Ses Coves, Campanet
It’s almost impossible to get a short-notice table at Ses Coves in Campanet in the holiday season but I made my winter, weekday lunch booking only one day ahead. This rural restaurant is renowned for both its food grilled over embers and the high quality and provenance of its meat and fish. No wonder some of Mallorca’s top chefs eat here on a day off.
Ses Coves is adjacent to the Coves de Campanet (with the same owners) and has a large car park. A series of stone steps lead up to both the restaurant and the entrance to the fascinating caves.
Ses Coves is in the Serra de Tramuntana at the foot of the Puig Sant Miquel and has mesmerising valley-and-mountain views. In summer, dining is al fresco on the pretty terrace. Seated in the dining room, we noted the tablecloths, linen napkins, and rustic-style ceramics (crafted by one of my favourite chefs, the multi-talented Santi Taura).
The menu is not on the website and if you’re on a tight budget or are vegetarian, Ses Coves is probably not for you. Meat and fish are priced by weight (by 100g for fish; by the kilo for meat, which may call for some mental arithmetic. Beef lovers will appreciate the dry-aged Galician beef chops from Cárnicas Ly0, suppliers to some of Spain’s best restaurants. Expect to pay upwards of 98€ per kilo depending on your choice.
We studied the menu while eating good, warm bread – from a bakery in nearby Búger – with delicious smoked butter (EVOO was also an option). A good start to lunch.
From the eight starters (three of which featured Mallorcan red prawns), we shared a dish of mixed mushrooms, charcoal-grilled aubergine, grilled pork belly, and Joselito jowl (24,10€) A bowl of comforting winter food.
For mains, we both had fish, this being our preference. My companion had yellow grouper from Mallorca (9€ per 100g). I had ‘virrey’ – a deep-water fish from Galicia (16€ per 100g). Both were cooked to perfection and enjoyed with a shared plate of French fries (9,50€).
We ended with almond ice cream and, for me, a moreish almond coulant with vanilla ice cream – I’d have loved the recipe for the coulant.
The wine list has a good choice of Mallorcan, national, and international wines at a broad range of prices, with some by the glass. We paid 5€ for a generous glass of Sincronia from Mesquida Mora, and 4,70€ for the Eloi, a young wine from Toni Gelabert.
Owner/grill-master Josep Joan Segura (‘Jota’ to his friends) learnt the art of cooking over embers from his father and grandfather. We spoke after our lunch, and he showed me his open kitchen/grill area. Sustainability is important to Josep and his wife Paloma: almond wood for the fire and organic vegetables come from their land.
Ses Coves has a Solete in the Guía Repsol.
Photos: Jan Edwards
Prices correct at time of writing.