Olivera is one of the two restaurants at the seasonal 5-star country-house hotel Castell Son Claret in southwest Mallorca – the other being the 2-Michelin-starred Zaranda. Although Zaranda’s chef Fernando Pérez Arellano has overall responsibility for the hotel’s cuisine, chef Pep Forteza is in charge of the kitchen at Olivera.
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Forteza has more than 24 years’ experience in high-quality hotels and, on Mallorca, he has cooked at the Castillo Hotel Son Vida and the Hilton, where he first worked with Arellano. We went to Olivera for lunch to try Forteza’s Mediterranean cuisine.
The restaurant comprises an elegant long dining room overlooking a fine terrace, where you can eat al fresco with views of the swimming pool and gardens (including the olive trees from which the restaurant takes its name) and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere.
Although menu prices may initially seem a little high, many of the dishes are designed to be shared. We divided the home-made burrata which, once cut into, was deliciously creamy and soft inside. We also shared light crispy prawn and mint parchments.
For the main course dishes, we had one fish and one meat. Sea bass with a curry sauce sounded an unusual combination but it was tasty and the fish was perfectly cooked. Moroccan-style shoulder of lamb was meltingly tender and flavourful; we had it with a quinoa accompaniment, instead of couscous. Excellent as this dish was, it is perhaps not the ideal lunch dish when the temperature outside is 34°C!
We did feel that, for a 5-star hotel restaurant, the service could have been a little more fluid than it was on the day we visited.
In the height of summer, lunch indoors – with the benefit of air conditioning – may be more comfortable for those unaccustomed to the high temperatures. In the evenings, when the sun has set, a table on the terrace is an appealing al fresco option in fine weather.
Olivera is a good choice for lunch or dinner – particularly during the spring and autumn months, when the weather is pleasantly warm rather than hot.