Cool, stylish, and a looooong bar
Mallorca's burgeoning gastro scene has a welcome new addition that wouldn't be out of place in fancy London town. El Camino has opened its doors in the narrow passageway, Carrer de Can Brondo, which also houses the Brondo Architect Hotel and has been wowing the crowds since the middle of August.
Its style is startlingly different to the majority of restaurants here and immediately sets it apart from the competition though the fixed bar stools which line the long bar counter may not be to everyone's taste. I like them, and as one reviewer pointed out, it's a great set up if you're dining solo.
For me dining at a bar – particularly when the food is of the pica pica variety – is an extremely relaxed, informal and very sociable way of eating. However, if you do want formal, El Camino does have a private dining room which as opposed to the main restaurant. which doesn't take reservations, must be booked in advance.
I was tipped the wink about this fabulous place by friend and Palma resident Nicky Taylor who's written a glowing review of the place and whose taste and opinion I trust implicitly. Here's what she said;
“Having been curious after walking past this decadent-looking new place in town several times, and then reading excellent recommendations courtesy of Taste Maker Club - Mallorca Edition! (well worth joining this group, BTW) we finally took the plunge today and headed on down to El Camino. It certainly didn't disappoint. The beautifully tiled stylish interior is home to a full-length bar, so counter seating only - something I tend to avoid, but it's well spaced here with fixed stools, and our end-of-counter seats meant we had a clear view of the open kitchen. The staff were friendly and professional, and took our lead on how chatty to be; they got the balance just right.
Anyway, on to the food ... it's a relatively small menu of para picar, tapas (cold meats, fried dishes and tortillas), rice dishes, salads, fish and meat. We had the pan con tomate, which for a change was served on brown bread, with deliciously intense, salty tomato (2,50€), followed by patatas El Camino (proper bistro-style french fries with garlic, herbs and sea salt, 4,50€). We then tried two of the daily specials: a scallop tartare with salmorejo, which was sublime: sharp and mellow all at the same time (demolished before chance to take photo, 9,50€); and a frittura mista of sea bass and squid with a garlicky alioli (photo below, 10,50€). Wines start at 3,50€ a glass/18€ a bottle, which for a venue serving food of this quality is excellent value.
In case it's of interest too, one of the owners, Eddie Hart, who is part Mallorquin, played a major part in establishing Spanish cuisine in London with the critically acclaimed restaurants Fino and Barrafina. I hadn't made the connection beforehand, but sat on my bookshelf is a well-thumbed edition of Sam and Eddie Hart's Modern Spanish Cooking (2008), which I'd also recommend.”
I can't wait to try it!
Carrer de Can Brondo 4, Palma de Mallorca
Open Monday to Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Sundays closed
Please note El Camino does not take reservations, except for La Mesa private dining
Link to Menu