This review was first published in April 2013. Although the restaurant has not changed substantially, some of the details in this review may no longer be relevant today.
It is Monday night and there is not a lot happening on the streets of Palma after dark. We are walking down the narrow street of Calle Concepción and the bright lights through the big glass window give an inviting signal to enter. A broad-smiling Mexican welcomes us to his restaurant and proudly shows us the recent improvements he has made. By moving the bar he has gained an extra couple of tables – and they are needed, as most nights there is literally a queue out the door.
A few steps down is a new area with an attractive white bar, high tables and bar stools – a place where the folks waiting to get their place at a table can enjoy an aperitif. A few steps up and again you are in the main eatery but this time you arrive to the open kitchen – “our regular clients who are by now friends, like to see how I prepare the food, and I also like the close connection with our customers,” Emilio comments.
I’ve used the excuse of the restaurant review to invite along some friends who I thought would like the food. As always I give Emilio ‘carte blanche’ to choose the food we are going to eat. The menu mainly consists of very lightly grilled fish seasoned with fresh spices and lemon, lime and sesame seed oil. There is not a menu per se in Emilio Innobar – the waitress carries a board to each table and explains the menu and the recommendations for the evening.
We try a number of dishes, including the ‘pescado’ Emilio, which has a delicious curry flavour that does not overpower the fish star ingredient, and includes asparagus, broccoli, tomatoes – all adding a fresh healthy taste to the dish. We also eat chicken tempura; the tempura batter is speckled with black sesame seeds, and the generous portion surrounds a small bed of lettuce, topped with smooth mango ice cream and sliced fresh mango. The freshness of the fruit and ice cream makes a delicious contrast in flavour and texture to the tempura.
One of our favourite dishes is the ceviche de langostinos which consists of a bowl of chopped tomatoes, spring onions, coriander, fresh avocado, langostinos, lime and lemon sauce and a sprinkling of finely chopped hot chili. It is a very filling dish and certainly worth sharing if you want to enjoy more courses.
Another favourite is the fish gyozas – like a large ravioli stuffed with fish, ginger, spring onions and oyster sauce, first steamed and then fried until a slight golden colour and crispy and served with spring onions.
I would strongly recommend sharing the dishes and trying as many plates as possible so you get the full experience of Emilio’s wonderfully innovative cuisine.We drank a local white wine – produced by Mesquida Mora – ACROLLAM (Mallorca spelt backwards) which is a young, crisp dry wine from 2011 made from a mix of premsal, parellada and chardonnay grapes.
Emilio Innobar is a trendy spot and it can be difficult to get a table so book well in advance. The popular chef has built a large and loyal following from his initial years at BarCo in Portixol and various other restaurants.The food is freshly prepared in the open kitchen when ordered, so later in the evening when the restaurant fills up you may have to wait … but in my opinion it is certainly well worth it as the food is a unique experience not only in Mallorca but worldwide.
Open daily for lunch and dinner.
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