When you stroll through a city with your eyes open, you are sure to discover something you have never noticed before. I am always curious to look behind facades, maybe through a door or gate that is usually closed and all of a sudden reveals a totally unexpected world. Like the splendid lush garden in the back of Temple Natura, the small vegetarian restaurant in Sa Calatrava.
Friends had told me about it, but when I went to have lunch there the other day, I was absolutely thrilled by the dazzling green array, the colorful flowers, and probably the biggest Bougainvillea I have ever seen. There is a mingle-mangle of comfortable vintage furniture and you instantly feel like a guest at a private home, rather than a restaurant. Actually, this is a private home and a private garden. It’s Alejandro Jaramillo’s parental home, his family still lives upstairs. While he takes care of the restaurant, his brother runs the herbal store next door and Señora Maria, his mother, is the good soul and adorable matron of the house. They love to share their place with guests from all over the world.
Except for Friday nights, Temple Natura only opens for lunch, offering a light and healthy daily menu. Mine started with a spicy avocado dip followed by a tasty salad with fruit, nuts and cheese, and I went for homemade almond cake with vanilla ice cream along with my coffee. Puri, chef de cuisine from Peru, loves to cook with seasonal local produce – abundant on the island. If you’re not a a downright vegetarian, this is one of the places, where you don’t even notice that there is no meat on your plate. Or sometimes that it’s even completely vegan.
Temple Natura is not only a lovely restaurant, it sees itself as a small cultural center and creativity space, Alejandro pointed out. They offer classes in yoga, massage or meditation, they invite for poetry slams and provide exhibition space for local artists. Great project!