It’s no secret that the Balearic Isle of Mallorca more than holds its own in terms of world-class dining. In fact, the 2018 Michelin Guide has awarded a grand total of ten its much coveted stars – across nine restaurants – to the island. Here’s a run-down of those outstanding eateries that have achieved this prestigious gastronomic gong.
Restaurant, Contemporary, Mediterranean, $$$
Huevo Negro | Courtesy of Zaranda Restaurant
The only restaurant on the island to have two Michelin stars, Zaranda is set in the stunning surroundings of the five-star Castell Son Claret Hotel. The restaurant’s first home was Madrid where it achieved its first star, but after moving to Mallorca a second star was awarded in 2016 – a full ten years later. Chef Fernando Pérez Arellano’s astoundingly creative menu includes his signature dish of a ‘black egg’ – a poached egg blackened with cuttlefish and served on a bed of onion puree and crispy rice with calamari caviar. Unsurprisingly, none of the three tasting menus comes cheap (particularly when paired with wine), but for a meal that really will blow your mind in a beautiful setting, it’s worth the splurge.
The first and only British chef to be awarded a Michelin star in Spain, Marc Fosh opened his eponymous restaurant in 2009 (originally called Simply Fosh) to rave reviews. Set in a swish contemporary hotel converted from a 17th-century convent, the impressive setting matches the outstanding cooking. Food is Mediterranean-inspired with plenty of local ingredients – like Mallorquin suckling pig and Sóller prawns – and comes in the form of set menus for lunch, and tasting menus (with optional wine pairings) for dinner.
Chef Andreu Genestra is Mallorquin by birth and his eponymous restaurant serves cuina de la terra (cuisine of the land). Set in at the Hotel Predí Son Jaumell, much of the food prepared using produce grown in the hotel’s own gardens. Michelin-starred since 2015, the restaurant offers two tasting menus of five or eight courses, or a full ten-course degustation menu with wine pairing. Defined by the seasons and locally sourced produce, the food highlights the best of traditional island cuisine, but with innovative modern flavour combinations and exquisite presentation.
It is certainly impressive that while Adrian Quetglas is one of the newer fine-dining eateries in the Mallorcan capital, it is also only Palma’s second restaurant boasting a Michelin star. And well deserved, with a skilfully composed menu of dishes that blend local products and traditional recipes with avant-garde flourishes. Lunch is a set menu five-course menu (with optional wine pairing) while dinner is a fortnightly changing seven-course tasting extravaganza. Although born in Buenos Aires, Adrian Quetglas – the man – is of Mallorcan stock, but cut his teeth in Moscow, bringing a truly international mix of flavours to his cooking. While not cheap, price-to-quality ratio is high.
Housed in the five-star St Regis Mardavall Hotel, Es Fum was first awarded a Michelin Star in 2011, and chef José Miguel Navarro has continued his culinary wizardry to cling on to it ever since. There are no à la carte options, only an impressive tasting menu or a six-course seasonal menu, with innovative combinations of textures and flavours, created using locally sourced produce. The Bloody Mary Oyster on the tasting menu is particularly outstanding, and the wine list is fantastic. Serving only dinner, the restaurant’s terrace overlooking the hotel’s lush gardens and out to sea, is the perfect spot for a romantic sunset date.
A family-run restaurant in the famously picturesque mountain village of Deia, Es Racó d’Es Teix has been open for nearly twenty years and has been Michelin-starred since 2002. Although of German heritage, chef Josef Sauerschell is passionate about Mallorquin cuisine and local ingredients, with modern takes on the traditional suckling pig and a delicious Tramuntana lamb dish with capers. As well as the à la carte and tastingmenus, there is a good value three-course lunch offer – perfect for an afternoon spent admiring the mountain views from the restaurant’s terrace. The wine list is extensive, and the attention to detail in terms of the impeccable service is quite something (the maître d’ is the chef’s wife and business partner Nori).
Dining at Bou (formerly Es Molí d’en Bou) promises to be one of the more theatrical dining experiences most of us will have. Open since 2000 and with a Michelin star since 2004, Mallorca-born chef Tomeu Caldentey takes diners on a creative journey through his personal vision of traditional Mallorquin cuisine. Only ten diners at a time get to participate in the ‘three acts’ of this culinary experience, with the first involving apéritifs in the lounge, the dramatic middle act taking place in the kitchen with the chefs at work, and the final act seated in the actual restaurant. The unusual but delicious takes on classic local dishes, combined with an impressive wine list and the drama of the presentation make for a particularly memorable dinner. On Saturday, lunchtimes and one evening per week, shorter (and thus cheaper) experiences are available.
Macarena de Castro was the first female chef on the island to be awarded a Michelin star, for her interpretations of Mallorquin classics at restaurant Jardín. A different tasting menu is served every month, with diners presented with an intriguing shopping list of seasonal products as the only indication of what they will be eating. Beautifully presented and creatively flavoured meats and fish form the foundation of the menu, using fresh local produce and interesting cuts. Only open from April to October, Jardín is a welcome contrast to the many tourist-trap restaurants in the surrounding area, and the pretty garden is perfect for romantic dining.
The Argos Restaurant is located on the ground floor of the adults-only La Goleta Hotel de Mar in the tourist resort of Port de Pollença. Its young head chef Álvaro Salazar garnered their Michelin star in just 2016 with his creative and colourful takes on Balearic cuisine. Ingredients are sourced daily, working with local farmers to ensure dishes are seasonal and fresh. Floor-to-ceiling windows also accompany outstanding gastronomy with views over the bay. The restaurant is open for dinner only with a small à la carte menu and set dinner or tasting menus with optional wine pairing.