Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dine like a pauper, the well-known adage goes. Following this advice, we went to the seafront 5-star Hospes Maricel in Cas Catalá as the first to try the new ‘Desayuno Maricel’.
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Catalan ‘chef de cuisine’ Didac Vellve – who joined the hotel in December 2016 – has given the hotel’s famous breakfast an innovative makeover. It was named ‘the world’s best’ in 2004, when Nacho Pérez Asiain – Gastronomy Director at Hospes Hotels – was in charge.
Didac moved from the 5-star Princesa Yaiza in Lanzarote and previously worked at Barcelona’s Hotel Arts, with Sergi Arola (Restaurante Arola) and Paco Pérez (Enoteca Paco Pérez). He aims to make Hospes Maricel a gastronomic reference on Mallorca.
The new ‘Desayuno Maricel’ begins as breakfast and transitions into brunch, during two-and-a-half hours of enjoying the views and sounds of the Mediterranean from the hotel’s impressive colonnaded terrace.
Didac’s Mallorcan pastry chef Mariló Escobar is responsible for this intricately prepared breakfast, which showcases her presentation skills. One server attends to you throughout the experience.
The seasonal menu is designed to refresh the palate and starts with three small juices: detoxifying beetroot, carrot, and orange juice; antioxidant Granny Smith apple juice with celery, spinach, and ginger, and a mango, strawberry, and natural yogurt. This was followed by a medley of precisely prepared summer fruits and vegetables, with a quenelle of basil ice cream; at the table, our server poured on red peach gazpacho; the long ‘leaves’ garnishing this were cleverly made of chocolate. Summer in a bowl.
The third dish was a crunchy-coated cylinder of creamy Idiazábal cheese, with smoked salt, pumpkin sorbet, and caramelised pumpkin seeds; citric notes countered the cheese’s richness. Next: sardine fillets scattered with chopped toasted hazelnuts atop smoked paprika coca with a royale of roasted peppers and sherry vinaigrette.
A deconstructed tortilla came in a martini glass, accompanied by a mini-brioche and small spoon of caviar. The savoury sabayon concealed a foundation of poached onions and was topped with crispy potato shreds.
An indulgent dish followed: carpaccio of foie, layered with thin slices of crunchy nutty bread, violet jam, passionfruit pulp, and a powdered ice cream (yes, it’s a thing) made from Italian Scamorza cheese. This was followed by a refreshing Sóller orange and champagne sorbet on chocolate sand with tiny shreds of dried rose petals.
Our final savoury course – now in the brunch period – was meltingly soft slow-cooked Iberian pork cheek with citric notes and a crunchy aubergine slice, with lemon and lime notes, and garnished by Szechuan pepper tree leaves.
After a show-stopping dessert described on the menu as ‘dark chocolate’, we ended with superb petits fours – more of Mariló’s precise culinary art.
This breakfast-cum-brunch includes juices, coffee, and a glass of wine; the optional wine pairing (additional cost) is recommended. This experience is available every morning, with sittings starting half-hourly between 09:00h and 10:30h. Reservations must be made by 15:00h the previous day.
Read the review of the Maricel Breakfast by Helen Cummins.