Port de Pollenca, Mallorca

We’ve often had holidays in the Pollensa area, over the last 30 years or so. Generally, we’ve rented a villa in the countryside and had the convenience of a rental car to get out and about. However, for various reasons, this time we decided to stay in the Port, which is the main tourist area. Difficulties in getting taxis had been well reported so that meant we made a decision to just eat in the Port, rather than visit some of our favourite places in neighbouring areas. We had a nice apartment, literally less than five minutes stroll to the sea side “paseo”, known to everyone as the Pine Walk, with its several restaurants. We ate somewhere different every night - not everywhere worthy of a mention here. But the posts that follow represent the main places that were the good, the bad and the ugly.



Over several holidays in the area, we’ve always reckoned that Stay was the best restaurant in the Port. So, we’d make a reservation online, some while before, for dinner on our first full day of this trip.

As ever, the overall ambiance and level of service was spot-on. We had a nice table outside and on the water’s edge. As for the service, everything happened exactly as it should, with no sense of being rushed or long waits when all you can do is thumb twiddle.

We decided to go with the menu of the day – a bargain at £39.95, for three courses, including bread, wine , water and coffee. To kick off (more footballing references later – this was the day after Man City had thrashed West Ham), there was a snack – a shot glass filled with a pumpkin cream, topped with a coconut cream. It was, indeed, very creamy and quite sweet – they could serve this as a dessert and it would still work.

After that, it became a game of two halves. I was on the winning side. Escalivada – a fry-up of vegetables, served at room temperature – onions, peppers and aubergines. There was a very fusiony miso based sauce and a couple of mushroom wontons for crunch. For the main course, cannelloni were filled with seafood, topped with king prawns and broccoli, served with a lovely seafood sauce. It was light, fresh and just the sort of plate of food you want to eat sat next to the Mediterranean.

My companion in life was disappointed to play the role of West Ham, losing out with both courses which, frankly, were more Division 2 than Premier League. Cod and shrimp brandade tasted fine but the kitchen had failed to heat it through properly. So, the outer part of the “mousse” was warm, but it became cooler as you ate into it and was stone cold in the centre. It’s the sort of lack of care with shellfish that leads to food poisoning, so all but the outer bits were left. For the main course, there was beef in a bourgninon style. A delicious red wine sauce incorporated bacon, mushroom, onion and potato, just as the classic French dish would. But the beef was sautéed, rather than long cooked as the French dish would have been. It meant that while about half the meat was absolutely fine, the other half was so chewy as to be inedible.

By the now the game was all over bar the shouting. One of us over the moon, the other sick as a a parrot (although not literally), but there was still injury time to play… Or dessert as it’s better known. There’s no choice here. A thin sponge, topped with an indeterminate mousse, ice cream and a really nice sweet/sharp red fruit sauce. We finished with good café solo (or espresso as it seems you have to call it these days).

So, a less than stellar evening for us. The place was heaving with customers, as it probably is every night. It does mean Stay doesn’t have to try any harder with its food. A pity really. We’d hoped to enjoy it more. I see it in a relegation battle to avoid being deleted from our list for the next visit.



We went for lunch. Specifically, we went for their three course “menu del dia” set lunch. There’s a menu of homestye dishes which changes daily, offering two or three choices at each course. They post the day’s menu on their Facebook page at about midday (only in Spanish). It includes olives, bread, wine and water.

To start, there was a vegetable fiduea (the pasta version of paella). Tasty enough. And a chickpea salad, with chopped onion, pepper and tomato, in a nice dressing. For mains, rabbit and onions is a Mallorcan classic. OK, it’s fiddly to eat, with not much meat on the bones, but it’s something you’d struggle to find in the more touristy places. It comes in a very flavoursome onion sauce and there’s chips. Chips were also on the plate of the other main course, which featured king prawns in a crisp tempura batter and a handful of salad leaves.

Dessert was either “flan” or “pudding”. Variations on Crema Catalana and both were OK. We finished with good strong coffee (not included in the menu’s €15 price tag.

It’s a bargain lunch and one which seemed to have attracted more Spanish speakers than English speakers.



There are dos Dos Kanallas. The original one in the main square and this one on Carrer de Formentor (not connected with the first except by name – a falling out between business partners at a guess). We’d tried to book the original one – they have an online form – but never got a confirmation. Nor did they reply to my follow up email. Now, to be frank, if they can’t be bothered to acknowledge their own booking system then I can’t be bothered to spend money with them. Which is how we came to be having dinner at the newer place (which I was able to book, online, through The Fork, without any hassle).

It’s a nice space with a handful of tables inside but most in a partially covered terrace at the back. Service from the two front of house guys was spot on – knowledgeable and friendly.

They have a short carta of dishes, several seemingly the fashionable “small plates for sharing” but we opted for their well priced four course set menu. There’s bread and alioli to nibble on – the alioli enhanced with the sweetness of carob, not entirely an improvement on normal alioli.

The first dish was a potato “foam” – the consistency of lightly whipped cream. Sitting in the middle was a perfectly poached egg, adding richness. Duck ham provides a salty savouriness. It’s a belter of a dish. Pasta comes next, dressed in a creamy sauce, topped with a thick slice of burrata. There’s a light grating of truffle and a scattering of toasted sweetcorn. The cream and burrata made it a really rich dish – the sort that my diabetes nurse warns me against and which I always ignore.

Pork cheeks had been long cooked so they fell apart at the touch of a fork. They sat in a delicious sauce, along with slices of raw pear for crunch and gnocchi as a carb. I’m going to try and cook this at home - another belter of a dish.

Dessert was an apple cake, topped with vanilla ice cream and a white chocolate foam . Sweet, but not overly so, and really nice.

There’s an effort being made here to be a bit different from the usual tourist restaurants. Kanallas (or canallas) roughly translates as rogue or scoundrel but our server, Sam, said it didn’t have quite the same negative connotation in Spanish. It’s more to do with being edgy and unconventional. And that’s a pretty accurate description of what they are trying to do. They deserve every success



The restaurant has been open since the early 1960s and, still in the same family’s ownership, is probably unchanged since then. If you get the option to eat inside, this is probably the one restaurant in the area to do that – it’s essential to make a reservation at least several days in advance, so ask to be inside at the time of booking. It’s an old wine “celler”, although probably not as old as it might first appear – the family which owns the restaurant have tried to enhance the aged look but, now, it’s just quirky. I’ll not describe it further and spoil the fun – but lots to look at if conversation flags. The menu may well be pretty much unchanged over those 60+ years. Classic dishes of the island – this is not a place for wimpy food.

Tumbet was an excellent version – sliced potato, onion, aubergine and peppers, topped with tomato sauce. Almost as good as the version my partner’s sister cooks. I know from her that the secret to a good tumbet is to cook each vegetable separately and then layer it up before a final quick heating through. As expected, trampo was a light and fresh salad – tomato, onion and peppers in a sharp vinaigrette.

Roast suckling pig has always been good here. It’s a generous serving of piggy on the bone. Crisp skin, unctuous meat which, in my book, is pretty much perfect “lechona”. There’s a few new potatoes and a handful of mixed salad, the thin sauce doubling up as a dressing for the leaves. Salt cod was perfectly cooked – just falling apart in big flakes. It came topped with alioli, which had been lightly scorched under the grill. There was sliced potatoes and some mixed veg (effectively another version of tumbet).

We didn’t fancy dessert or coffee, so just got the bill.

Suckling pig



The restaurant occupies an enviable position on one of the Port’s two molls. And it backs up its location with top notch service and seafood dishes that are bang-on.

Bread was served first, along with an assertively flavoured tapenade. And the wherewithal to make pa amb oli. It’s a nice touch.

“Frit” was a fishy version of the more common frito Mallorquin. There’s squid, prawns, white fish, clams, potato and vegetables. It’s a much subtler affair than the usual version. Different – but just as nice. Scallops were the essence of simplicity. Eight of them, just cooked on the half shell, with only their own juices for moistening. But they needed nothing more.

Hake always feels like the most Spanish of fish. Here, it’s a generous fillet coated in a saffron cream sauce. There’s a couple of grilled king prawns (and they thoughtfully provide you with a finger wipe, for after you’ve finished peeling them). There’s some mixed veg and delicious roast potatoes.

I ordered the tuna belly. Unusually, in my experience, I was asked how I wanted it cooked, as you would for a steak. I forgot that a Spanish “medium rare” will come a notch down from a UK “medium rare”, so what I got was “just seared”. Now, I’m fine eating tuna that is pretty much raw but others may not be. It was delicious and came with the same spuds and veg as with the hake.

Ice cream and chocolate featured in both desserts. For one of us, three scoops of vanilla, with a little jug of chocolate sauce. For the other, a chocolate fondant (served cold) with one scoop of ice cream, The coffee that followed was good and strong.

Best meal of the holiday.



The restaurant specialises in seafood with about twice as many of those dishes than meat dishes. We’d booked and had hoped to eat on their smallish terrace but our table was inside. The room inside has had a makeover in the years since we were last in the area and is now a bright, modern space. Service proved to be absolutely on the ball.

There was bread, olives and a very garlicky alioli to nibble on. And the one of us who drinks alcohol was pleased to see half bottles of wine on offer – Vina Sol did very nicely. It went particularly well with a starter of sautéed prawns from Soller. Dead simple. Dead tasty. They just needed peeling.

I thought I knew exactly what I was ordering for my starter. “Broken eggs” with Pollensa sobrasada. That’s going to be revueltos, innit? Scrambled eggs mixed with the sobrasada. Even if the menu in Spanish didn’t call it that, what else was “broken eggs” going to mean? Well, it meant a layer of absolutely delicious crisp, thin slices of fried potato, with a layer of sobrasada and topped with two fried eggs. No, it wasn’t revueltos but it was one of the delicious things I put in my mouth during our stay in the Port.

We both went with sole as a main course. One served classically with a meuniere sauce. The other topped with king prawns and thin slices of garlic. They both came with new potatoes and mixed vegetables. Both were perfectly cooked with the flesh just sliding off the bone.

We’d planned an after dinner paseo, involving ice cream so, for now, finished with good café solo. Thoroughly recommended.



There can’t be too many restaurants, anywhere in the world, that have been in business since the 1940s and are still in the same family’s ownership. According to the menu, IRU means three in the Basque language and represents not only the family’s heritage but, also, there were originally three bars owned by different family members. So, with that longevity, you’d reckon that they would be pretty good at what they do. Which makes me wonder if our less than stellar meal here was a combination of poor choices and catching the kitchen on an off night. Not least, as we ate here some years back with no issues. I’d like to hope it’s something like that, rather than something more fundamental going awry with the restaurant. But I can only review the meal we had, not the meal we’d hoped to have.

Chicken croquettes tasted fine but were much too sloppy in texture, becoming a mush as you stuck a fork into them. I know a good Spanish croquette when I see one and this wasn’t right at all. Padron peppers should come fiercely hot, with the skin blistering, tasting of themselves, the oil they were cooked in and a heavy hand with sea salt. These were just undercooked and bland.

Chunks of cod (salt cod from the texture) were perfectly fried and sat on well made tumbet. A lovely dish. Iberico pork secreto has become a popular restaurant dish in recent years. It’s a steak cut from the shoulder, with a goodly amount of marbling. It needs careful cooking if it’s to cook through, yet remain tender. The version here used much thinner steaks than I’ve had elsewhere in Spain and that was probably the major reason why it was dry and tough. A shame really, as everything else on the plate was spot on – good chips, mixed veg and a quite vinegary dipping sauce, which worked much better than you might have first thought.

As for desserts, they were both pretty god. The house speciality of almond cake served with almond ice cream was an excellent use of local produce. Cheesecake wasn’t the more common American style but was baked in the Basque style – presumably a nod in the direction of IRU’s heritage. It was delish.

So, a decent meal in parts and we’d give it another try, as and when we return to the area, with fingers crossed the experience would be better.


Thanks for the extensive write up!

I’ve been to Celler La Parra a few years ago, came all the way from Soller to eat there. I liked it a lot, very traditional food and hearty fare indeed. Wish someplace like that would be in the Soller surroundings.

You haven’t been to other places on the island, maybe Palma?

We’ve had a long weekend in Palma but many years ago. Lovely, very walkable small city.

I think when you first mentioned your trip to Soller, I consulted with my partner about restaurants. You may recall we have family members who originate from there (been living in the UK for years now ). Personally, I’m not keen on it as a holiday destination but the partner likes it and has just been trying to persuade me to give it another try.

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Thank you for these wonderful reviews. I’ve never been to that part of the world, and your writing helps me feel like I’ve visited!

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