Many big things took off in a garage. A place for bold and creative minds who think and act differently. Like Ariadna Salvador and Pau Navarro. The two passionate cooks take their guests on a culinary journey along a route of selected Mediterranean dishes, seasoned with anecdotes, contemporary music and fancy illumination. Their garage is called Clandestí: kind of a speakeasy restaurant that is currently one of the most exciting places for foodies on Mallorca.
Clandestí also accounts for its name since it is hidden behind a blank iron gate in a narrow side street of Carrer Blanquerna. Only the orange sign with crossed beater and carving knife told us that we had reached our destination. When the gate eventually opened the waiting guests filed into the broad space and sat down along the table – a spectacular 10 meter countertop seating twelve persons, only. Excited to indulge into a secret eight-course-menu of sabor puro mediterranéo, prepared and arranged right in front of us at the bar.
There’s no written menu except in Pau’s personal notebook. Like an enthusiastic entertainer he introduced each single course to us, garnished with a song that he choose specifically for the dish. So much fun to watch him with a panhandle in one hand and the iPhone in the other while explaining about the food, the music or whatever question came up. Sitting and eating together at one long table almost feels like a family home, in particular since there is only one menu and everybody gets the same course at the same time. Okay, that might be different today in many families.
Clandestí’s menu is wholly inspired by the season. Right now, fungi in warm and spicy salsas that go along with slow-cooked meat, fish, seafood, hare and innards. The poached egg yolk with chestnut creme and mushrooms tasted like a beautiful autumn day on Mallorca. The red mullet, Pau’s favorite fish, had been slowly cooked for hours and was served with some rare local species of mushrooms that you cannot even buy on the market. And the hare was accompanied by Mallorca’s own type of pasta called Burballa, made in Porreres.
Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra were leading over to the dessert when suddenly all lights went out. The bar which is changing its color with the courses turned red, Besame mucho tuned in and we were served a glass plate with the perfectly shaped kiss lips made of passion fruit. No silverware needed to return the kiss. The most edgy spoons I have ever seen belonged to our last dessert: Mallorca in a bowl. Is it any wonder our menu ended with Kiss’ “I was made for loving you”?