When Parisians Hélène Huret and Stéphan Martin moved to Mallorca in 2016, they fell in love with the local Mallorcan food markets and fresh produce of the island. Truly epicurean, before moving to Mallorca, Hélène worked as a culinary journalist for 20 years in France, and Stéphan is a veteran of French restaurant Marc Meneau.
Suffice it to say, an invitation to dinner parties on their terrace is a coveted one. In 2018 they took the plunge and brought their dinner party to the masses, opening the chic and cosy bistro La Fabrique on Carrer de la Fàbrica, in the hippest neighbourhood in Palma, Santa Catalina. Departing from the typical French formality, we are met by the owners who greet us warmly and seat us in the sunny open terrace on the pedestrian paseo. The French are infamous for gastronomic snobbery and great home cooks, so a terrace full of French patrons is an auspicious omen.
Hélène is the author of the cookbook Un Terrasse du Soleil et des Copains, inspired by the couple’s dinner parties, and the menu at La Fabrique offers recipes from the cookbook alongside comfort foods that are staples of French and Mallorcan tables such as Steak Bearnaise with frites and grilled octopus.
For entrées we start with sardines rillettes, avocado toast, and Japanese spinach. The rillettes are prepared with cream cheese and spring onion, and are a delicious balance of flavours. Avocado toast is a red herring for tired food critics, but La Fabrique’s added dollop of tuna with coriander is inventive. Japanese spinach, a take on traditional gomae is a bit too heavy on the shiro miso.
For our second courses, a whole head of roasted cauliflower is crisp and tender, albeit a bit precious in price (12 euros) for a head of cauliflower. Ceviche is often drowning in tiger’s milk and over sweet, but La Fabrique’s version, a Lubina ceviche with passion-fruit is perfectly luscious and silky. The menu’s pièce de résistance? A beautiful fresh tomato tart in an innovative crust of black charcoal served with a drizzle of rich olive oil and fresh basil has us hankering to return. La Fabrique is a foodie haven for home cooking, and they do it better, so why not go out?
Why eat here?
The tomato tart is one of the most original and delicious things we have eaten in Palma!