Pedro Mayol and his family know the restaurant business well: with two successful establishments in Madrid called Arrocerías Formentor and another in Barcelona, this is their first venture in Mallorca. The idea is a marriage of bistro and economic which has become known as ‘bistronòmic’ and has already been a successful restaurant concept in cities such as Paris and Barcelona.
The weekly tasting dinner menu of six delicious courses, served in a modern urban environment at an unbelievable price, may seem too good to be true. Well, the team of five young chefs led by Dario Toledo – who trained under the renowned chef Ferran Adrià – and the other team members – also trained in various Michelin star restaurants in Europe – decides on the menu for the week, taking account of seasonal products and availability on the island. With a great deal of innovation, the result is a creative, delicately prepared array of tastes and flavours to tantalize the palate.
On arrival, Pedro advised us that the menu this week is more traditional than usual and invited us to come back another week to try the more adventurous modular-style cuisine, which their main influencer Ferran Adrià is famous for creating – and that the kitchen team at Safrà21 delight in presenting to their nightly guests. A quote from www.austinchronicle.com proves Adrià´s importance: “Call it what you will – techno-emotional cuisine, molecular gastronomy, culinary deconstructionism, or any of the other terms it goes by – but the new wave of cuisine that has spread around the world from Paris, Catalonia, and the Basque regions of Spain has become a force to be reckoned with.”
Our menu began with a cream of new potato soup with drizzles of truffle oil; the flavour was light, yet creamy with a soft delicate taste. The fillet of anchovies with couscous and tartare of vegetables was fresh and a good appetizer for the heavier food that followed. The third dish was won ton ravioli served on a base of mushroom cream.
It was so delicious and tasty with exploding red peppercorns to further tantalize our palate.
The fourth dish was a fillet of sea bream served with Saracen corn risotto and rosemary foam. The Saracen corn is an ingredient popular in Spain and comes from dried fruit seeds from dock plants and rhubarb, which originated from the Orient and has been cultivated in Europe since the 14th century. It tastes quite similar to rice, if somewhat less starchy and drier. The meat was beef cheeks with pumpkin jam and pistachios. I had feared at the beginning that we would still feel hungry at the end but this was certainly not the case. The meal tends to start lightly and becomes more substantial as it progresses.
The dessert was a very special apple pie and, rather than ruin the surprise, I won’t say more. We drank a white wine Tafelwein-Premero 106 – a joint venture of German/Mallorcan grapes – which we enjoyed very much with the dinner. The price of white wine ranges from €15.25 – €21.15 and the reds from €13.25 – €29.50. By the way, a bottle of Moet is €40.25 which is surely hard to beat!
The menu changes every Thursday and the bistronòmic concept is available in the evenings, with a rice menu on offer at lunchtime.
Our conclusion was that the chefs are very confident in the creative combinations and innovative means used to prepare the food: at no time during the meal did we feel they were trying too hard. Indeed, I was reminded of a quote I read recently from Adrià: “Toast topped with chocolate, olive oil and sea salt, which sounds wacky but seems completely inevitable once you taste it” is a good description of what Safrà 21 offers gourmets.