Finding this Santa Ponsa restaurant for the first time can be a little tricky: it helps to know that it’s in the heart of the Las Adelfas residential community in Nova Santa Ponsa. Once you’ve arrived, you can breathe easy: parking is plentiful and this quiet area feels a world away from the bustling resort.
A new owner, new management, and experienced new chefs have made Las Adelfas Restaurant in Nova Santa Ponsa a hot new tip for gourmets in 2017. The Austrian – Komm Otto Scheiflinger – invested 2,5 million euros in a complete reformation of the restaurant, to achieve his dream of owning a gastronomic restaurant on Mallorca.
The result is visually appealing, with three distinct areas: light-filled elegant indoor dining room (with comfortable chairs); attractive large terrace for al fresco eating, and a chill-out area for drinks and interesting tapas or ‘pintxos’ – small snacks speared onto a piece of bread. The interior décor was the work of interior designer Eugen Rüegg from Odore-e-Colore in Palma.
The owner also employed Alberto Jareño – a respected restaurant manager he already knew – to run this new project as manager/sommelier. Alberto runs a professional service team which displays obvious pride in the restaurant and its delicious well-presented cuisine – international with Austrian influences. We noted a good team spirit here.
The two chefs are Alfredo Retamosa Fernández, originally from Cáceres, and Javier Rodríguez. Alfredo trained in Toledo and most recently worked as sous chef at the 5-star hotels Gran Castillo in Lanzarote and Zafiro in Alcúdia. Javier trained in Cordoba and developed his skills further working for chef Carme Ruscalleda at the acclaimed Sant Pau restaurant in Sant Pol de Mar (Barcelona); he moved to Las Adelfas from the Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa, where he’d been sous chef for two years.
Las Adelfas offers à la carte (as well as a few chefs’ suggestions) and tapas menus, and the Austrian-influenced dishes include Carinthian tapas noodles (rather like ravioli) and some regional desserts.
One of the signature dishes here is something exclusive on Mallorca to Las Adelfas: the Portugese ‘cataplana’. If you’re not familiar with this, it’s a covered dish – usually made from beaten copper – similar in concept to a North African tagine. Restaurant owner Komm Otto Scheiflinger and Alberto discovered this excellent way to cook food under a hermetic seal while visiting Portugal. Our fish and seafood ‘cataplana’ was a deliciously rich broth surrounding perfectly cooked mussels, prawns, clams, and more. Simply divine – and worth coming to the southwest just to eat this.
Other dishes we tried included: Sóller prawns, bluefin tuna and cod carpaccio on a bed of chopped tomatoes; Austrian noodles (we tried the potato, spinach and garlic, and the substantial mozzarella and tomato versions). We had excellent-quality ‘jamon ibérico’, a skewer of monkfish and scallops on potato gratin, and succulent fillet of Black Angus from Mallorca’s Son Mayol finca. We ended our meal with a dessert of ‘crema catalana’ and the cheeseboard.
If you enjoy a good bottle of wine, you’ll find an excellent selection of local wines on the list, as well as labels from the Peninsula, Italy, California, and New Zealand, but Alberto can also offer some off-card premium wines.
Our verdict? Las Adelfas buys the best ingredients they can source and turns them into very good food. We were particularly impressed by the tapas menu and excellent wine card, and the evident professionalism. Once you locate and try Las Adelfas, you’re likely to return. Bring a good appetite with you…