Basmati is an atmospheric restaurant in the Santa Catalina neighbourhood of Palma, open for both lunch and dinner, serving fine authentic Indian cuisine. The restaurant is owned by the jovial Bangladeshi chef Shahin Awal, who offers a daily changing tasting menu to his loyal customers. His restaurant is known to be one of the most romantic in Palma.
The charming chef/patron left his native Bangladesh when he was just 16 years old, because he couldn’t marry the love of his life. Without saying where he was going, the intrepid Awal left Bangladesh, heartbroken. Comparing himself to Huckleberry Finn, Shahin says, “If someone made a film about my story, it would win an Oscar!”
Shahin has an organic garden surrounding his home and uses much of the unusual produce and herbs he grows in the Basmati kitchen. His garden bounty includes exotic papaya, fragrant herbs, and spicy chilis. The chef/proprietor is happy to explain the preparation of his exquisite dishes to his customers. The atmosphere of Basmati is formal, but warm, like dining in a Raj´s palace, which adds to the experience of eating here.
The décor is decadent and romantic; rose petals on the linen-clad tables and authentic tasteful Indian artefacts create an ambience to complement the food. There is no à la carte menu at Basmati but, instead, a four-course tasting menu which Shahin creates each day.
His careful and expert use of spices results in delicious healthy Indian dishes with recognisable flavours of the ingredients, and everything is made from scratch – with no commercially produced pastes or sauces, and no gluten or cream. A separate tasting menu is offered for vegetarians. Shahin Awal moved to Spain in 1991, where he worked in several restaurants and, later, in the catering sector – for a year in Spain and a year in Japan.
Holidaying on Mallorca in 1993, this keen hiker fell in love with the mountains and decided to move here to open his restaurant Basmati. Shahin is known for his warm smile and hospitality, and the passion he puts into his cuisine in evident in every toothsome bite.