The restaurant at five-star boutique hotel Palacio Can Marques opened in 2018. It has its own entrance on the busy street of Apuntadores in the heart of Palma’s La Lonja district. The cuisine of Belgian-born chef Cédric Lebon is classically French. “We don’t want to reinvent cooking”, says Cédric, “but we spend a lot of time choosing the ingredients and prepare food with real dedication.” And a lot of butter, as is the norm with French cuisine. If the butter from Normandy cannot be brought to Mallorca because of strikes – yes, it must be good Normandy butter – then Cédric makes the butter himself.
The atmosphere in the historic vault is quaint and not overly chic, but inviting and friendly. The understated interior matches with the old palace and the guests can trust the well-trained staff under the leadership of Johan Saldarriaga. They cater to your every whim. Even the Germans sitting at the table next to us adopted French habits and enjoyed almost three hours of a great dinner experience.
Our French delight was already rising with the amuse-bouches and reached the first peak with the Bouillabaisse and onion soup. It was not baked with cheese, but puff pastry, and carries the initials ‘VGE’ among connoisseurs.
“The onion soup was created by [acclaimed French chef] Bocuse for a state banquet for then Prime Minister Valéry Giscard d’Estaing (VGE)”, Cédric tells us explaining the recipe, which is less greasy than onion soup with cheese and tastes at least as good.
Although the Bouillabaisse had no backstory, we overlooked it – the flavour was excellent and intense. However, only white fish is used for the original dish, as we were explained patiently after two queries.
For the main course we tried vol-au-vent with chicken, stingray and a potato millefeuille. Puff pastry is an integral part of the cuisine at Can Marques and we would also like to know the recipe for it, as the pastry was crispy and savoury across all dishes.
The stingray was of the highest quality, with a firm bite, and anyone who knows this fish knows its specific problem: the cartilage between the flesh. Cédric removes the meat first, refines it with spices and then squeezes it in a roll. Thus the fish can be beautifully presented and easily eaten by the guest – with a little butter, of course.
The millefeuilles – with the perfect amount of saffron added – surprised us with a price of under 10 euros. The sweet to finish was meringue with fruits and a bread pudding with pear preserved in red wine.
Why you should eat here?
Fine French cuisine with excellent service in a quaint vault in the heart of Palma.