In the heart of Palma’s Old Town, Saranna Café and Gastrobar on first glance looks like a simple café with the usual Mallorcan offerings of ‘Pa amb Oli’ and coffee but looks can certainly be deceiving. This charming Gastrobar serves up a mix of breakfasts, snacks and South-American-influenced cuisine. But can this café concept compete with some of it’s bigger and more established neighbours?
The Gastrobar itself feels very Mediterranean and is light and airy with an open bar and café area and a separate small but bright dining area. The charming manager, Thiago greets us warmly and allows us to choose our table. He explains that Saranna only use fresh ingredients and that all of their bread and pastries are made in-house and that the menu is diverse so as to cater for everyone – salads, sandwiches, pastries and full meals.
We kick things off with some deep fried Mediterranean prawns with lime citrus mayo, some of the creamiest chicken croquettes around, and calamari with yuzu foam – all of which were delicious. Next up, the ‘corvina’ ceviche with mango tiger’s milk and yellow chilli. The flavours of this dish and the textures were perfectly balanced and incredibly moreish and could possibly rival some of the best ceviche on the island. Staying on the fish theme, some tuna tartar arrived with a mango sauce to pour over it which was delightfully fruity, smooth and perfectly seasoned.
Already feeling full but eager to try more, the pièce de résistance is brought to the table. Iberian ham, cooked low for 24 hours, with sweet potato puree and honey in a hoisin jus. The meat simply fell apart at the touch and the tangy hoisin and sweet honey created a perfect contrast in flavour. The organic red wine that was served with the pork just added to this contrast of flavours and enhanced each bite.
The man behind this concept, the uber-friendly and interesting, Hamlet Ramirez, came to join us and explain his philosophy with the Gastrobar – a place where people can eat authentic, good quality food whenever they want to eat it. Breakfast at 4pm? No problem. Ceviche at 10am? Absolutely. Natural food with a focus on quality over quantity is the aim and this is achieved in all aspects of the menu.
As we continue chatting to Hamlet and hearing his stories of his life in Cuba and his career, the dessert arrives. A rich chocolate cake with lemon ice cream – indulgent and a treat that would satisfy anyone with a sweet tooth.
Saranna has found a niche in the Palma foodie scene and caters to it perfectly. Quality over quantity and natural ingredients are the focus here and makes the dining experience one that you will want to repeat over and over again and certainly will have the neighbouring restaurants on their toes.
Why eat here?
Simple, authentic yet quality food in a relaxed, welcoming and friendly environment.