El Camino, Palma
2019, Feb 25th
A renowned London restaurateur is behind this smart tapas bar, opened last September – just steps away from Palma de Mallorca’s Borne.
After trying to eat here a few times and finding the place full, I finally succeeded for lunch with my foodie friend Sandra. We sat on comfortable stools at the counter, right in front of chef Dani Aranda on the pass – watching him check each dish before it went to the customer. All the cooking is done in the open kitchen behind the counter, where the chefs use an array of equipment – including a Josper oven.
El Camino is the latest venture for restaurateur Eddie Hart who, with his brother Sam, introduced London to good Spanish tapas when they opened their restaurant Fino and, later, the highly successful Barrafina tapas bars in the UK capital. Fans of Spanish cuisine may even have one of the Hart brothers’ cookbooks in their collection.
Eddie’s mother was raised in Mallorca and he has moved to the island where he spent childhood summer holidays. With his business partner Sam Gough, he opened El Camino – bringing a new level of sophistication and vibrancy to Palma’s tapas scene.
The menu is printed on the paper placemats along the marble-topped oak counter (which has hooks underneath for bag straps). Specials, written on a small chalkboard, are also available. We tasted ham croquetas (sublime), beetroot, walnut, and blue-cheese salad, and artichokes, romesco and quail’s eggs. Dishes are ideal for sharing and everything is made here.
Spanish wines include a few special ones from Mallorca and all on the list are available by the glass or bottle.
Seating is only at the counter, apart from one table for private groups of up to eight people, overlooking the rear courtyard.
Like Barrafina in London, El Camino does not take reservations (except for the private table), but there’s an area where you can have a drink if there aren’t any vacant seats at the counter. It will be worth the wait.
Photos: El Camino / Jan Edwards