Tortilla de Patatas. | Facebook

When I was still at school, my mom joked that I should marry an Italian, as I could eat pasta every single day and not get bored of it. As I grew up, my love of food expanded to other cuisines, but good pasta always remained up there amongst my favourites. So, it is no wonder that every few months I discover a new Italian – restaurant, rather than a guy – to rave about!

Last Saturday I met up with my colleague Lucie for lunch and we decided to check out what was new on busy Paseo Mallorca at the edge of Palma’s old town. We came across Ama and were drawn in by its simple yet classy set up and a friendly owner. The menu was on the short side, but that in my experience is often a good thing. It consisted of all the classics and a few surprises. It was mostly Italian, with a few Spanish favourites thrown in for a good measure.

While Lucie opted for two smaller plates, I chose one main dish and we agreed to share. Her Eggplant “Parmigiana” turret with Stracciatella, pesto, dried tomato was sensational! The layers of vegetables and cheese were tender, juicy and just as oily as parmigiana should be. We decided that we would come back just for this dish accompanied by a glass of chilled white wine, to sit on the terrace and people watch…

Tagliatelle with Ragú alla Bolognese.

My Tagliatelle with Ragú alla Bolognese “La Classica” was also absolutely fantastic! The pasta was obviously home-made, the sauce too. The chatty owner, Francesco from Milano, asked permission to grate some aromatic Parmigiano Reggiano on top of this bowl of joy and made it look just perfect. I tucked in and was immediately transported to a small Sicilian town where I spent many summers at the summer house of a friend’s mom who also made her own pasta and was very particular about what sauce goes with what pasta shape. I learnt then that the true Bolognese was a slow-cooked ragú made with minced meat, usually beef or pork, combined with tomatoes, onions, carrots, and celery. It’s traditionally served over tagliatelle pasta. I am sure that every time an Italian hears “Spaghetti Bolognese” they have a micro heart attack! Please note, my non-Italian friends, that an authentic Bolognese also never includes garlic, mushrooms, or herbs like basil or oregano.

Back at the table, Lucie was also musing about “proper” Italian food and her Maltese roots… We were both so happy to have discovered this place, which, apparently, has been here for two and half years already. The name Ama apparently came from the verb amar (to love), but was also a reference to “ama de casa” a traditional housewife, making all her meals from scratch.

The last of our three dishes was Tortilla de Bacalao (cod omelette), also very, very good – crispy all around, with a softer centre and almost melting flakes of cod. I could not finish my pasta, so I asked Francesco to pack it up for me. I was pleasantly surprised later that day when I discovered a serviette and a cool wooden fork packed neatly with my “doggy bag”, as if it was a whole take away meal. It´s details like these that often make a difference between a very good and a great place.

For desert we decided to share a Cannolo with Ricotta and Chocolate. We waited for a while, but Francesco told us that the desert was made “in the moment”, rather than being premade. It was crunchy on the outside and creamy, almost foam-like, on the inside and I loved the addition of a sour cherry to the mix. The experience was rounded up by some good, strong coffee and an obligatory shot of a very tasty limoncello.

This random pick turned out to be one of the best Italians I have tried on the island so far. As we were leaving, I was already looking forward to coming back for more of that Parmigiana and to try a few more of those classic pasta dishes I saw on the menu earlier.

The place

Ama Tapas Y Comida
Pg. de Mallorca, 18, Palma
971 29 18 95

The bill

  • Parmigiana - 12 euros
  • Tortilla de Bacalao - 12 euros
  • Tagliatelle Bolognese - 18 euros
  • Cannolo - 5 euros


  • Daily from 12pm to 12am - Closed on Wednesday