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Azul Playa Restaurant
The wide terrace, and the glass walled restaurant at the Azul Playa are perfect for a relaxed meal while watching the sea, the boats, the planes and the people against the background of the great bay of Palma. The views of the bay from this eastern side are terrific, with the mountains in the west sheltering Palma city, and the position of the Azul Playa at the edge of the lovely family beach of Ciutat Jardin is second to none. Add to all this the fact that it’s only 10 minutes at most from the airport and the city, with plenty of parking, and it’s clear that this completely modernised 18 room hotel and its restaurant has a lot to offer.
A table on the wide wooden decked terrace, which makes the most of the sea breezes and is shaded by large umbrellas, is a great place to spend a relaxing lunch, but there is also the option of the air conditioned restaurant if it’s simply too hot. On arrival, you are immediately impressed by the friendly and helpful staff at Azul Playa - you are treated like an old friend and as someone they would like to see again. Maitre Felix settled me into a well positioned table and took me through the menu, which offers a good range of choice, without being too long. Taken as a whole, the menu offers a range of typical Spanish and Mallorquin dishes with a modern flavour and some influences from other nations. There is an emphasis on fresh seafood, as you would expect, but meat lovers and vegetarians are also catered for. Head chef for the Urban Rustic Hotels Group (the Azul Playa, the Portofino, and Misión de San Miguel) is Marcos Morey and the dishes reflect his respect for fresh ingredients, distinct flavours and stylish and colourful presentation.
It being quite a warm day, Gazpacho Andaluz seemed a perfect choice as a starter. The beautiful colours of this chilled soup, and its finely chopped raw vegetable accompaniment were a picture to look at and the flavours were intense and complex, with a touch of fire. Delicious, refreshing, and very Spanish! Although I had not selected it, Felix recommended that I try a small serving of the Carpaccio de Pulpo – I’m very glad that he did. The full title of the dish is Carpaccio de pulpo con emulsion de pimientos rojos y alemandras (octopus carpaccio with a red pepper and almond emulsion) and it’s absolutely marvellous – other diners who had this dish were also full of praise for it.
Choosing the main course was quite difficult as the choice of Paellas and Fideuas (paella with noodles instead of rice) is very tempting. However, I love fresh tuna and went for the tuna steak with wok cooked crunchy vegetables, black sesame and rice noodles. I really don’t think that tuna can be cooked better than this was – nicely seared on the outside, meltingly underdone inside. As with all of Marcos’ food, the dish looked wonderful, with the fish resting on a comfortable bed of noodles and colour added by the vegetables.
On this visit, I simply had no capacity left for a dessert, but I’ve promised myself the mango and cardamom tatin next time ….. or maybe the chocolate fondue with fresh fruit kebab …. or the fresh raspberry millefeille …. Instead of these temptations, I finished off with an iced coffee, drunk as slowly as possible because I really didn’t want to leave.
The Azul Playa is a well-run and friendly place, in perfect surroundings, where you can eat beautiful food without it costing a fortune. do youself a favour and go there. Soon.