El Camino, Palma
It takes a brave Englishman to open a tapas restaurant in Palma, but not when that man is Eddie Hart. Eddie was one of the brothers behind the successful Spanish restaurants, Fino and Barrafina, in London. With the launch of El Camino five years ago, Eddie brought a new level of sophistication and vibrancy to Palma’s tapas scene.
Located in Carrer de Can Brondo, just off the Borne in Palma, El Camino has visual appeal even from the outside. Who wouldn’t want to be one of those people sitting in the glow of warm lighting on comfortable stools at the marble-topped oak counter enjoying the convivial ambience and the great food?
The lighting, mirrors, and stylish touches, like the thoughtfully provided under-counter hooks for bags or jackets, were the work of interior designer Elsa Oliveras of Elsa O Studio.
Most of the seating in this narrow restaurant is at the long counter but since opening, Eddie has added a couple of tables at the back of the restaurant. My choice would always be a stool at the counter to watch the chefs at work in the open kitchen. It’s like culinary theatre par excellence. The El Camino team is also friendly, makes you feel welcome, and contributes to the overall experience here.
The menu is printed on paper placemats on the countertop and there are always some specials too. My recommendation is to share a few dishes so you can taste as much as possible. The flavourful Mediterranean cuisine is made from carefully sourced ingredients and simply but expertly prepared.
We shared ‘pimientos de Padrón’ (10 €) as we sipped a glass of Evolució organic cava (7 €). Next, we had delicious salt cod fritters, a contrast of soft cod and crispy coating, (11 €), and corvina ceviche (19,50 €) – both excellent. We took a break from sharing so that I could enjoy the queen scallops (23 €) to myself and my companion had wild sea bass (28 €). And just when we thought we couldn’t eat anymore, we were seduced by the lamb cutlets (30,50 €). One of the team told us these came from Burgos, so we knew they’d be meatier than the little cutlets often served in Mallorcan restaurants. And they were delicious.
After such a feast we could manage only the small dish of hazelnut and chocolate spheres (4,50 €), which were a good accompaniment to coffee and end to a superb lunch.
Spanish wines include a few special ones from Mallorca and all on the list – apart from a few premium wines – are available by the glass or bottle. We had a glass of Friki verdejo (7 €) and then a glass of El Galgo (9,50 €) from Mallorcan winery Oliver Moragues.
There’s good news for fans of El Camino: it’s now possible to book up to three months ahead via the restaurant’s website.
Photos: Jan Edwards
Prices correct at time of writing.