The Duke, Palma
2020, Mar. 2nd | by Jan Edwards
A laidback Santa Catalina restaurant with a surfing vibe and some seriously tasty – and healthy – international food.
On a rather chilly and windy Monday evening in Palma, the area of Santa Catalina was eerily quiet. Until we entered The Duke – a cosy nook of a restaurant in a side street near Santa Catalina market. This was where everyone was, creating the buzzy warm ambience that’s evidence of an eatery that knows how to please its punters.
The Duke Palma has been open for eleven years and is a magnet for those who enjoy the laidback surfer vibe, friendly service, and terrific tasty food – which is also healthy – as the chefs use no butter, cream, or harmful artificial ingredients in the cooking.
The dining room was full, but we accepted a table on the tiny patio at the back. In the cooler months, it has a temporary roof cover, heating, and blankets (if needed).
Founders, chef Ronny (who’s Greek) and Juanjo – both keen surfers – named their restaurant after Duke Kahanamoku, the Hawaiian known as ‘the father of surfing’. Their passion is reflected in the décor. A large map of the world hangs behind the bar, hinting at the ethnic food culture here.
The menu offers tapas – perfect for sharing or keeping all to yourself; salads, ceviches, and soups; seasonal mains, and dishes from the grill – including the popular Duke’s Hamburger in a home-baked brioche bun, with hand-cut fries and mushrooms (16,70 €) – and vegan side dishes. A couple of dishes are designated for kids; vegans and vegetarians will find suitable choices.
Our starters were two Indian-style vegetarian smoked carrot and fennel tacos with mango chutney and mint yogurt (7,50 €) and three Greek lamb kebabs with cucumber tzatziki and medjoul dates stuffed with goat’s cheese and pistachio (9,80 €). Our main courses were pot-roasted veal cheeks with organic Indian-style lentils, pumpkin and ginger puree and roasted spring onion, and Thai-style grilled Mallorcan sea bass fillet with wok vegetables (22 €). We also indulged in a side of recommended home-cut fries with sea salt. We ended with a small and intensely rich chocolate and olive oil truffle served on a spoon (3 €).
Our drinks were a non-alcoholic Mahou beer and The Duke’s moreish Greek lemonade with basil. There’s a good choice of wines and house cocktails if you want alcohol.
The Duke’s strapline is ‘Eat Well Travel Often’. Travel to The Duke in Palma de Mallorca’s Santa Catalina and you’ll certainly eat well. And are sure to travel back there again.
Photos: Jan Edwards / The Duke
Prices and details correct at time of writing.