Holly’s is the kind of zany restaurant in which I wouldn’t expect to eat very well. You first notice a hotchpotch of furnishings that could have been bought at one of the Salvation Army stores.
There’s a kitchen table with leaf ends that is now a dining table, what looks like an old fashioned bathtub that’s been cut to serve as a small sofa, revolving plastic chairs that are most uncomfortable and a kitchen unit against one of the walls that’s part of the decor.
Madcap is another word for it, but it’s all very much to my liking — except for those revolving chairs. I would probably have liked them as a five-year-old, but that was a long time ago.
Holly’s is in the highly skilful hands of owner-cook Tina Vogt, a German fraulein as colourful and sparkling as a glass of gewürztraminer from Rheinpfalz.
The restaurant is called Holly’s because there’s a Breakfast at Tiffany’s theme and the character in the original Truman Capote novelette was called Holly Golightly — played so endearingly by Audrey Hepburn in Blake Edwards’s 1961 movie with its haunting score by Henri Mancini that did much to set the film’s plaintive mood.
On its card Holly’s calls itself a bistro, lounge and cocktail bar that also does catering and events. Tina caters for small yachts moored at the Real Club Náutico and Club de Mar.
The meal didn’t get off to a Tiffany-like start because the ensaladilla rusa (Russian salad) was too unorthodox for Palma — or anywhere in Spain.
If Tina wants to attract Spanish customers (and all successful places in Palma need them) she’ll have to use more potato and fewer peas and French beans. I’m sure she’ll get it right when she tries.
A Spanish potato tortilla is always a good dish with which to try-out an unknown cook. So we put Tina to the test. When asked, she told us she usually did her potato tortillas firm and well cooked.
We said we’d like ours underdone and if it were a little runny, all to the good. Tina was so eager to accept the challenge she literally ran to her kitchen behind the bar and soon returned with one of the best potato tortillas I have ever had.
I could tell it was going to be an excellent one just by looking at it but I didn’t realise how magnificent it would be until I cut through it.
That was when I saw it was light and fluffy with a superb rough and loose texture and sensed the delicious tortilla española aromas that were filling my nostrils. A perfect tortilla and worth a 10.
When a restaurant is a complete unknown, meals can be full of surprises — good and bad. Cook Tina Vogt scored top marks with two out of three dishes and managed to chalk up three 10s. The first 10-rated dish was mussels in wine that were plump and juicy. The second one was for a tortilla española that was one of the best ever — so light and fluffy and with a superb texture and magnificent aromas. The third 10 was unusual and the first time I have ever awarded one in this category. It was for pulling a perfect caña, the third one: a lovely head of foam, slightly above the glass rim. I took a picture of it for future use.
Holly’s, Carrer de Pursiana 6, Santa Catalina, Palma (off Avda Argentina opposite the park). Tel: 971-264475. Closed on Wednesdays. The dining room isn’t very big so you should play safe and reserve a table even on weekdays.
Ensaladilla rusa, 5euros
Mussels in wine, 9 euros
Tortilla española, 6.60 euros
3 300mls cañas, 6.50 euros
Total cost with VAT: 27.10 euros.