Marc Fosh’s food was a revelation when I first ate it 11 years ago.
Here was a chef ahead of the curve, his dishes cleverly using foraged herbs and other wild vegetables and leaves in a way that I’d not encountered before.
Now, of course, it’s a fine dining cliche and, in some hands, one not particularly well used.
In those days British-born Fosh headed up the kitchen at Reads Hotel, a glorious rural retreat a few kilometres inland from the Mallorcan capital Palma.
His restaurant there was a worthy holder of a Michelin star.
He left Reads several years ago but has retained his star at his eponymous restaurant in a quiet, atmospheric backstreet in Palma.
Reacquainting myself with Fosh’s food after a break of more than a decade was fraught with danger, for memories play tricks and chefs sometimes go stale.
Taking friends added to the risk – disappointing myself is one thing but disappointing others quite another.
Oh joy that I had not been speaking utter bollocks, then, by telling them the experience would be wonderful, for it was.
There’s a lightness of touch and a confident hand about Fosh’s dishes, their apparent simplicity masking a grasp of technique that’s impressive and a palate that’s instinctively spot-on.
The seven-course tasting menu – nine if you include the snacks and petit fours – was a delight from start to finish.
Small wonder the Hairy Bikers were bowled over on their recent visit.
Slow-cooked langoustine with salsify soup, caviar, pink grapefruit and watercress was a masterly combination of flavours – soothing veloute, sharp grapefruit, the langoustines sweet, the caviar salty and snappy.
Foie gras came with an hibiscus and red cabbage jelly, fresh quince and gossamer thin slices of crisp spiced bread, all adding layers of flavour and texture.
Wild sea bass was precisely cooked and came with saffron, citrus and fennel.
Loin of lamb was gloriously tender and flavoursome with a glossy, rich sauce given umami oomph by audacious quantities.
Perhaps the highlight was bomb rice, still nicely al dente, with extravagantly smoked eel, tangy spiced cherries and, at the side, a shot of eel ‘bouillabaisse’ with great depth of flavour.
This dish, its appearance the most unprepossessing of the night, was comfort food elevated to heavenly status.
Or maybe the star course was a jokey pun on the Spanish broken eggs dish, huevos rotos.
Here the savoury staple was a dessert – a spherified yolk of mango with a cream and broken egg shell made from white custard, enhanced by cardamom, green tea and yoghurt.
The final course was a crowd-pleasing combination of chocolate, mandarin cream and sharp red berries.
If you happen to be in Mallorca, head to this place.
I certainly plan not to wait another decade before returning.
Need to know
Only tasting menus are offered.
The menu degustacion is 89 euros.
The veggie menu is 72 euros.
The wine list kicks in at 30 euros a bottle.
Check out some of the Mallorcan wines – rarely seen in the UK.
Carrer de la Missió, 7, 07003 Palma, Mallorca, Illes Balears, Spain. +34 971 72 01 14.