The Mallorcan word ‘dins’ means ‘inside’ – an appropriate name for this place with no exterior entrance! DINS Santi Taura opened late February 2016, but there’s no visible sign of its existence. Access is only through a plain door at the back of Santi Taura restaurant’s open kitchen.
The industrial-chic décor is a hint of the space’s former use as a workshop (metalworking, then carpentry). It had been empty for three years when Mallorcan chef Santi acquired it, for the cellar storage space. He created the restaurant concept DINS Santi Taura on the ground floor.
“What I make comes from inside of me,” Santi told us when we ate there. He researched authentic Balearic recipes and interprets them here in his own way – always respectfully acknowledging their origins. Santi tells the story of each dish as he presents it; this and the use of ‘Slow Food’ ingredients add to the interest of eating here.
DINS Santi Taura offers only a Balearic tasting menu, with at least 13 dishes (ours had 16, including appetizer and petit fours). Up to sixteen people sit indoors at long tables in the room’s centre, because watching Santi and his small team in the open kitchen is part of the experience. Flat screens mounted over this area display the wine list, alternating with images of Santi’s beloved island. A small rear patio is ideal for drinks before eating.
Santi often reveals the provenance of key ingredients. We had ecological ‘sobrasada’ from Can Ferrerico in Porreres; rice from Sa Pobla, and cheese from Sa Teulera, near Petra. Mallorcan ‘xeixa’ wheat olive oil bread is served with Menorcan butter; the olive oil began in the family orchard in Fornalutx.
The menu always includes stuffed snails cooked on a bed of herbs. Santi found the 18th-century recipe in an old book, and uses ecological snails from a farm in Muro: “We’re the only restaurant in the world that prepares snails like this.” Trying them is a delicious revelation. Some of Santi’s mum’s recipes have also inspired dishes for his memorable tasting menu. The superb crockery and cutlery came from Acme in Barcelona, which supplied the late chef Santi Santamaria.
There’s an optional wine pairing here, but we recommend asking what the wines will be before deciding, because the choice of wines by the bottle (up on the screen) is appealing. Santi has a great supplier – right across the road!
DINS Santi Taura is open for dinner on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 20:30h and for lunch on Saturdays.