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Diferent Restaurant Review, Cala d'Or

Quirky restaurant serving up good quality international cuisine

Jose Rains | Mallorca Reporter | Published: 21 May 2018

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Diferent Restaurant Review, Cala d'Or

Located in an old mill, Restaurant Diferent sits within one of the oldest buildings in Cala d’Or. Many people stop in their tracks to admire the unusual building and, if the building doesn’t grab your attention, the wacky décor certainly will.

From the outside, you can appreciate the mishmash of vintage and contemporary fixtures and fittings which somehow work to create an eccentric, yet inviting setting. Of course, if you want to enjoy the Mediterranean sunshine beaming down on you as you eat, or simply want to watch the world go by, then you can eat al fresco style on the terrace.

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But I must urge you to step inside to really soak up the splendour of the place. At first, the dark wood and nautical style lights made me feel like there was a rustic marine style theme going on - as if it were an old pirate’s hideaway. But then a selection of musical instruments and an old record player caught my attention, along with a medley of antique furnishing juxtaposed with some more current graffiti and industrial-style furniture.

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Imagine this, all mixed in with some more contemporary furnishings like whiter than white leather booths and fashionable shiny copper finishing touches and you are about halfway there. I could go on, but then the article would become a completely different interior design piece! Anyway, somehow the turmoil works.

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Moving on, I had heard on the grapevine that cocktails are this place’s speciality. This rumour was reinforced by the screens dotted around the restaurant showing a promo video, giving more insight into the restaurant's impressive mixology. After watching 2 minutes of this video, I simply couldn’t resist. Scanning the cocktail menu, there were some classics like ‘Piña Colada’ and ‘Mojito’, alongside a range of innovative creations. Deciding to be a little more adventurous I opted for the ‘Popcorn Martini’ and, upon the first sip, it was a surprise hit! It tasted just like the sweet cinema popcorn and had a creamy consistency owing to the use of egg white.

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My friend had chosen the ‘Rose Sangria Martini’ which, in complete contrast to mine, was a thirst-quenching fruity experience. I could really taste the rose and lychee in this creation, which made it all the tastier, so thank goodness it was a long drink rather than being served in a martini glass like my own. 

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When it comes to the food, there is definitely something for everyone. I would describe the menu as offering on-trend international favourites. I was salivating as soon as I looked at it! Ok, where to start? So there’s pasta, paella, soup, pizza, meat, fish, oriental and vegetarian dishes! Catering for the healthy eaters, there’s a section called ‘Raw Bar & Salads’. Whilst the Starters & Tapas are ideal for those who want to immerse themselves in the true Spanish ‘sharing’ culture. 

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Kicking things off, the ‘Steak tartare, onion, gherkin and truffle mayonnaise’ arrived at the table first and I must say their take on the dish was nothing short of exceptional. The gherkin and onion provided enough crunch, and the mild truffle mayonnaise only complimented the red raw meat flavours. Topped off with the egg yolk this dish was exactly as a steak tartare should be!

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The ‘Scallops with purple potato and parsley foam’ came next and showcased the restaurant's presentation skills. Arriving in a shell on a bed of salt, I hesitated before diving in and destroying this seafood treat. The tender texture and mild flavours of the scallop made it the kind of dish that even fish haters would want to try.

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We took a turn for the naughty side as the ‘Fried goat's cheese tempura with a light red fruit foam’ arrived at the table. Both curious about the pink bubble bath looking accompaniment, we cut off a piece of the tempura cheese and loaded it with the foam. It provided a light, fruity flavour that stabilised the richness of the cheese.

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Stopping off in Asia on our culinary journey, we enjoyed a ‘Bao steamed bun with streaky pork, cucumber and hoisin’. In true street food style, we dropped our cutlery and enjoyed using our hands for this one. The meat and hoisin sauce provided a taste explosion, whilst the crunch in the cucumber acted as a refreshing relief from the meat feast.

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The hits kept on coming! Next up the ‘Truffle croquettes and polenta with a spicy tomato sauce’, a rare yet simple combo - alarmingly good. The fiery kick and natural acidity from the spicy tomato sauce balanced the rich flavours within the croquettes.

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And last, but certainly not least, the ‘Tuna cornetto with wasabi, sesame, avocado and apple’ was headline-worthy. Not only was it elegantly presented in cones within a stone dish and surrounded by natural pebbles but the fresh ingredients provided a tantalising combination. It was definitely one of the lighter ‘guilt free’ plates on the menu and I can definitely vouch for the fact that it’s a picture worthy dish.

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To end the feast, we went for the ‘Candy Floss’ dessert. This sticky concoction turned heads at it was being delivered to our table. The chef managed to make this dessert look pretty thanks to the use of gold icing, flowers and ice cream ornamenting the fluffy mess. A crowd pleaser and the perfect dessert to share amongst friends.

I am able to confidently say that the chef here takes pride in both appearance and flavours in each and every dish. We arrived hungry and left happy! Having opened in 2006, Restaurant Diferent has built up and enviable reputation in Cala d’Or over the past decade or so. Note it’s only open between April and October, so do make sure you stop by on a trip to the area this summer.

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