The Moors saw an opportunity in this privileged, sheltered and tranquil part of Mallorca’s spectacular Tramuntana coastline: they founded the village we know as Banyalbufar, and skilfully created hillside terraces for the cultivation of malvasia grapevines. Wine was produced here from Moorish times until the dark days of the late 19th century, when Mallorca’s wine industry was decimated by disease. Determination and hard work have, fortunately, seen the reintroduction of malvasia vines and wine-making to Banyalbufar.
1661 Cuina de Banyalbufar
Spanish, English and German
We went for lunch at a place encompassing restaurant, bistro/café and bar. 1661 ‘Cuina de Banyulbufar’ is a family eatery, serving home-cooked Mediterranean food, located in a traditional house (part of which dates from 1661) in the heart of the village. The charming German Julia Burgel (co-owner, with her brother Tobias), and friendly waiter Mike, welcomed us to a table on the front terrace (essentially the pavement). It’s a pretty spot, sitting beneath olive trees and surrounded by pots and troughs of shrubs. Although this is a main thoroughfare, traffic is by no means constant, and there are times when the only sounds are the chatter and clatter of those at other tables, locals calling out to each other as they pass in the street, and birdsong.
Inside, the oldest part of the building houses the bistro/café/bar where the traditional Mallorcan ‘cloth of tongues’ has been used for soft furnishings. It has a comfortable, welcoming ambience that’s perfect for an evening drink with friends; among other tipples, there’s a choice of 21 different gins, include examples from the Black Forest, San Francisco, Scotland, England, and Mallorca – Suau. The restaurant is slightly more formal, with white table linen, and vibrant contemporary art on the walls.
Our lunch began with a basket of good white and wholemeal bread, black olives, extra virgin olive oil from Caimari, and alioli. We sampled a number of dishes, which Julia selected, sharing a portion of each. First: avocado with shrimps, minty yoghurt and leaf salad. The avocado was perfectly ripe; the shrimps were plump (but not deveined), and the salad included crunchy sprouted seeds. We really liked the freshness of the minty yoghurt dressing. Next, a generous plate of good beef carpaccio with rocket salad, served with quail’s egg, cherry tomatoes, parmesan and walnuts. A delicious main course was the tender, juicy pork fillet from the Mallorcan black pig, served with really flavourful Mediterranean vegetables and sweet potato purée. When we complimented Julia on the quality of the vegetables, she told us that they don’t prepare and cut them up until they are going to be used, to preserve flavour and vitamins. Their menu includes dishes with organic chicken and organic Aberdeen Angus beef from Finca Son Mayol.
The king prawns (a portion of seven), fried in lime and garlic oil, and served with apricot and ginger chutney, were a real treat. More affordable than their famous Sóller cousins, they were large, tasty and perfectly cooked.
Julia wanted us to try two desserts, and we put up little resistance: First, a delicious chocolate coulant with artisan ice cream (Fet a Sóller). The classic coulant was as it should be, with a heart of warm liquid chocolate. Unlike some chocolate desserts, it wasn’t too sweet. Next, Julia’s vanilla mascarpone cream, a sinfully delicious concoction of fresh fruits marinated with an orange-caramel reduction, Cantuccini crunch, and mascarpone.
As it was lunchtime, we tried just a glass of Cornet, a delicious wine produced from malvasia grapes in Banyalbufar. At 1661, it would be a shame not to try one of the village wines. Mallorcan wines here start at €15 per bottle (rosé). Or, for something different, try one of the three types of bottled beer brewed in the Tramuntana.
Julia’s parents Christa and Frank, whom she described as having been “hobby cooks”, are responsible for the accomplished and attractively presented food; her brother Tobias is also involved in the business. Julia has lived in Mallorca for 11 years, studied tourism at university here and clearly understands the service industry. As well as lunch or dinner, you can enjoy a wide range of delicious snacks, salads and soups – or simply a good coffee and home-made cake, at any time. There’s something for everyone who likes creative, healthy and home-made food prepared from quality ingredients, served by people with an enthusiasm for what they do.
The Moors knew a desirable location when they saw it. If you see an opportunity to go to Banyalbufar, then take it. And visit 1661, where Julia and her team will make you welcome.
Tuesday 10:00 - 00:00 h
Wednesday 10:00 - 00:00 h
Thursday 10:00 - 00:00 h
Friday 10:00 - 00:00 h
Sunday 10:00 - 00:00 h
Note: Open all year.
Make a reservation at 1661 Cuina de Banyalbufar Restaurant
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We hope you found this restaurant review of 1661 Cuina de Banyalbufar useful and that you have many memorable meals as a result of our recommendations.
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Bon Profit as the locals say!!