Walking around Kimpton Aysla hotel and its grounds I thought to myself that I needed some new superlatives in my vocabulary to describe this place! From the moment we walked in with Lucie, a colleague from The islander, we were thoroughly impressed – with the grand reception, the impeccable hotel rooms, the spa, the extensive gardens and several pools! Everything was stunning and super stylish, without trying too hard at all. Lucie commented that, for her, the height of luxury was “not to be dressed up in expensive clothes, but to walk around barefoot”. And you could certainly walk barefoot in the gardens of Kimpron Aysla, in the Mallorcan countryside, surrounded by breath-taking mountain views!

Our lovely host Marc interrupted his “spiel” every so often to point out yet another “perfect Instagram corner”, from the reception to the swings surrounding one of the bars between a pool and a herbal garden. They even grew their own herbs here!

I was so excited about trying the tasting menu later that morning! Saba Bar & Bodega offered a fusion of Oriental, Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean dishes in yet another beautifully designed part of the hotel complex.

We started with something very Mallorcan: “croquetas”; (some with ham some with cod, served on classy glass trays) and mini “cocas” with vegan sobrasada. Both varieties of croquetas were light and fluffy, lightly coated and fried to a perfectly golden crisp. The cocas base was perfectly crispy and I could not tell the difference in taste from the meat kind. It was then that Lucie mentioned her gluten intolerance; the staff thought on their feet and promptly adapted the rest of the tasting menu to this sudden challenge. What an example of truly spectacular customer service!

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Next we were presented with large green olives stuffed with tiny cubes of vermouth jelly - another nod to local cuisine and very interesting combination indeed! This was followed by hummus served with nori (edible seaweed) crackers instead of the usual bread or vegetable sticks. Both of us loved the taste and texture of humus as well as the unexpected Japanese twist on Middle-Eastern staple.

Fish and seafood dishes followed... First, anchovies covered in thin slivers of roasted garlic. They were just vinegary enough and the garlic tasted smoky and earthy. Second: sliced octopus, served on a bed of greens, with a wedge of lime partly coated in “pimenton”. The octopus was melt-in-your-mouth soft and went really well with the greens, altogether seasoned with spicy lime. Last, at least for this part of the meal, we got to try sea bass ceviche in tiger milk and Asian spices with sweet potato pure, garnished with sweet potato crisps. Lucie proclaimed that I would not like this, sneakily hoping to have it all to herself. I did manage to steal a few bites and I could see why she was not keen to share. Such a brilliant fusion of flavours and textures!

When we thought we could not eat any more, out came an entrecote, served with “skin on” French fries and fried rúcula. The steak was slightly better done than I would have liked, but by this point it really did not matter. This Potato Snob is happy to report that the potatoes were fantastic too, and the "skin on" was a great way to keep their flavour intact. The waiter pointed out that the steak knives were made by Dalstrong, Gladiator series, and that they were the best steak knives of 2022. Once again it struck me how much thought went into absolutely everything at Kimpton Aysla.

We rounded up our meal, and our visit, with a plate of sliced fresh fruit and a light, creamy panna cotta with raspberries and raspberry coulis – as excellent as everything else here today!

On our way home, Lucie and I already started making plans for our return, to the hotel pools, to the spa, and to other bars and restaurants here! Watch this space…