concoction was very nice!

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We had some classic tapas that were very well executed. The croquetas with jamon and ceps were full of flavour, but not as perfectly delicate as at Puro Chef. Still very nice though!

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The jamon bellota, was of course melt in the mouth delicious. I wish we had ham like this more readily available in the UK.

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The calamari was really nice too, the batter was light and very crispy and the fish very tender.

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The pan con tomate on granary bread was nice but I must say that I prefer it on white bread, that way the tomato make more of an impression, and doesn’t have to compete with the bread.

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The patatas bravas were also well executed, full of flavour and both sauces were spot on.

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We also had one proper cooked tapas; pig’s cheeks that were extraordinarily tender. They came with a jus and root vegetable puré which worked really well with the cheeks.

I will definitely come back to La Bodeguilla. The menu was a good mix of traditional tapas and more exciting ones and everything we had was cooked really well. It’s not as easy at it seems to cook simple food perfectly.

La Bodeguilla, Carrer de Sant Jaume, 3, 07012 Palma, Illes Balears, Spain

Two favourites in Palma revisited

During the last few years I have come to love Spanish cuisine. In London there are plenty of authentic and nice tapas around, at Barrafina, Barrica and the Saltyard group for example.

Palma has plenty of nice restaurants and it was especially two I couldn’t wait to go back to; Tast and Puro Chef.

Tast

On Saturday we had lunch at Tast in the middle of the town centre. There are cold pinxtos at the bar to pick yourself and warm pinxtos and tapas on the menu to order. Further in there is a proper restaurant serving more filling maincourses but I prefer the all day bar menu. We ordered some pan con tomato because the neighbouring table had some and it looked amazing. And it was. Of the cold pinxtos we had crab mayonnaise with smoked salmon, white fish with pickled pepper and fried quail’s egg and beef with tomato and mayonnaise. The marinated camembert (looks like a fish tartar) was the only one we didn’t like – the others were amazing! From the menu we ordered a crab and gulas (mini eels) gratin each (so so good!), a kebab with monkfish, king prawn and peppers and a mini toastie with the local sombrassada sausage and cheese. All great!

I like the fact that Tast is unpretentious, nice but not fancy and that the food is consistently good. Everything is well-cooked but simple and you can pop in for a proper dinner or just a glass of wine and nibbles. The wines, by the way, are very good and very reasonably priced!

Tast, C/ Unión, 2, 07001 Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Puro chef

Another afvourite is Puro Chef in Santa Catalina. Here they take pinxtos to gourmet level, serve nice tapas, proper maincourses and puddings. I never seem to be able to order anything other than the amazing gourmet pinxtos and a few tapas to share.

The jamon iberico croquetas were the best I have ever had (and I have sampled my fair share). They came out piping hot, were incredibly delicate and creamy and of course the flavour was spot on. How they were able to deep-fry anything so soft is a mystery to me! The amuse bouche was a creamy concoction with tuna and eggs served on sourdough. Of the gourmet pinxtos we both had the scallops with paprika purée which was delicious. Laura had the anchovies and lime toast full of salty goodness that she really liked and I couldn’t help but order the crispy suckling pig with Spanish sauce that I fell in love with last time. And it was just as delicious as I remembered. But the star of the evening was a brand new pinxtos the waitress recommended to us. Octopus with potato foam. It was utterly amazing. The foam was rich and light at the same time and had the most amazing flavour and hidden underneath were pieces of wonderful octopus.

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

Postcard from Palma, Mallorca

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I spent the weekend in lovely Palma with 30C, clear blue skies and lounging by the pool mostly. My friend Laura had signed up for the half marathon and convinced me to keep her company for the weekend. And easy job, since I love Palma and wanted an excuse to go back. It’s such a pretty city, so before I start telling you about all the amazing pinxtos and tapas we had I thought I’d share some scenic photos with you.

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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

Dinner at Taberna de la Boveda, Palma de Mallorca

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One of Palma’s most well-known restaurants is without a doubt La Boveda; it was mentioned in almost every article or travel guide I read on Palma. Only a street away is their sister restaurant, Taberna de la Boveda, who has an identical menu.

My guess is that the first restaurant was so popular it made sense to open a second one. We ate at the Taberna and sat on their lovely patio with most of the other guests. It wasn’t a warm evening but the patio was so cosy everyone still wanted to sit there. And of course, we started our meal with a bottle of cava.

I can’t make my mind up about this restaurant. Some things I really like and others I really don’t. But I must mention our fabulous waiter. He was so on the ball, always smiling, always making sure we had a nice time and everything we wanted, while still being very efficient and diligent. I can honestly say we didn’t have such good service at any other time during our week in Palma. The Spanish mentality is just very different from the Swedish and in a way it was nice to just switch off and go with the slow service and more waiting time even if it was a little irritating at the same time.

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This evening my parents were a little tired of tapas, so we only had two tapas to start and then a main course each. Daddy had the chorizo cooked in wine which completely lacked seasoning and oomph and he was rather disappointed.

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The sweet juicy melon and delicious salty Iberico ham that mummy and I shared was far better. Super simple of course but good produce.

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For our maincourses daddy and I chose meat. His was a slightly overcooked beef fillet. It was more medium-well than the medium desired but still very tasty. And the green peppercorn sauce was outstanding.

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Mother had fried gambas with garlic and a side of chips. The prawns were delicious and sweet and the chips unfortunately a bit soggy.

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I had the sirloin, also over-cooked; it was medium-well when I had ordered it rare, but the blue cheese sauce was delicious. Again, the chips could have been crispier but I liked the addition of padron peppers.

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For pudding we shared a crème caramel and this cake with an unknown name. It was not made at the restaurant but still nice. It had an almond base, sweet lemon mousse and soft meringue on top.

All the food, bar the chorizo, was very tasty and the service great, yet I’m not all that thrilled about this place. If that was because it felt a bit touristy (no local guests at all), or because the cooking was a bit hit and miss I don’t know. Maybe it was partly our fault for not sticking to tapas, but then again that chorizo was a tapas dish. And in my mind every pub and restaurant worth its name should be able to make proper chips/fries.

Regardless, we still had a nice evening here but there are other restaurants in Palma I would rather go back to than Taberna de la Boveda.

Taberna de la Boveda, Paseo Sagrera, 3, La Lonja, Palma 

Dinner at Tast, Palma de Mallorca

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We ate at a few really nice restaurants in Palma, and Tast was one of our favourites! My friend Anna recommended it and it was also mentioned in a few articles I read on restaurants in Palma when I researched the trip. I had high expectations and was not disappointed one bit.

Well, the waiter was a bit stern to begin with, but he warmed up to us, and to be fair he was super busy running the bar area all by himself.

The bar area with its high tables and stools is open all day while the restaurant with normal tables further back opens at 7.30pm. We really enjoyed sitting in the busy bar area looking at what other people were eating and to some extent watching the world go by outside when not concentrating on our food.

All the cold pinchos are kept by the bar and you just help yourself to the ones you want and pay per plate at the end of the meal. A great concept as you can start immediately if you’re starving like I often am.

The menu was a mixture of warm pinchos, different types of scewers and tapas to share.

IMG_6682We mixed all kinds of food and ate and ate as it was so delicious! The cold pinchos were great to start and we really liked the ones with roast beef and creamy crab salad and smoked salmon (above).

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Pinchos with pimiento, smoked white fish, fried quail’s egg and tapenade.Delicious!

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As you can see we had rosé and Iberico loin; less fatty and drier than the ham but also delicious!

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One favourite among the warm pinchos was these with crab gratin and mini eels (what looks like grated cabbage is indeed tiny eels). So good!

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The pig’s trotters with quail’s eggs were delicious too but lacked a little bit of oomph.

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Fried camembert with cherry sauce also went down a treat and the people at the table next to us liked to look of it so much they came over to ask which dish it was.

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I love croquetas and these classic ones with jamon were to die for!

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Naturally we also ordered some fried prawns with garlic and parsley. They were nice and daddy adored them but I found the other things we ate more exciting. We had a lot more food than what’s pictured and enjoyed every bite. The patatas bravas here were a little updated with only one spicy sauce but absolutely delicious!

We ate and drank until we were almost too full to move and had a lovely evening. Tast is relaxed and inviting and the food amazing! I could easily eat here once a week without getting bored and that is a good review indeed.

Tast, C/ Unión, 2, 07001 Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Palma food market, Mercat de l’Olivar

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When I go abroad I love to visit markets, food markets and even regular supermarkets. The food market in Palma is situated only a few minutes walk from the shopping streets and is well worth a visit. It was a lot bigger than I expected and logically divided after type of produce; fish and seafood in area, vegetables in another etc.

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It was lovely walking around he market looking at all the wonderful produce. There weren’t many restaurants but we saw an inviting sushi place, one proper restaurant and one tapas counter.

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We bought some Mallorcan strawberries which we enjoyed together with cava one evening and we of course bought some jamon to take home.

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We had lunch at the tapas counter which was alright but not amazing. By the time we got there there wasn’t a lot of dishes to choose from but we had four dishes to share and some baguette and that was enough for a light lunch. The meatballs were our favourite; they were light and fluffy, tender and delicious in flavour!

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The cold marinated squid with vegetables was also very nice.

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The mushrooms in oil were nice but not amazing, same with the Goulash below.

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You paid per plate and it was neither cheap nor expensive. We were super hungry and enjoyed our lunch but this is not a place I would recommend otherwise (although those meatballs are worth a visit).

On the first floor there is a regular supermarket which we also paid a visit. We bought some soft drinks and snacks for the holiday but I also bought a bottle of fino sherry that I will use in cooking for virtually nothing and a huge jar of my favourite olives.

Mercat de l’Olivar, Plaza Olivar, 4, 07002 Palma, Illes Balears, Spain