Sunday, 30 April 2017

Palma eats: three places to try

Ca'n Joan De S'aigo
Here are three places we discovered on our weekend in Mallorca that are worthy of a mention.

The first is Ca'n Joan De S'aigo. We stumbled on this café on our first afternoon in Mallorca as we were waiting to meet up with the host of our Air BnB apartment and returned three times during our stay.

Open since 1700 this place has gone through the phase of looking faded and has come out as a classic with tiled floors, marble tables and some interesting pots and mirrors dotted around the place.
Ensaimada
On our second visit we all tried the ensaimada, a traditional Mallorcan pastry made with an enriched dough. The pastry has a layered quality like filo but was much softer and less brittle. I've seen some recipes say that ensaimada are made with pork lard, but I never would have guessed based on the taste.

On our third and final visit I had a cup of the strawberry ice cream. Incredible value at just over 2 EUR this was the taste of summer with a beautiful strawberry flavour. Having seen other tables try the ice cream I'm definitely pleased that I got to sample some before leaving Palma.
Strawberry ice cream 

Ca'n Joan De S'aigo
Carrer Can Sanç, 10, 
07001 Palma, 
Illes Balears

Jamon y queso
On our first night we visited the nearby Molto Barra and were the first people through the doors as they raised the shutters at 19:30.

We ordered a bottle of Mallorcan red wine. We thought we should try a local wine and the barman commended us on our choice saying that Mallorcan wine has been going through a bit of a resurgence recently.

I was keen for my first taste of jamon so we ordered a plate of jamon y queso. What appeared was a plate of thick sliced Serrano ham, a sheep's cheese similar to manchego, toast rubbed with garlic and then covered in fresh tomato, olives and a few pickles. It was bloody brilliant and it only cost 9 EUR. I still think that must be a mistake, but as it was an off-menu item we've got no idea what it should have cost.
A Punt, Mallorcan Red
Molto Barra 
Carrer del Pes de la Farina, 12,
07001 Palma,
Illes Balears

Mike and Ed outside Mercado Gastronómico San Juan
On our Sunday stroll north of the city centre we found ourselves at the Mercado Gastronómico San Juan. The former abattoir which has been converted into a cinema, supermarket and upmarket food court.

(I was a bit surprised at how upmarket the place was. The prices were higher than several restaurants we'd visited in the centre of the city and while not being in a bad area, it wasn't the most well heeled either. However, it was definitely popular with the locals who arrived en masse to enjoy Sunday lunch.)
Inside the mercado
I started with a chorizo tortilla which came with a skewer of padron peppers on top. Padron peppers were a staple tapa when Becks and I were in Madrid and Seville so I was pleased to be able to taste some on this trip too.

The tortilla wasn't quite filling enough, and tempted by lots of people with boards of croquetas y rebozados I decided to order six to try. My Spanish isn't the greatest so my selections were a bit of a shot in the dark but I went for flavours I recognised as 'cheese', 'chorizo' and 'squid'. The tastes were a bit 'acquired' for me but the locals seemed to be hoovering them up.
Tortilla
Mercado Gastronómico San Juan
Carrer de l'Emperadriu Eugènia, 6,
07010 Palma,
Illes Balears

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