The gourmet epicenter of Palma is Santa Catalina, where the fruit and vegetable market bustles with chefs and foodies buying exquisite produce: unusual spices, fresh fish, and even edible flowers spill out of the stalls. Nuru – which means ‘light, vitality and new beginnings’ in Swahili – is a destination restaurant for epicurean insiders. Just a stone´s throw away from the market, Nuru restaurant offers an Asian-influenced menu that is fresh and fragrant.
Despite being keen amateur chefs themselves, the three brothers Jerome, Julien and Joel knew when they dreamed up Nuru, they would not be in the kitchen. They hired Jesús Pérez de la Fuente – affectionately known as chef Chus who happens to be a native of Palma – to oversee the kitchen at Nuru. So after a career in some of the world’s finest restaurants (El Bulli, Arzak, and Nobu London) the chef returned to the island to cook, and you can feel his education and sense of homecoming in every toothsome bite.
A contemporary-style restaurant for 60 diners, the restaurant has a chic chill-out roof terrace for a pre-dinner aperitif or drinks after your meal. The light interior décor is enhanced by works of art by the famous Spanish Hollywood actor Jordí Mollá – whose visits to eat here are not infrequent. An open kitchen at the back reveals the chef at work, while long cosy banquettes make for an informal and intimate dining experience.
Chef Chus starts with fresh seasonal produce to create his haute cuisine where spices such as wasabi, ponzu and chipotle are staples. First course appetizers of duck gyozas and honey-glazed eggplant with cashew nut pesto are designed for sharing, creating a family-style experience. A stand-out main course was the meltingly tender and richly flavoured Korean barbecue-style Angus Rib, which was slow-cooked for 20 hours and served with kimchi coleslaw. The dessert, peanut butter mousse and chocolate coulant with green tea ice cream are worth the indulgence. “Happiness is as good as food” is a Masai proverb, and nothing could be more true. You will leave Nuru with your belly and heart, full.