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Opinion
26/08/2020

Ca'n Aurelio, Eat and sing

Creative product cuisine on the idyllic Costa de los Pinos


Mar García


 

Ca'n Aurelio is located on the peaceful Costa de Los Pinos, a restaurant with such a good reputation and pedigree that it has been on my "wish list" since its inauguration, back in 2016; and there it will continue, with more reason, after knowing it .

Well-dressed tables distributed on a pleasant terrace and a large chill out were the ideal setting to taste the magnificent cuisine that Pedro Martín practices and enjoy the attentions of our excellent hosts, Aurelio Ucendo and his wife Nikol Maserova.

For years Aurelio and Pedro have formed a magnificent team: the chef giving free rein to his imagination in the kitchen and the businessman from La Mancha running the restaurant and "selling" the creations of the consummate chef. Nikol's contribution, apart from her careful attention to the customer, are the small details such as the original design of her dessert menu or the wonderful brochures of the famous "Quijote Locuras": some wonderful days attended by renowned chefs from all over Spain (fifty in the last edition, some with a Michelin star).

A brief work experience in Mallorca was enough for Aurelio to confirm the need to learn English, which led him to England in 1974 where he worked as a waiter. At the age of 27 and with a promising career as a restaurant manager, he returned to settle permanently on the island, setting up his first business in S’Era de Pula, which at that time was nothing more than a small roadside bar.

On occasion he has cooked but his thing was and still is to "sell", something he already did as a child when he filled the jugs of train travelers with water as they passed through Alcázar de San Juan. His passion for restoration and a great commercial vision have led him to organize multiple events such as the aforementioned “Locuras de El Quijote” in homage to his land or “The Art of Eating Standing” that brings the culture of the pincho closer to the Mallorcan public. Since the 90s, it has invited great chefs to work in tandem with their cooks, demonstrating a great vision of the future since at that time there was not even talk of the today so fashionable “4-handed cooking”. Of all those who have worked with him, he has special memories, as is the case of the renowned Toni Navarro who won the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs contest with one of his desserts at the S’Era de Pula stage; “Others are working in El Bohío or with Mario Sandoval”, Nikol proudly reminds us.

It is a delight to listen to Aurelio and enjoy her photographs, true treasures and graphic documents of the gastronomic history of the last forty years; I was extremely moved by his stories with many of the "greats", such as Ferrán Adrià, Carme Ruscalleda, Juan Mari Arzak, Martín Berasategui, Jean Louis Neichel, Mario Sandoval, the Roca brothers, David García or the sadly disappeared Santi Santamaría and Iñaki Oyarbide.

It goes without saying that someone who knows our gastronomy so well cannot have just anyone in their kitchen. Pedro Martín has been at Aurelio Ucendo's side for many years, with whom he feels very comfortable working without limitations in a good product kitchen, who does not hesitate to innovate if his clients demand it. This "ad hoc cuisine" works perfectly since many of its clientele come from cities such as Madrid or Barcelona where there is a constant culinary boiling and what they are looking for is precisely a quiet and quality cuisine, guaranteed by good to be the chef who makes the best of an excellent raw material. On the other hand, for those of us who want to “risk” with a signature cuisine, he displays all his qualities of a great chef, delighting us with real delicacies.

Pedro gives us a glimpse of the effort he puts into having "the best of each house" in his kitchen, taking advantage of the delicacies that "our Mediterranean" offers him, such as the exquisite jig squid or the appreciated dentol, but "traveling" to Cantabria or to the Basque Country if necessary to get a good anchovy or the most precious meat. Nor does he renounce new techniques and well-understood culinary innovation, although he considers that “we are passing a bit” and ventures a return to good sense in the Spanish stoves.

The enriching chat with Aurelio and his chef was the best preamble to start a meal that is hard to forget. In the ice bucket, Gran Caus, a wonderful pink merlot from Penedés, welcomed us while the oyster ceviche and the gazpacho with basil oil made their spectacular entry: two very appropriate fresh dishes to whet the appetite. The very fine oyster barely showed its passage through a ceviche that flavored the powerful flavor of the sea. The refreshing gazpacho left a slightly bitter and spicy aftertaste that evidenced a good olive oil offset by the aroma of basil, while the sweet acidity of the dehydrated raspberry, worthily supplementing the classic "boats" rounding out an original presentation. The merlot reIt was ideal to take with the double starter.

A wonderful tokaji aszú 5 puttonyos, Oremus (Vega Sicilia group), gave us an insight into a house classic: the tub of foie with prunes and mango chutney. The plum lightened a soft tub and the mango provided the necessary acidity to balance the unctuousness of the foie; a round recipe perpetuated on the menu due to its constant demand.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

 

 

And my favorite starter arrived !: an impressive salad of fresh figs with anchovy fillets from Santoña and crispy raspas, the best anchovy salad I've ever had. A tomato carpaccio served as the base for the delicate fig and a top quality preserve; the original touch of the raspa culminated in a surprising elaboration that delighted our five senses. We enjoy it accompanied by Ous amb Caragols, the right suggestion of Aurelio, an oak coupage from Binissalem: aroma of ripe fruit and a light roasted and spicy touch, easy to drink and with a fresh finish.

 

It was difficult to keep up with the starters but the crunchy octopus over potato parmentier with egg, boletus, oil ice cream and black garlic was up to the task. The obligatory paprika flavored a tasty octopus that grew with the touch of the egg and the precious black garlic. We continue with the versatile rosé that harmonized wonderfully with the “king of Galician gastronomy”.

A delicious tuna tataki with vegetables and seaweed binomial confirmed the weight that the sea has on the Ca n’Aurelio stove. A brilliant reinterpretation of the classic of Asian cuisine made an appearance, the black of the slate highlighted a careful plating; Two sauces (sweet and sour, spicy and soy) accompanied the tuna sealed by a light tempura that, together with a crunchy nori seaweed, enriched the texture of this magnificent dish. Our host suggested Mar de Frades, an albariño with floral aromas with balsamic details, a lively, saline and harmonious wine that divinely complemented a light tataki full of flavor.

 

 

 

 

 

The next proposal was the tasting of a couple of thirty and seventy day maturing meats, in order to appreciate the nuances that a good dry aging brings to the veal provided by Caydesa, a meat specialized in aging Galician blonde. An aromatic Mallorcan truffle laminate watered the two pieces, well knitted and properly tempered; the bite and flavor of the over-aged meat outshined its worthy opponent, which was nonetheless very good. Aurelio uncorked in advance a bottle of J. Fernando, a magnificent Manchego Grenache from "old vines and new barrels", powerful, tasty and with balanced acidity, which was a perfect pairing for both meats.

 

 

 

 

 

Although our appetite was more than satisfied, we could not stop trying the exquisite thin apple pie with vanilla ice cream, flambéed with Amazon rum and paired with a delicious Pedro Ximénez; Not in vain "the posts do not go to the stomach, they go to the heart", as the peculiar dessert menu designed by Nikol says.

It is essential to show our gratitude for the exquisite treatment received by Aurelio, Nikol, Pedro and the entire team, with special mention for Carlos Díaz, a young man from La Mancha who wants to follow in the footsteps of his mentor and who went out of his way to serve us with professionalism that many veterans would like for themselves.

Our experience could not be more satisfactory, a getaway to the fantastic beach of Costa de los Pinos followed by a gastronomic evening in Ca'n Aurelio and a quiet drink in its chill out is an unbeatable plan for vacationers and residents: excellence in the Treatment and gastronomy are guaranteed, the tranquility and the wonderful environment put the rest.

 

See you soon Ca’n Aurelio!

 

More info:
Avenida del pinar, 43, Costa de los Pinos.
07559 Son Servera
Telephone: 971 816 685

 

 

 

 

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