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Es Lloquet Restaurant Review, Campos

Gourmet Mediterranean cuisine in lush gardens

Featured in: | Jose Rains, Mallorca Reporter | Published
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On a mild summer evening, we headed to the south of Mallorca to sample the culinary delights of yet another outstanding hotel on the island. Hotel Es Lloquet – The Secret Place could quite possibly be Mallorca’s best-kept secret! In the deepest depths of Mallorca’s countryside, just south of Campos down a small dirt track, is where you'll find this charming establishment.

Arriving during the golden hour of sunlight just before sunset, it was the model romantic setting. After parking up the car, we entered some extraordinarily well-kept grounds and decided to explore the location a little more by following one of the many paths. Lush green bushes, palm trees, flowers and a large fountain all contributed towards the tranquil environment. Some elegantly set tables were our clue as to where the restaurant resided, just at the front of a large outbuilding constructed with a similar blonde stone as the original finca, over 100m away.

Approaching the restaurant, we were promptly greeted by a friendly manager who seated us at our table for two. Our menus were handed to us but we continued to be distracted by our wonderfully unique surroundings for a few minutes. The environment provided an eclectic contrast of Moorish and Spanish culture, thanks to a distinctive range of furnishings both in and outside the building.

The menu was extensive and featured predominantly a creative variety of Mediterranean dishes, amongst which there was definitely a Mallorcan influence.  The wine list had a good selection of Spanish wines at reasonable prices, ranging from €15.50 to €30. Some Mallorcan wines were also on offer, so we decided to opt for a bottle of the red Vinya Son Caules. On a trip to the bathroom, I also spied a table displaying the selection of red, white and rose wines. A nice little touch!

To start off, we were served some rustic bread rolls followed by a delicious appetiser, always a welcome surprise at top restaurants on the island. At this point, we were also treated to toasted baguette crackers smothered with foie and fig chutney, and topped with a balsamic vinegar glaze and olive oil. The contrast in flavours with each mouthful teased our taste buds, shrewdly leaving them wanting more.

First up, the ‘Cheese table served with “crystal” bread’ arrived. Upon its appearance at the table, we learnt that it was more of a sharing starter due to its immense size. The crystal bread, more commonly known as pa amb oli, was honestly the best I have ever tried on the island. A good balance of tomato, olive oil and salt with the bread absolutely faultless, crispy but not chewy or hard. This was accompanied by a selection of good quality cheeses including Manchego, Brie and a Gorgonzola.

 At the same time, our other starter was a more reasonably sized ‘Pumpkin cream with gorgonzola ravioli’, perfect for one person. The rich and creamy orange creation derived from pumpkins complimented the full-bodied gorgonzola filling in the ravioli which was definitely the dish's centrepiece in both the presentation and the flavours.

For the main course, I could see how the bright Mediterranean colours in the garden had also been reflected in the dishes. My dining companion had ordered the ‘Caramelised duck magret with sesame and pear’, once again kudos to the chef for his presentation efforts. The duck was offered on some sort of potato crostini, its earthy colours brightened up with the use of the tomatoes, lavender and herbs. The pear puree was a lovely sweet addition, providing a taste explosion, absolutely stunning.

My ‘Salmon taco with vegetables cooked “al dente” and piquillo pepper puree’ was equally stimulating in both appearance and flavours. The fish was light, and the skin crispy and the vegetables provided the perfect crunchy accompaniment whilst, the sauce added that vavavoom.

For dessert, we were particularly indecisive and, with the help of our waiter, chose to share a couple of sweet treats. Once again the attention to detail was outstanding, the ‘Tatin apple tartlet’ was my favourite. The caramelised apple and pastry combo was utterly delicious and the chocolate garnish was a naughty addition.

The ‘Cheesecake with red and wild fruits’ was surprisingly light, with an ice cream mousse and some unusual marshmallowy style buttons accompanying on the side.

This is a first class restaurant within a gorgeous, secluded hotel in wonderfully unique surroundings which makes for a most memorable experience.

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