The first post of my Mallorca series, focused on the towns and villages in the North of the island. Now I want to tell you about my favourite island highlight…
The best location in the world for a restaurant!
Sa Foradada restaurant was featured in the Yotam Ottolenghi Mediterranean Island Feast documentary but it was surrounded by a little mystery as to its location, so we made a big effort to research and find out more.
And what a big effort it was…a 50 minute hike for your paella? We did it, and it was SO worth it. Let me explain.
Sa Foradada is not only the name of the restaurant, it’s the name of a peculiar rock formation (pictured above) on Mallorca’s northern coast. A small, rocky peninsular with an eroded hole right in the centre draws boats from all around in the summer months but it cannot be accessed, or even seen from the main road nearby. To see this phenomenon, you need to park up and hike down the mountain path.
Once you climb the fence to enter the surrounding woodland (yep, you have to climb), the windy path leads you through olive groves frequented by donkeys and goats (even one up a tree!) and eventually to tall pines. The end of the peninsular, with no visible restaurant, gets tantalisingly closer as the path forks back and forth. We found out later that the land used to belong to a Duke who kept his mistress at the end of the path while he lived in the property at the top of the mountain.
The restaurant is completely hidden throughout the walk, on the descent, you get glimpses of the beautiful bay and the horizon beyond.
As the path drops into the ocean, a few final steps upwards lead you to the restaurant. The enticing smells from the open flame kitchen greet you first, followed closely by the friendly staff (I found Mallorqian hospitality to be lovely).
The online menu is nothing like the actual menu, but the place is so small I don’t imagine they’d have a proper technical team for the website! Contrary to what we expected, there were a range of starters and mains, not just paella to choose from. We were starving after the walk so chose some croquettas to start.
To be honest, most go there for the paella, and it’s worthy of that status. To make it clear, the paella is cooked to order and needs a minimum of 2 persons per dish, so it’s something to share. We opted for the seafood paella (meat and mixed were available), having heard great things about Mallorca’s seafood.
Well, wow. There are very few words that describe this dish.
The seafood was amazing, perfectly cooked and incredibly flavoursome. The stock used to cook the rice, we suspect, was made using fish heads and bones making it incredibly deep in flavour. The portion was huge, enough for 2 big plates each.
Then there was the view….the photos are all you need.
We’re so glad we decided to make the effort to visit Sa Foradada. We went at the beginning of May, which is off-season for Mallorca. We were told we were lucky to be there at that time as in high-season, the surrounding bay is full of privately owned yachts whose owners reserve tables each and every day, making it hard to just drop by. You can call ahead to book however.
Restaurante Sa Foradada is one of Mallorca’s best kept secrets in terms of ‘normal’ tourism (not counting the elitist yachts). You definitely need the hike back up the mountain afterwards to work off that paella!