Miquel Calent is well known to Mallorcans: the chef appears often on the local TV channel IB3 and – with his brother Joan – owns this Campos restaurant, serving lunch and dinner. Can Calent opened in 2004 on the outskirts of Campos, near the old railway station roundabout on the road to Santanyí. You’re sure to find street-parking space nearby.
Entering Can Calent you may wonder if you’ve found the right place: the front area looks like a regular bar, with local posters on a wall noticeboard.
Walk through to the rear and you enter a neat restaurant with well-spaced tables for around 80 diners; modern art hangs on the walls, there’s an aquarium, and a water feature too.
For lunch and dinner, there’s a choice of seasonal à la carte or tasting menus (5 or 8 plates, for the whole table only). We tried the latter for our lunchtime visit. The carefully presented cuisine is traditional Mallorcan with a modern twist; quite a few foams (or ‘airs’ as they are called on the menu) adorn dishes here.
Our lunch began with a coca – Mallorca’s answer to pizza – which was a good start (if a little unwieldy to eat with fingers, as we were recommended to do). Tongue with capers came garnished with tasty little dots of home-made caper-flower marmalade.
Next, we had one of Miquel’s star dishes: potatoes ‘poor man’ with egg yolk and black truffle. It’s the only dish that’s on the menu of both Can Calent and Cuit – Miquel’s contemporary restaurant and bar on the 8th floor of Palma’s Nakar Hotel. Egg lovers enthuse about the richness of this apparently simple dish (which involves several culinary processes).
Grilled sea bass with Mallorcan summer ‘sopes’ (soup) – topped with pine ‘air’ – was one of the lighter dishes we ate. The meat course was a dish of beefy hanger steak (known here as onglet), served in the style of Padrina Calenta. We gamely ate the two desserts that were part of the 8-course tasting menu, wondering how people could eat so much during a record late-July heatwave!
On the Tuesday we visited, quite a few local business people were there for lunch. Generous portions and Miquel’s growing reputation make it a place to try one of the many contemporary interpretations of traditional Mallorcan cuisine that you can find on the island. Just bring a hearty appetite and, if you’ve tried Cuit, expect a slightly different experience at Can Calent in Campos.