If you want spectacular Palma waterfront views from your dinner table, Ikatza Restaurant at the 5-star Gran Meliá Victoria Hotel fits the bill, as its elevated position offers amazing views. As the restaurant’s name (the Basque word for ‘coal’), suggests, Basque Country cuisine is the speciality…and that means great meats.
Ikatza is open for dinner only. We didn’t even consider eating in the elegant dining room, as the terrace is the place to be on a summer’s evening. The dining furniture is classic white-painted wrought iron: tables are draped in white linen and red seat-pads and water glasses add a pop of colour to the setting.
We finally tore our gaze away from the panoramic views of Palma’s sweeping waterfront to concentrate on the menu. There’s plenty of choice and it’s helpful that the restaurant’s Basque specialities and star dishes are highlighted.
The friendly young waitress who served us brought us a typical appetizer from the north of Spain: Cantabrian anchovy with roasted red pepper and ali oli on a crouton. Following our waitress’s suggestion, we shared a typical Basque starter: the tasting platter of charcuterie and cheeses – including the nutty-flavoured sheep’s milk Idiazabal – served on a wooden board and more than enough for two people.
Diners at the neighbouring table were enjoying the impressive-looking hock of veal (for a minimum of two), a traditional dish, which had been roasted for 20 hours. Although it – and other meat dishes we noted – looked amazing (and generously portioned), we chose fish.
We tried the tataki of tuna layered around a bed of chopped mango with teriyaki sauce, and cod in the style of famous chef Matías Gorrotxategi – cooked with oil and garlic in a water bath at 62 degrees. It was succulent, flavourful, and served on a bed of broad beans with ham and tomato.
Desserts are all home-made (and the same price) here and a selection is brought to the table on a trolley. Pud-lovers may find it hard to choose just one! We shared a Basque variation of ‘creme catalana’ but found it too sweet for our taste.
Ikatza has the elegance, classical ambience, and attentive service you’d expect from a hotel with the prestige of the Gran Meliá Victoria Hotel. It’s a restaurant that doesn’t pretend to be trendy, but offers chef Leo Lovrincevich’s accomplished cuisine – in an incomparable location. And the Instagram-worthy views are the reason many will want to come to eat at Ikatza…