Bacan is a family business that sprung to life in the middle of COVID. Cristóbal, a building engineer, got laid off at the beginning of the pandemic and decided to join forces with his two sisters, Linda and Carolina, to realise their dream of opening a café. They did all the renovations themselves, with help of family and friends, meaning that Cristobal’s engineering background came in really handy. The interior of Bacan is simple yet very stylish. Sheets of corrugated metal were sprayed black and offset by crisp white walls and trendy fixtures, while their terrace at the back is a lovely little oasis of green amongst tall residential buildings. The shop window, which proved to be super useful during the “takeaway only” period of the pandemic, was also designed by Cristóbal.
Back to food… I ordered the hummus bowl I craved and I was pleasantly surprised with its size. Bacan’s new chef, Gabi, sat down with me for a moment to tell me what it consisted of. The dish was inspired by Middle East flavours and everything was made from scratch. The humus was plain, light and uncharacteristically smooth. It was different, but I preferred it to the typical slightly coarse texture. Another interesting component of the dish was a dollop of harissa - a mixture of onions, peppers and “about ten spices”. There was a generous serving of quinoa, half an avocado, a handful of oyster mushrooms, and several large strips of Heura. Heura is a soya based chicken substitute, high in protein, nicely spiced and with a texture so close to the real thing that it is hard to tell the difference.
The salad was a mixture of green leaves and cherry tomatoes, seasoned with pickled onions and cilantro oil. The dish was served with two generous slices of “masa madre” bread from Rosevelvet bakery, where they also get some of their breakfast pastries. I loved the combinations of flavours and textures in this bowl. It was really, really good; very tasty and filling. So much so, that I asked the girls to pack about a third of the bowl for take away. At 10 euros, this was excellent value for money as well. While I enjoyed my meal I saw three people at the next table all having Turkish eggs, which I also wanted to try at some point.
To drink, Cristobal suggested I try some flavoured kombucha by the LOV brand from Barcelona. I love kefir, but I am not a huge fan of any other fermented drinks. I grew up with sauerkraut juice, called “rasol”, which was apparently full of vitamin C, and supposedly cured hangovers. It tasted like torture. In any case, this kombucha was as far from my childhood traumas as possible. It was light and fresh, infused with moringa, mint and ginger. I learnt that moringa was a tree native to the Indian subcontinent, whose leaves have 7 times more vitamin C than oranges and 15 times more potassium than bananas. It is said to help your body heal and build muscle.
As I had not spent very much on the food and the drink, I decided to have a coffee aswell. Cristobal is a huge coffee lover! He is always on a lookout for new roasters to collaborate with and he is constantly learning new techniques of preparing a perfect cup. On the day that I was there, the beans of choice came from Friedhats, a Duch roastery from Amsterdam. The blend was a mix of Brazilian and Ethiopian beans, with notes of chocolate, hazelnut and cherry – all the flavours that I love – and the cortado was as perfect as always.
Bacan Bar Cafeteria
Carrer del Baró de Santa Maria del Sepulcre no. 12, Palma
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