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Laurus Restaurant is a rose among the many architectural thorns in Ca'n Pastilla - this village at the Palma end of the Playa de Palma is beginning to replace some of the badly planned construction of the 1960's, but Laurus is well ahead of the rest. Owners Iñaki and Sara employed the award winning firm of interior designers Tarruella & Lopez from Barcelona - who specialise in restaurant design - and the results are stunning. Modern, chic and making the most of the views of beach and sea, the design also optimises the available space. The kitchen is a high tech marvel, full of stainless steel and equipped with all the latest professional equipment. The restaurant area features wooden floors and swivelling floor to ceiling glass doors which open to the large and shady decked terrace, or close to keep out bad weather while still retaining those views.
The Basque country is renowned for producing many excellent chefs and credit for this is often given to the Sociedades Gastronomicas - men only cooking clubs where techniques and recipes are shared and handed down through the generations. Head chef at Laurus, Iñaki Sacramento is a product of these traditional clubs and developed his love of cooking, and his creative flair, while pursuing his previous professional career. With Sara supporting him with administration and front of house, Iñaki opened Laurus in 2005, and is clearly doing something he loves. The dishes at Laurus stay true to their traditional roots, while being enhanced by Iñaki's modern and creative style. Since opening, the restaurant has been listed in the Michelin Guide every year, and has become more and more popular as the word spreads, so it's always best to call ahead for a reservation.
You have a choice of menu combinations at Laurus, ranging from the full à la carte selection, through the Menù Laurus with a choice from 3 starters, 3 mains and 2 desserts, the Menù Largo and the Menù Txoxo, which are both set menus served to the whole table. The staff at Laurus are welcoming, friendly and helpful, and the attention to detail is exemplary.
Our meal at Laurus began with an appetizer of a cloud of cod mousse resting on a parmesan wafer - a delicious mouthful and a hint of things to come. This was followed by the foie micuit, reducción de PX(sherry) y confitura de tomate , a harmony of flavours which almost tasted chocolatey when put together- it was very good, and a great surprise! If you want to know how tomato soup should taste, our next course provides the answer. Terciopelo de tomate, pan con jamon, y aceite de aguacate is a good description of appearance and texture (terciopelo means velvet), but words can't describe the taste - the best I can do is say that it captures the very essence of a tomato fresh-picked from your own bush at home. Fantastic - go and try it! Main course was a modern version of the classic bacalao pil-pil. This simple dish of cod with a light garlic sauce was served with hongos, rather special wild mushrooms, and was the perfect lunchtime main course. The meal was completed by manzana caramelizada, crema catalan y helado canela, another brilliant update of an old favourite, followed by coffee served with a home made truffle and a melt-in-the-mouth orange wafer.
On this occasion, we did not have wine with our meal, but notice that the cellar at Laurus houses a good selection of fine wines from Mallorca and mainland Spain. The selection is always growing and includes cavas and champagnes.
Laurus may seem a little out of the way, but the fact that a growing number of regular clients come there from other areas says a great deal. We enjoyed the whole experience and left feeling relaxed and happy - that's what it's all about, surely?