In a cosy former spice shop tucked away down an atmospheric narrow street just off Jaime III, you will find the aptly-named Canela, a popular restaurant owned by Mallorcan chef Fabian Fuster and his partner Irene Rigo.
Open for lunch and dinner (except Sundays; dinner only in the summer), the restaurant has three different dining areas in which to eat. As you enter, Canela has the feeling of an ecclectic Parisian bistro, with intimate small tables for dining à deux. The walls are decorated with interesting works of art. To the rear is the Mesa del Chef – a Japanese-style bar – where customers can watch the kitchen team creating and plating.
Fabian Fuster has international restaurant experience, having worked in Amsterdam and London, and bases his cuisine on best-quality produce. The menu features typical Mediterranean dishes and some creative Med/Asian fusion plates too.
Fabian’s main quest is to put balance and flavour into every dish he crafts and, when asked, he uses the japanese term ‘umami’ to describe his food – a fifth layer of flavor that is somewhere between salty and savoury. He believes in consistency as well as creativity in a restaurant and sets out to make diners both happy and surprised by what they discover.
Sharing is recommended, and dishes are presented accordingly. From the ‘snacks’ section we had: delicious soft-shell crab tempura with spicy sweet melon salad; pork and tiger prawn gyozas; chicken and tiger prawns dim sum with Thai sauce, and kataifi-wrapped king scallop with wakame salad, soy, and sake air. All were packed with flavour and attractively presented.
Sommelier José Luis Saez’s expertise adds to the pleasure of eating at Canela.
Canela is very busy at night – word of the interesting menu has spread – so you need to book. You dine here for the intimate experience, the lively crowd and the relaxed Spanish pace.