Another one of Santa Catalina’s restaurants with a buzzing reputation, Bunker’s is a tiny little place on the corner of Carrer Soler and Carrer Pusiana – just a couple of doors down from another favourite of ours, Duke.
It was actually second time lucky for me to eat here – I popped in at around 8pm on a Tuesday night, but was (very politely) informed that they were already fully-booked for the evening, even though I was just a lone wanderer in Palma. In fairness, they probably only seat about 20-30 people in total, so you have to be quick off the mark! I tried again a touch earlier the following night, was immediately recognised by the owner-chef from the previous evening and was given a perch at the end of a larger table with (again very polite) instructions that I would need to vacate by 9pm (given that it was 7.30pm that posed no problem for me whatsoever.).
Because of Santa Catalina’s reputation as a hot-bed of new, young, street-food-y restaurants, I was surprised to discover a very rustic and traditional feel running all the way though the menu – albeit with modern slants on many of the options. I agonised over the eternal dilemma of not filling up on the delicious Mallorcan bread, olive oil and salt which arrived at the table with my whistle-wetting cana de cerveza, before ordering from the small, but varied, menu.
My starter was a sensational, and enormous, duck fillet – served on a bed of sweet potato purée and topped with caramelised lime zest. I would say probably slightly too big a portion for much of Palma’s it-crowd to handle, but for those of us with immodest appetites it was fantastic.
After a brief pause, my main course floated towards the table in the hands of my Charlie-Chaplin-esque waitress (silent virtually throughout, but endless facial expressions and mannerisms to guide me through the menu, take my order and keep me fed and watered. Or maybe she just had a sore throat.). I had plumped for the mushroom and wild boar fettuccini which was a seriously earthy affair, nicely lightened with a generous sprinkle of crumbly parmesan.
All the while, the remaining seats had been filling up, and there is a genuine ‘welcome to my house’ atmosphere: the open kitchen ensures that diners and chefs are never more than a few feet from each other, with the head chef’s laid back persona setting the tone for everyone around him.
Having skipped lunch earlier, I enjoyed registering a 0.0 on the guiltometer when ordering the fruits of the forest mille-feuille. Not one for the cholesterol-reducers this dessert: a sturdy tower of vanilla-infused cream & marscapone, interspersed with deliciously-crunchy sugared pastry layers – oh yes, and all sitting in a velvety smooth coulis at the bottom.
As I say – not at all what I had been expecting, but an excellent meal, meaning Bunkers is another highly-recommended pitstop if you have the chance to head to Santa Catalina when visiting Palma. Yum.