Sitting on this terrace with a view of the cathedral to one side and the open sea to the other felt very, very special. | Nataly Grbić

If you know anything about Mallorcan gastronomic scene, you must have heard of Mallorcan chef Santi Taura by now, if you have not already tried his food. Last week, I had a childhood friend in town. I wanted to introduce her to Mallorca’s eclectic dining experiences, from street food to high end dining. On her very first day, we headed to Urbà, Santi Taura’s restaurant on the rooftop of Hotel El Llorenç Parc de la Mar in Calatrava, a few minutes’ walk from the Cathedral.

Comfortable table with a sea view: Photos: Nataly Grbić

In their own words, Urbà is “the most open and cosmopolitan concept of the Santi Taura group where you can enjoy, in a well-kept space, tasty proposals designed for sharing”. We were sat at a comfortable table with a sea view and our shoulders dropped in unison, as we relaxed and forgot about a somewhat hectic morning behind us.

We asked our smiley waiter, Feyzi, to suggest several sharing plates and he rose up to the challenge with skill and pride of someone who is confident in what he is doing and loves his job.

The spinach croquettes with Thai mayo & the fried onion bhajis.

For starters he brought us spinach croquettes with Thai mayo and fried onion bhaji, battered with chickpeas flour. Since I moved to Mallorca I have tried croquettes many times, but never with spinach. They were very tasty and melted in my mouth. I was not a huge fan of onion bhaji, though. I found it slightly too dry, but I did enjoy the sauces it came with: raita yoghurt and cucumber, tamarind, and chipotle and mango chutney were all great. I loved the idea of “something local, something international”, mixing up the flavours and amplifying the culinary experience.

The pulled pork and red cabbage sweet croissant.
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Next up we were served fried artichokes with black garlic, romesco (a tomato-based sauce that originated from Valls, province of Tarragona), pecorino cheese and Wagyu ham and pulled pork with red cabbage in a sweet croissant. Both of these dishes were rich and full of flavour. Nataly and I nearly fought over the last bit of artichokes, but as she was a guest I let her have it.

The duck rice with foie and orange hoisin & the braised octopus.

For the third course, we had braised octopus in beurre blanc with artichokes and ras el hanout (a spice mix found in varying forms in Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco) and duck rice with foie and orange hoisin. I could have easily eaten another portion of either of these international dishes, with very distinct flavours - but both absolutely delicious!

The banoffee & the finger citrus pie.

As much as I enjoyed all these tasty and beautifully presented savoury dishes, I was – as always – really looking forward to the dessert(s). And they definitely did not disappoint! We had Urbà’s ‘Destroyed’ version of Banoffee (toffee, banana, coffee) and Finger citrus pie with meringue, lemon cream and verbena gel. Banoffee was very good, with a nicely caramelized chunk of banana, but Citrus pie was even better. It looked so pretty that it felt like a shame to deconstruct it. It tasted fresh, citrusy and sweet, all in the right measures.

Our meal was accompanied with some tasty local wine, as recommended by Feyzi, and we rounded up our meal with a couple of good, strong “café solos”, to wake up before further exploration of Palma by one very happy tourist. Even on a windy afternoon, sitting on this terrace with a view of the cathedral to one side and the open sea to the other felt very, very special. I saw that they have some cool cocktails too so I will definitely come back to try those one evening. Nataly commented that, within a space of one meal, she felt as if she left Hamburg days ago, rather than just that morning.