I have been looking for somewhere really special for my final column of the year, so when a close friend suggested Aromata, near her apartment, I jumped at the chance, even though it was slightly above my usual “menu del dia” budget. Having studied Latin in high school, I remembered that “aromata” means “spices”, so I hoped for some interesting flavours.

I have been following Andreu Genestra's beautiful creations on Instagram for a while, so the expectations were high from this Michelin starred chef. Walking in, before trying any of the food, I was already thoroughly impressed – with the classy interior. The restaurant was in fact an internal courtyard, enclosed with glass roof. It looked palatial, with elaborate staircases at two sides of the space adding to the unusual set up. Tables were elegantly set, with colourful handmade ceramics. Even water was served in ceramic cups, rather than glasses, and I loved that quirk. From the moment we walked in, the service was impeccable, with various staff attending us like some well-orchestrated collective.

The first bite of a chunky slice of warm home-made bread dipped into local olive oil was a great welcome. Chef's compliment came in a form of a multi layered cube on a bronze spoon. I tasted apple and spinach, but I could not tell you what else was there as I was still admiring interior and forgot to pay attention to the description. In any case, it was a very tasty start of the meal!

I chose “Red shrimp cannelloni, porcini mushrooms, corn meuniere and peanuts” for my first course. I loved the arty presentation! The dish was decorated, amongst other things, with tiny florets of green and purple broccoli, giving it a playful look. I was not entirely sure what meuniere was, so once again Google as my friend. Apparently, the word itself means "miller's wife" in French. So, to cook something “à la meunière” was to cook it by first dredging it in flour.

A meunière sauce is a simple preparation—brown butter, chopped parsley, and lemon—and the name refers to its simple rustic nature. Although three was nothing in particular that I could fault with this dish, I preferred its look to its taste.

For the main course I went with “Chicken with rosemary, stew of almonds, morel and nougat”. Another beautifully presented plate was placed in front of me by the impeccably mannered waitress. The chicken was perfectly done and I loved the peppery crust on one side of it. The meat smelled and tasted like home grown chicken I remember from my childhood, before bland mass produced stuff took over our supermarket shelves. The morel mushroom stew was just slightly bitter, but went really well with the chicken and crunchy toasted almonds. The accompanying purple carrot slices, baby carrots and spring onions all added to the taste beautifully.

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We came in first, but as we enjoyed our meal the place filled up with a mix of locals and tourists, and became quite lively with chatter in various languages. The background music was barely noticeable, which - in my book - can only be a compliment.

When it comes to deserts, I am normally a chocolate person, but today I went for an intriguing combination of “Caramelized pear tartlet, passion fruit and basil and lavender ice cream”. The base of the tart was super crispy and complimented really well the sweet pear filling topped with a super light passion fruit mouse and drizzled passion fruit. The icecream flavour was interesting, but I was not too keen it. My friend tried it, loved it and finished it all with a smile!

We ended our meal with a couple of “cortados”. The coffee was excellent and the presentation even better, in a beautiful ceramic black and white cups and saucers.

At 32 euros for three courses, Aromata was at the top end of the price range for this kind of a meal. Water or wine or beer were included, but the coffee was not. All in all, I loved it; the food was very good, the presentation was excellent and the service was up there with the best in the city. A particular detail that will stay with me was that the waitress brought a small bench to put our handbags on, so that they were not left on the floor. That felt very special.

Happy New year and see you all in 2023 for more tasty meals around Palma and the rest of our precious little island!

The Place

Aromata
C/ de la Concepció 12, Palma
971 49 58 33

The Price

Menu del dia €32
Cortado €2.20