Yesterday we got back from our 2 night trip to Palma.
Thursday evening I’d planned a visit to Abaco for drinks before dinner. Where can you be charged 20 quid (that’s US$40) for a half pint of beer and a Gin Fizz, yet leave with a huge smile on your face? Abaco! :-) It is an old palace in the narrow streets of the La Lonja district. The door from the street is rather plain but as you step in you gasp. You enter a grand palace with wonderfully worn stone floor and walls, everywhere there are massive piles of fresh fruit on the floor as if they are to be the subject of some huge still life, enormous flower decorations, hundreds of candles, statues, crystals dripping everywhere, antique rugs, paintings with red velvet drapes around them. Totally over the top, baroque kitsch ….. but truly wonderful. There is a courtyard too filled with bird song from all the exotic caged birds around the walls. And all the time classical music is playing in the background. If you go to Palma DO NOT miss this place. Photography is prohibited in Abaco but I did find a couple of pictures on the ‘net. They don’t really do the place justice.
Dinner afterwards was at Asador Tierra Aranda, Concepció 4, off Av Jaime III. Here we shared some grilled morcilla de Burgos (black pudding) which was very good and then we shared half a suckling pig which had been cooked in the wood fired oven. It was absolutely superb. Wonderfully tender, moist, meat with fresh herbs which had been added by a constrained hand. The crackling was divine.
Friday lunch was pa amb oli, simply country bread rubbed with garlic and topped with chopped tomatoes and black ham, drizzled with a good olive oil, and served with olives. A terrific peasant lunch.
In the evening we’d booked to go to Koldo Royo and took a taxi. When the taxi pulled up I was horrified. How could, what is claimed to be one of the best restaurants in Spain, Michelin starred etc. be in a terrace of premises jammed between a Burger King and an Irish Pub full of Brits on holiday in Majorca? The meal was OK but not worthy of any special acclaim. One course was carpaccio of prawn, I’d not had raw prawn before and wasn’t much taken with it. The main was veal cheek with a red wine sauce. The sauce was burnt!! Of course they’d never admit it, “it’s because it’s reduced”. I know how it reduces and I know that if you go to a certain point it’s
reduced so far that an acrid burnt flavour takes over and this was a reduction too far.
Anyway they whipped it away and then offered me an exquisite piece of beef, perfectly rare and with a very nice (not burnt) jus. Overall, the place is OK but it’s not worth a Michelin star and all the acclaim it gets. Without that, and with a consequential 20% price reduction, the place would be acceptable.
Saturday our flight left at 13:30 so rather than have to buy food at the airport we visited a bakery and bought some small pies to take with us – one with white fish and vegetables in small pastry case. This one, and a meat one we also bought, looked outwardly similar in size and style to Brtitish pork pies. We also bought a tiny, tiny egg and ham flan and a spinach filled ‘sausage roll’ if you know what I mean. These were placed on a cardboard tray which had a doyley on it, wrapped neatly in paper and then tied up with red tape knotted into a bow at the top :-) As we enjoyed these absolutely superb nibbles before the flight I had to snigger when I noticed that the ‘meal deal’ in the airport of one pizza slice from the microwave, chips and a drink cost more for one person than our meal had cost for two!