Namali Schleberger greets diners at her restaurant Nama with typical Asian grace and warmth (she is half Sri Lankan).
A former production set designer on the ‘Got Talent’ TV series in Britain and the USA, with Simon Cowell, Namali came to Mallorca in 2013 for a couple of months’ break, met her partner Linus Gerdemann (the German professional racing cyclist), stayed and, in May 2016, opened Nama.
Her designer’s eye is evident in this converted Mallorcan house on Deià’s main street. Attractive lighting, a leather Chesterfield (a perfect seat for a pre-dinner drink), and a few Oriental touches in the décor create a comfortable stylish ambience.
Eat indoors or on the cosy terrace, with views down over village gardens and up to the soaring mountains. During our visit, diners quickly filled the restaurant, which buzzed with the sound of contented conversation.
In summer 2016, Namali met Singapore-born and Australia-raised chef Bonnie who – with her partner Arantxa – owns the well-established restaurant Thairrific in Portals Nous. Namali invited Bonnie and Arantxa to join her at Nama.
Bonnie’s cuisine is influenced by the food of China, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam, and is based on fresh produce – such as the catch from local fishermen. The menu changes up to three times a week, but always includes interesting dishes for vegans and gluten-free diners. The kitchen is 90% dairy free (100% from 2017).
Choose from tapas, small, main, and sweet plates – or the Chef’s Omakase five-course sharing menu (minimum of six diners). Omakase is Japanese for ‘I’ll leave it to you’; we left it to the extrovert Bonnie.
After crisp (and non-greasy) poppadoms and chutney, Bonnie served Balinese-style ceviche in a scallop shell, recommending that we drink the coconut-milk juices at the bottom. A top-notch ceviche! Next we had the vegan tempura of stuffed zucchini flowers.
Ecological beef fillet from Finca Son Mayol starred in the pan-Asian-style steak tartare, which incorporated sriracha rather than tabasco sauce, and came with crispy wonton skins. Our final savoury dish was a tasty seafood curry made with mahi mahi fish, mussels, prawns, and lobster, served with a bowl of nutty organic Thai red rice. Baileys crème brúlée served with fresh fruit and Baileys-infused truffles was the sweet finale; they also offer desserts with Asian flavours.
For 2017, there’ll be ‘cantina’-style eating on the ground floor, with a raw bar, and lunch offered. A new upper-floor dining room (with terrace) will be for Asian fine dining.
The seasonal Nama is open for dinner only (except Sundays), and will close from the end of September 2016.