Palma Diary, February/March 2019 – An Englishman abroad
Day 5 – Wednesday
Wednesday, and it’s always good to have an excuse, if one were needed, to visit Sineu on market day. However, today’s reason isn’t to browse stalls or pet mules, but to visit the comparatively new Món brewery. It’s set just back from the square, which means not only is it easy for me to find, but they get quite a good trade from visitors to the market.
Pelayo serves me their three beers, a blonde, a red and an IPA and they are very good. I take some photos and then, after a token look round the market, decide to go for the train. I’ve realised that if I get off at Inca, I can get a taxi to Llubi.
There is a taxi waiting at the station in Inca and after the short drive to Llubi, he drops me off outside Eduardo’s restaurant, Brut. There is nobody around, so I telephone to find they are having lunch at S’Acústic, a short distance away and I am invited to join them. We have a convivial meal of sole with chips and salad and when I offer to pay, Edu won’t hear of it and says I’m his guest. How kind. As we are preparing to leave, a middle-aged lady says she thought she’d heard English being spoken and we explain who we are. “Oh”, she says, “I thought you must have taken a wrong turn and ended up in Llubi. It happened to me thirty years ago and I’m still here!”.
Edu, his two chefs and I return to Brut. It is quite a large space, but only seats twelve and has an open kitchen at the rear, where Edu and the team are prepping for the evening’s service. The little brewery is off to the right and a blackboard on the back wall proclaims today’s beers, of which there are ten with incredible combinations including one with grapes from a local vineyard, another based on turrón with honey and almonds, and a coconut imperial stout. Some favourites will return, whereas others are one-offs. As his food is innovative and constantly changing, so it is with the beers. I try all ten, but only tasters – I’m not having ten pints! Sometimes, people come up with crazy combinations just for the sake of it, but these are all thought out and really work. I am so pleased that I made the effort to come here and not just dismiss it as some restaurant that had decided to brew a nondescript house beer as a novelty.
Edu is originally from Argentina and moved to Madrid to open a brewery called Monsieur Gordo, before moving to Mallorca a couple of years ago. As a parting gift, he gives me a bottle of his original 13% Dulce de Leche Imperial Stout. I find the bus stop a short distance away, just in time to catch the bus back to Palma.
On the way from the station to the hotel, I pop in to La Rosa Vermutería for a vermouth and sit on a high stool in the white-tiled bar. I had noticed that one of my favourite restaurants, Gaudeix, happily only a hundred yards from the hotel, has opened early from its winter break, so I think it beckons for dinner. When I arrive it’s busy as always, but in any case, I like to sit at the bar and order my tapas one at a time, so I manage to grab a seat and have a look at the blackboard.
I begin with scallop with pumpkin cream and a glass of 3030 local wine* and then move on to cod with black cheese cream and free-range egg with sobrassada, finishing with Iberian pork fillet with shallots in port wine. A hierbas dulce and a black coffee to round off the meal. All superb as usual and a five-minute walk back to the hotel. All in all, a pretty good day.
*The waiter showed me the label on the bottle, but I can’t find a reference to it anywhere.