Marea is one of the two restaurants in the 5-star Iberostar Playa de Palma, which was totally renovated last year. We went to try the tasting menu – ‘menú degustación’ – from talented young chef Benito Sousa, who is from Cáceres in Extremadura and has been at Marea since it opened last year, after moving from the Mercado Gastronómico San Juan in Palma. Marea is open for lunch and dinner.
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The first tick on our list was the welcome valet parking for diners at Marea restaurant. No hassle trying to find a parking place here!
Marea’s décor is really attractive with a bright beach feel that manages to be both homely and trendy in design – with the obligatory exposed light bulbs and pale wooden dining furniture. Sadly there are no sea views from this restaurant, but a huge photograph on one wall reminds you that the Mediterranean Sea is close by.
Marea offers both an à la carte menu and a tasting menu (we tried the latter, which is available only to guests staying in the hotel). The cuisine is Mediterranean and features ingredients from Mallorca, as well as high-quality meats. On the à la carte menu there is Galician ‘Rubia’ beef and ox ribeye steak from El Capricho in Leon – renowned as the supplier of the world’s best meat.
Our tasting menu began with the house appetizer, a small tart of escalibada. We moved on to home-made prawn croquettes and a quinoa salad with marinated salmon.
The menu offered two main courses: firstly, a grilled fillet of sea bass with vegetables, then Iberian pork shoulder with Palo Cortado sherry reduction and braised vegetables – both were very good. We also really enjoyed the dessert: Sóller orange with orange and mint ice cream.
Marea’s food – based on what were clearly good-quality products combined in interesting ways – exceeded our expectations. Presentation is excellent and you’re likely to be taking photos of the dishes you eat.
The wine list features Mallorcan and Spanish labels, although there is one from France (a rosé). If you like a bit of fizz, there’s a decent choice and several are available by the glass. Push the boat out and you could have a bottle of Dom Pérignon Plenitud 2 (we didn’t!).
We would certainly recommend Marea for families who want to eat good food in the Playa de Palma area.
Honorato Espinar – who is the executive chef for Iberostar hotels and responsible for their culinary concepts – competed in the Spanish TV show ‘Top Chef’ in 2014.