Ranked a cool number 4 of Palma’s best restaurants on TripAdvisor, as rated by the discerning food-loving public themselves (Forn de Sant Joan, I should have said the other day, is number 5, and deservingly so), Simply Fosh is the eponymous creation of chef, Marc Fosh. Housed in the cool, minimalist surroundings of the chic Hotel and converted 17th century Convent de la Missio, and bedecked with moody artwork showing close ups of Mallorcan salt on stark black backgrounds, as well as a cascading wall of water and, at least in the summer, an open-air courtyard, Simply Fosh is a restaurant which sets out to impress.
Whether or not the restaurant name is meant to imply that the restaurant emulates the heart of its chef, pure and simple (it’s one of a chain of 4 restaurants, the remainder of which are perhaps less “Foshy”) or whether its objective is pure simplicity is unclear, but one thing is certain: asides from the minimalist surroundings of the restaurant, the food, impressive in complex flavours and a finely finessed presentation, is far from simple.
We were delighted with this meal which, from beginning to end was accompanied by smooth, efficient service, and which provided a selection of stimulating dishes which, while not always scintillatingly innovative in flavour excitement, certainly pleased with a consistently high standard of ingredients and an excellent presentation.
Once settled with a bottle of ice-cold Albariño which the attentive waitress helped us choose, patiently giving us a number of choices to try (I wish I had made a note of the wine – it had an exquisite bouquet) we were first tantilised by an amuse bouche of celery soup, served with a taster of cod with and small cube of lime and vodka jelly and some almond dust for texture. The dust worked like a typical Spanish “picada” to granulate this otherwise velvety soup and work against the cool lime zing. I wasn’t getting the vodka flavour though which, to be fair, was probably a good thing.
Next up we opted for two chilled soups. My partner had the special of the day, which was an exciting yellow gazpacho, served with what appeared to be a dam of super-fresh, almost undercooked langostines, a bank of fluffy cous-cous, and a sweet thai and mango salad. The gazpacho was amazing – my partner even controversially declared it to be better than the authentic gazpacho we had devoured so enthusiastically in Cordoba in 2010, and henceforth declared to be the best in all of Spain. While the yellow gazpacho has now presented itself a keen contender for that crown, I was less impressed with the white version, a chilled Ajo Blanco with Soller prawn & aubergine ravioli and marinated pears. The flavours of the cold garlic weren’t shining through as they should (perhaps catering for the lesser garlic-tolerance of Mallorca’s predominantly English/German clientele?) and the presentation, while initially pretty, became something of a drowned unsightly swamp when the soup was poured over the ravioli, which promptly fell apart and descended into a mush. Still, the flavours weren’t bad, and I completed the dish with moderate relish.
Up next were the mains. My partner struck gold again with wild sea bream with parsley, licorice and parmentier of anchovies – the flavours were beautiful balanced, and the various complex sauces jovially presented in an almost polka-dot formation. My choice, a corn-fed chicken breast with celariac, chestnuts and cranberries, was very well cooked and also beautifully presented, but I think, on reflection, I made a bad choice, because the mixture of chestnuts and cranberries was just too christmassy to be fully enjoyable on what I was at least pretending was a warm summer’s evening, while in the meantime, I found the celeriac sauce a little too cloying.
But with dessert, an uninterrupted sugar binge of dynamically indulgent proportions was to follow, with my chocolate “cremoso”, a rich chocolate mousse perfectly balanced alongside marinated pears, a moorish walnut ice cream and light yoghurt mousse, while a coriander reduction made for a very innovative twist. Meanwhile my Partner had equal success with a dessert of almond cream on a sandy bed of spiced hazelnut, littered with a pieces of orange and caramel which resembled seaweed and coral washed upon the hazelnut beach by a current of bergamot flavourings.
And with that gastronomic manifestation of the mediterranean coast, full of its Moorish flavours and citrus undertones, we left the restaurant with a satisfying flavour of Spain lingering on our tongues, and the pleasant intoxication of that chilled Albariño embracing our souls and tugging our eye-lids towards sleep. Another day, another amazing Mallorcan meal, and still two more days to go. La Dolce Vita.
Simply Fosh is on the Carrer de la Missio, in central Palma, close to the Plaça de España. You can call 971720113 or reserve online.
- Mallorca (Part I) – Day 1: Banoffee bienvenido back to the good life (daily-norm.com)
- Mallorca (Part II) – Photography Focus 1: Semana Santa (daily-norm.com)
- Mallorca (Part III) – Day 2: Port d’Andratx and Es Baluard (daily-norm.com)
- Mallorca (Part IV) – Food Focus 1: Forn de Sant Joan (daily-norm.com)
- Mallorca (Part V) – Day 3: Moorish Mallorca and the Sóller Ferrocarril (daily-norm.com)