We are always on the look-out for new & interesting restaurants in Majorca, and every now and then we take a peek at Trip Advisor to see what restaurants are being talked about. Now of course, Trip Advisor does not necessarily pick out the best quality restaurants but it is an indicator of popularity, and it can be helpful if you are looking for some dining inspiration.
So it was that the Frenchman and I, along with our sales manager Mikey, found ourselves at Can Cera Gastro Bar in Palma de Mallorca. Can Cera is the current number one of Palma restaurants on Trip Advisor, and number six in the whole of Majorca. It’s the restaurant of a new boutique hotel (currently ranked as the number one hotel in Palma) and it’s located in the historic centre of Palma close to the Cathedral. This presented us with our first challenge of trying to park our car. The Frenchman is particularly averse to walking and insisted that we park as close as possible to the restaurant. Well, the old town of Palma is perfect for pedestrians to wander around, with it’s charming narrow streets & alleys, but not ideal for driving, particularly if you don’t know how the one-way system works, or have a residents parking permit, or indeed if you do not actually understand the street signs which presumably tell you where you can legally park. So after driving round and round the same streets for 20 minutes in search of a parking space – annoyingly passing our destination several times like some bad comedy sketch - we eventually gave up and abandoned the car in front of Santa Eulalia church. The Frenchman assured us that the car would be fine, and gave that nonchalant Gallic shrug that indicated he would not be held responsible should the car be towed.
We walked the short distance to Can Cera, and entered via the elegant courtyard to the reception. Despite being 20 minutes late for our table, we were greeted with a smile, and the manager asked us whether we would prefer to dine in the courtyard or the dining room. Being a woman of delicate disposition, I requested the table inside due to the cool spring evening. The restaurant is fairly small, but has generously sized tables that are well-spaced allowing for private conversation. The dining room looks out on to the spotless courtyard with it’s ornate stairway and decorative palms & pot plants. The interior has a more contemporary feel, with modern art on the walls and a double height designer bar. Chilled Spanish lounge music plays in the background.
Can Cera restaurant describes itself as a gastro-bar, which means that all it’s menu items are tapas, and therefore, tapas sized. Some customers have apparently been disappointed by the portion sizes they have received, particularly when they thought they were ordering a main course. The menu says that the food is Mediterranean – Asian fusion but it did seem to be mainly Mediterranean to us. We ordered a couple of toasted breads with anchovy & tomato, and with Iberian bacon & quails egg, and a portion of hake & asparagus tempura. For our second round, we opted for a crispy suckling pig, lobster & fish ravioli, a seared portion of red tuna, and a house salad. Rather than ordering a bottle of wine from the wine list, we opted to take a glass each of the house white, which turned out to be fresh and fragrant and rather good. Super-fresh bread with a delicious olive oil (from Girona) was served up as we waited for the tapas to arrive.
Our kindly waiter brought our toasts, beautifully presented on black slate. The anchovy & tomato version was very good – fresh and well balanced. The Iberian bacon turned out to be succulent & flavoursome chunks of pork served with a cute little fried quails egg. We were given a good portion of the hake & asparagus tempura in which the hake was perfectly cooked and the asparagus still had some bite. The batter itself was the soft variety, not the crispy style that we would normally associate with tempura, but it was pleasant nevertheless.
The second round of ‘tapas’ were more substantial (but not main course sized) and again, came beautifully presented on black slate, or in the case of the ravioli, in a stylish white china bowl. The said ravioli consisted of two large parcels that had been garnished with a foaming, slightly fizzy froth (with a taste sensation like ‘cremola foam’, should you remember it!). A delicate dish, it went down well with Mikey. My suckling pig was served on a slice of aubergine. The skin was indeed crispy and the meat was rich and juicy. The Frenchman’s tuna lived up to expectations, being ruby red, and was somewhat unusually served with a baked potato that has been stuffed with a mushroom cream sauce. All very nice. The hose salad proved to be quite a simple affair with baby leaves & tomato that had been lightly dressed with a vinaigrette.
The good thing about having smallish portions is that it leaves plenty of room for dessert. We tried the lemon meringue pie (with a soft meringue topping, it got top marks from Mikey), banoffi pie (also declared excellent by the Frenchman) and the homemade vanilla ice cream (smooth and pretty good). Our bill came to €116 which seemed reasonable for a light dinner considering the quality of the food and the beautiful surroundings (or expensive if you consider the meal to be tapas). Our advice would be to not come here if you are starving hungry (unless you are willing to order everything off the menu and be happy to pay for it). Remember that the Spanish tend to go for a large lunch rather than a big dinner – hence the preference for tapas in the evening.
We liked Can Cera. It’s a stylish option for the centre of Palma, the staff & management were lovely, and it serves interesting tapas at an albeit premium price. We thought it would be super place for a romantic meal in the evening or you could escape the crowds at lunchtime and try the well priced Menu del Dia. Don’t try to drive to within 20 metres of the restaurant like we did – whilst we were relieved to find that our car hadn’t been towed after dinner, it would have been a very pleasant walk home/to the taxi rank/to the underground parking at Antoni Maura past all the sights that the historic centre of Palma has to offer.