You’re unlikely to discover Basic Bar & Restaurant on a leisurely stroll around Palma: it’s tucked away in a side street, linking Aragón and Nuredduna – close to El Corte Inglés on the Avenidas, but not on the tourist route.
Basic Restaurant & Bar
English, Spanish & German
Open since May 2009, this restaurant, and bar (they also do catering and take-away food) is owned by Gerhard Berktold from Austria; if the name sounds familiar, he was head chef at the St Regis Mardavall for six-and-a-half years. He did the cooking here at Basic until a couple of months ago, then German chef Patrick Gernsbeck took over in the kitchen.
Basic’s interior is modern minimalist: dark wooden floors, darker wooden-topped tables, and plain painted walls, decorated with a changing exhibition of work by local artists. Beyond the floor-to-ceiling windows is a sliver of simple Oriental-style garden: a row of tall potted plants, standing on white pebbles, and backed by a high wall.
“My philosophy is to offer high-quality gastronomy, made with fresh products and at very competitive prices,” Berktold told us. “It’s Mediterranean, but we also use the flavours of Asia and Africa. It’s fresh and simple, and I call it international.”
The daily-changing three-course ‘menú del día’, including bread and one drink (glass of wine or beer, soft drink or water), costs 12,50 € (including IVA). There’s always a soup and one other starter, and a choice of one meat, one fish and one vegetarian pasta dish for the main course. There’s one dessert, but an alternative is available if required. During our visit, we sampled all the dishes on the lunchtime menu that day.
First was ‘facaccia de jamon serrano y queso manchego’, comprising a piece of focaccia bread, topped with tomato, salad and basil leaves, serrano ham and thinly sliced manchego cheese, served with a good dollop of pesto on the side. A pleasing contrast of textures, colours and flavours – in a satisfying portion. The soup was a traditional gazpacho, accompanied by two shelled prawns. It could have been slightly more chilled, but was bursting with the refreshing flavour that makes this a popular summer dish.
The first of the main courses was ‘curry de ternera con arroz basmati’: the medium-spiced sauce would have suited most palates, and the rice was perfectly cooked. Next, a good bowl of ‘raviolis de ricotta con caldo de tomate’: a scattering of pine nuts added a contrasting texture, and the tomato broth was absolutely delicious. The third main course dish comprised pieces of squid, fried in the lightest of batters, on a bed of moist couscous, incorporating small pieces of tomato, courgette and pepper. Yummy.
The finale was a chocolate brownie served with cream. In texture it was actually more like a chocolate cake – but a good one – as it didn’t have the squidgy centre expected in a brownie, but it had a rich flavour. And we didn’t leave any . . .
For 12,50 € Basic’s lunchtime menú del día is amazing value for its quality – and definitely worth the walk from the heart of the city.
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