[Port de Pollenca, Mallorca, Spain] Celler La Parra

There was something of Fawlty Towers about dinner at La Parra. We’d booked the day before, being told our table would have to be outside as all the inside ones were booked. So, we arrived. Bloke goes to check the reservation book. Yep, we’re in it. He then goes round all the tables, both inside and out - checking for the slip of paper with our name on it – and periodically going back to check the reservations book for goodness knows what. Nope, not there. Goes back to check the book again. Then seats us inside at a table for four (there are only two of us). Basil was back in action when we tried to get the bill – it involved two members of staff and about 20 minutes of finger tapping.

In between, dinner was eaten and it was fine. Frit Mallorqui was as decent an example as you’d want to come across. It was a generous portion of liver, potato, garlic, pepper and onion, with fennel fronds giving a little background herbiness. Pa amb oli was disappointing . Good bread but there no obvious garlic and very little evidence of oil. And tomato came in slices rather than something to be squidged into the bread. A travesty of the Mallorcan classic.

Entrecote steak was accurately cooked as requested. It came with simply prepared carrots, runner beans and cubes of fried potato. Suckling pig was also OK. Not the best I’ve had in Spain. Not even the best I’ve had in Mallorca. But no complaints from me. There were the fried potatoes and a handful of mixed salad to mop up the juices.

We passed on dessert and coffee.

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

― Jonathan Gold