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Caballito de Mar
You could not wish for a better spot to watch the girls and guys go by than the Caballito de Mar. Situated on the edge of Palma's old quarter in the front corner of the Plaza de la Llonja, barely a stone's throw from the Cathedral and the Almudaina Palace, facing the busy harbour, this restaurant is at the heart of cultural and tourist Mallorca.
This is a busy restaurant and, especially at weekends, you might have to wait at the bar for a short while if you've not booked. But don't let that put you off! Even before you get to your table, there's plenty to catch your interest, whether it's the marvellously dressed young couples on a night out, the interplay with the street vendors trying to sell their latest range of Chinese imports, or trying to identify the many languages you can hear snatches of - this is a very cosmopolitan crowd! In summer, the capacious terrace at Caballito de Mar, shaded by massive umbrellas, is the perfect place to watch the passing parade while sampling the menu.
Being situated right on the Mediterranean, it's no surprise that there is a strong emphasis on fresh seafood at Caballito de Mar, but meat lovers and vegetarians are catered for as well. As always with a new restaurant, making your choice is difficult because everything sounds wonderful, so we were happy to accept the suggestion from our host Raul. First course was a splendid plate of Sushi, prepared in house as you watch - great entertainment this! This writer is not a sushi expert, but the dish was fresh, colourful and tasty, and served with a particularly nice soy sauce.
The main course is a speciality at Caballito de Mar - sea bass oven baked in a thick salt crust. This is an ancient, classic Mediterranean way of cooking fish - the salt acts as a sort of double oven, retaining all the moisture and flavour. It's also a satisfyingly dramatic dish when brought to the table; the salt overcoat cracks off, the skin comes away with ease, and the fillets can be lifted away with a spoon - great stuff! Oh, yes, it was absolutely delicious as well.
We took the opportunity to take a look at the private suite at Caballito de Mar, housed on the first floor of the main building. The room enjoys great views of the harbour and the nearby historic buildings and is a great venue for private functions, business meals and meetings, product launches, in fact, any function involving groups of up to 25 people. It's a VIP facility, with a comfortable lounge area, separate dining area, its own toilets, air conditioning, television, DSL internet, and exclusive service. Complete privacy is assured.