It’s a pleasant walk or few minutes’ taxi ride from Palma’s heart to this appealing waterfront restaurant, owned by Guillermo Cabot, in the old fishing village of Portixol. The area has become a hipster hangout in the last few years, with an international community of Swedes, Germans, and English moving into the quaint colourful houses along the sea. Strolling along the boardwalk brings to mind California´s famous Venice Beach, as rollerbladers and casual cyclists cruise along the waterfront, stopping in for a café or a caña in the sun. Ola del Mar is a favourite among locals and visitors, with a front line location that is a nautical-style dream destination for those that love to eat seaside.
Eating alfresco on one of the two terraces at Ola de Mar is a must, and you can do so year-round thanks to heating and shelter blinds that preserve the Mediterranean views in winter. The smart maritime interior is old-school with exposed stone walls, wooden floors and beams, and striking pictures of waves (‘ola’ meaning wave). Tables are topped in formal blue-and-white cloths. Inside, a small private room on the ground floor accommodates 15 diners; the upper-floor room has a long table, bar and adjacent terrace (great views of the harbour), suitable for events for approximately 56 guests. The service is professional and knowledgeable.
Ola del Mar focuses mainly on fresh fish, shellfish, and rice and pasta dishes on its à la carte menu. We recommend a selection of excellent starters to share, including tasty prawn carpaccio with nuts and Parmesan, and a trio of crispy plump croquettes (cuttlefish, chicken, and tuna). From the choice of classic paellas we had the ‘ciega’ or blind version, named ‘Señorito’ here, flavoured with their homemade stock which is rich and full of flavour, absolutely delicious. A great treat would be the market-priced lobster or rock lobster paella, or ‘calderata’ (stew). For dessert, you can´t go wrong with any of their traditional postres.
After your meal, a walk back along the boardwalk is the perfect digestif. You will marvel at the fact that Palma is just a short hop from the picturesque seaside enclave of Portixol, and thankfully so. After a long meal at Ola de Mar, a Spanish siesta is in order.