[Pollenca, Mallorca, Spain] 365 - at the Son Brull hotel

You won’t find more skilled and creative cooking in the Pollensa area than at 365. They really are easily cooking at Michelin star standard and, indeed, better than a couple of starred places I could name in the UK.

As a nibble with an aperitif, there’s lovely thin breadsticks. And a bit of fun – anchovy and parmesan mousse shaped and coloured to look like olives. The restaurant offers two fixed price no choice menus – one a multi course tasting menu, the other a five courses. However, we opted to go with the main carta.

There’s a freebie “amuse bouche”. A single vegetable ravioli in a lobster foam. It’s very light – a perfect introduction. On to starters proper. One has the thinnest of squid rings, given only the briefest of cooking. There’s slices of in-season artichoke bottom, along with very thin slices, fried to a crisp, which gave great contrast to the soft squid. A garlicky sauce sets it off. The other plate whisks you away to east asia. Two pork filled gyoza accompanied with a couple of pieces of delicious lobster tail. They sat in a pool of salty soy-based sauce which was, perhaps, a little over salty.

Pigeon breasts and legs were perfectly cooked to rare as a main course. They came with spiced rice from just down the road at S’Albufera. The rice is perfectly balanced by warm spices humming along in the background. There’s artichoke in there as well. Sea bream had been baked in salt and came with peas in a light creamy broth. It didn’t come with a carb but none was needed as we’d scoffed the bread that they’d served at the beginning (and we’d declined more).

There’s a pre-dessert of pear topped with a black tea foam. This was clever. You first got the sweetness of the pear, then you got the contrasting slight bitterness of the tea.

Desserts were equally skilful. The kitchen’s take on “gin and lemon”, let the lemon shine. There’s a lemon sorbet and cubes of jelly. And crumbs of a cake that might have included the gin component, perhaps from juniper. But the clever bit here was what looked like a lemon – in fact, a sugar “shell” enclosing a lemon cream. Perhaps one of the best desserts I’ve eaten this year. “Strawberries and flowers” was another diverse plate, with ice cream, mousse, and jelly, all featuring light flavours of strawberry, without being overly sweet. A couple of edible violets provided the flower element.

We finished with good coffee and excellent petit fours – a powerful chocolate truffle and an orange jelly that was just essence of orange.

An absolute belter of an evening.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold