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Tomeu Restaurant review in Palma

Trendy restaurant with an exquisite tasting menu designed by a famous chef

Featured in: | Jose Rains, Mallorca Reporter | Published
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Restaurante Tomeu is headed up by Tomeu Caldentey, who was the first Mallorcan chef to receive a Michelin star. His Mallorcan original, Es Moli d'en Bou received a Michelin star and has built up an enviable reputation since 2004. So, when news broke that he would be opening a new restaurant in Palma in the summer of 2017, it became the talk of the town and quickly featured on every foodie’s hit list. 

The restaurant is set within the charming new Boutique Hotel Sant Jaume, in Palma’s old town. I walked into the hotel’s elegant reception area, where we were guided by the lovely front desk staff into the restaurant.

The clean minimalist décor changes as soon as you step into the restaurant. The first thing I noticed is the fun green jungle wall paper that adorns the walls. Within which smart marble topped tables are elegantly set, and surrounded by some comfortable looking chairs. The style could definitely be described by fashionista’s as “on trend”, I particularly liked the giant pineapple ornaments found around the restaurant. Whilst it’s clear the restaurant is of the swanky variety, the tropical wall paper creates a fun vibe. Sitting adjacent to the dining room, I spotted a glitzy bar through the glass. A great place for either a pre-dinner cocktail or after dinner digestif. 

Along with the a la Carte menu, Tomeu offers two tasting menu options: the Santa Magda Menu consists of 5 courses (55€), whilst the Sant Jaume Menu is an 8-course feast (80€), we decided to take on the challenge of doing the full banquet. There is also a wine pairing offered, and consists of wines from different vineyards around the island. Always keen to try new Mallorcan wines, we decided to opt in for this too. 

We didn’t have to wait long for our culinary journey to commence, just after the arrival of our aperitifs – a glass of cava and an Aperol spritz - a rather large slab of bread drizzled with olive oil and a dusting of sea salt was presented. Whilst the bread was wonderfully fluffy and tasty, the two different accompaniments really made this pre-dinner experience for us, particularly the small dish of Sobrassada which was caramelised on the table in front of our eyes and was hands down the best version of this Mallorcan meat speciality we had ever tried. The other supplement was a small green sauce, of mayonnaise consistency which we were informed was a concoction of Mahon cheese, parsley, basil and vinegar. Which was very different to anything we had ever tried and absolutely delicious. We had to stop ourselves from over indulging in the bread as we knew this was only the beginning! 

At this point the waiter produced our first wine pairing, arriving on a silver platter the first wine of the evening was revealed as Muscat, a white wine from Petra in Mallorca. After our waiter poured the wine into each of our glasses, we learnt it was named after the Moscatel grape variety used to create it, and trying it for the first time I would describe it as a light, fresh but dry wine with plenty of aroma. Very easy to drink!

After our fulfilling bread experience, and before we received our starters we were given a ‘Variat’ which is an assortment of what us Brits could only describe as canapes. Each very flavoursome, and very much with a Mallorcan influence when it came to the ingredients for each. The first one I tried was the Frito Mallorquin, a lamb and frois grois creation presented on half a new potato. The second looked like a mini empanada with vegetable and smoked eel, and the third could be compared to a prawn cracker but instead made from squid and carrying a zingy chutney, which combined well with the peppery flavour of the cracker. All were a complete contrast, giving our taste buds and brains a little taste of what was to come.  

Now for our first official starter, ‘Peas with sea nettles from Mallorca’, the appearance of this dish was a very green ensemble before the pale pine seed sauce was poured over the top. The tempura sea nettles created a good selection of textures, and the flavours were distinctive but mild, the perfect way to begin our gastronomic journey. 

Next up the ‘Prawn from Soller’, arrived to the side table next to us and the waitress removed each prawn from the bed of salt they had been cooked on in the oven. She transferred them onto a dish of American sauce with some blood orange in it. At this point I realised the service at this restaurant is as important as the kitchen, it is about the whole experience here. This almost looked like a piece of art was being presented, owing to the vibrant colours, and excellent presentation. The prawn was meaty and the individual flavours owing to the lightly fragrant American sauce and the bitterness of the blood orange, created a delicate but tasty dish. 

Our second wine was one I had tried before on numerous occasions! Bodega Es Angel’s Blanc de Blanca is made from a mixture of Mallorca’s native Prensal grapes and the addition of a foreign Chardonnay grape. It’s a yellow/gold colour, with good aromatic authority and tropical flavors such as pineapple and banana along with dried herbs.

The next dish was to be ‘Mullet stuffed with cuttlefish in seaweed papillote’ once again, a performance from the staff the fish arrived in plastic bags and were delivered onto plates next to the table before being presented to us, and a dark sauce served over the top. Upon first bite I noticed this plate definitely has an Asian fusion inspiration, the fish was light and falling apart and the vegetables cleverly united the dish. 

Red wine was next up on the wine pairing, in preparation for our meaty dishes, this was called Llebre from Conde de SUYROT up in the northern part of Mallorca in Colonia de Sant Pere. The wine is quite different to many other reds I have tried on the island, it’s intense in colour and the fine bouquet mixes different aromas such as figs, exotic spices, tobacco and coffee which are experienced in the taste. 

The man behind the scenes of this bodega is an experienced French winemaker and nobleman, Count Fabrice de Suyrot who planted new vines in 2006. 

Next up the food took a turn towards some more rich flavours, the ‘Fois with artichokes, egg and creamy roasted garlic’. The smooth soft texture of the grilled fois teamed up well with the crispy artichokes. Whilst the egg yolk had been cooked in a tempura, a fascinating concept, demonstrating the chef is incredibly imaginative and his creations nothing less than spectacular. 

Now for what I believe was my favourite dish (although it’s very hard to choose) - the ‘Cannelloni 2001 – Tomeu’ which is one of Tomeu’s head lining dishes, a recipe that was created in 2001. Served with shiitake mushrooms, the fresh pasta encompassing fois, duck and some other secret ingredients - this dish had it all. The depth of flavour in this dish really blew my mind with every mouthful.

Next up the ‘Black suckling pig from Mallorca with grouper’ which according to our waiter is an island speciality dating back hundreds of years. Tomeu’s rendition of this dish is served with lovely crispy pig skin, a piece of grouper and a Mallorcan black liquer drizzled over the top. This meat feast and was served with some elements of apple, ginger with beetroot which looked more for presentation purposes before trying my first mouthful. I then realised these were packed full of punch, giving a combination of salt and sweet flavours with every mouthful. 

The ‘Sorbet of "Ginet" from Menorca’ was yet another star performance from the staff, made from gin, citrus and a lemon cream and acted as the perfect palate cleanser. After which we received yet another outstanding tipple, the ‘Rover dessert wine’ from Bodega Ribas. The bottle conveyed the heritage of the vineyard which is one of the oldest vineyards in Mallorca. In the glass the wine was a little darker in colour than other dessert wines I have tried from the island - I was intrigued. It was sweet, with quite complex flavours and a woody taste dominating my palate. I was already impressed with the start of our dessert experience.

For dessert, we shared ‘Crème Brulee with sautéed strawberries’ and ‘Chocolate cake with burnt milk ice cream’. So the crème brulee was yet another theatre performance at the table as the waitress caramelised the brown sugar on top. It was not like crème brulee as you would think, this sweet treat was light and fluffy, making it less of struggle to eat at this late stage in the game. The sautéed strawberries at the bottom added another element to it to make this dessert stand out from the crowd. Trying the chocolate dessert, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to eat too - the chef had clearly thought this through! The chocolate was light and creamy but not rich at all! We managed to eat the whole lot although we hadn’t thought ahead, as Petit Fours arrived with our coffee and peppermint tea at the end of the meal (this for me should always feature in a top notch restaurant) but by this point we were full to the brim so only managed a bite of each but they were absolutely stunning and provided the perfect finale to the meal. Of course we were offered a digestif, something that is a common occurrence at restaurants in Spain but had to politely decline as we were perfectly satisfied.

The chefs have nailed the food; the menu keeps traditional elements of Mallorcan cooking alive whilst creating a contemporary cuisine for 21st century clientele. The serving team were equally brilliant, Cristobal and María took very good care of us throughout our journey. The food at Tomeu is first-rate, and for 80€ I really feel you get a good deal for this superb tasting menu. Be warned though, there is a lot of food, so make sure you arrive hungry! This is an experience that brings together the pleasure of all senses whilst showcasing the best of Mallorcan cuisine. I expect people will be flocking here throughout the summer.