The call of the Mediterranean and the promise of eating some of its bounty can be irresistible on a Mallorcan summer night.
In central Palma there are few restaurants where you can eat dinner right by a beach, accompanied by the sound of the sea lapping on the sands. However, a few minutes’ taxi ride will take you to the 5-star Nixe Palace Hotel, where the seasonal A Popa Restaurante offers beachfront dining, specializing in seafood.
Inside the restaurant you could imagine you were on an elegant ship, surrounded by varnished wood walls and floor, porthole windows, and two illuminated aquaria of ornamental fish. Cream dining chairs and crisp white table linen evoke the golden days of sea voyages.
The prime tables though are on the white-balustrade terrace, with the beach just a short way beneath you and, after dark, a ribbon of lights twinkling around the bay. It’s a romantic setting and one with limited capacity, so book a table in advance if you want to be sure of eating here. We had the last available terrace table on the night we dined (the dining room itself was empty).
We found plenty of choice on the à la carte menu, and some additional ‘specials’ were also offered. The menu card is in Spanish, English, German, French, and Russian – reflecting the hotel’s international clientele.
After a complimentary appetizer of crab and tuna on a crostino, we had starters of spicy salmon tartare (served on a slate) and red prawn ceviche. Although these were well presented, both dishes lacked the expected amount of flavour, and the ceviche would have been improved by the omission of the lettuce. We also shared a portion (6 pieces) of duck and foie tempura puffs but found them rather greasy. Our main course was one of the day’s specials: half a grilled lobster served with Mediterranean vegetables.
There’s a good choice of Mallorcan wines on the list, with most priced at under 30€ a bottle (in 2016).
A Popa Restaurante isn’t one of Palma’s top restaurants for cuisine but its romantic beachfront setting is hard to beat – especially on a moonlit night.
Open for dinner only during the season.
We love… the stunning Mediterranean views and warm hospitality here.