You will be unsurprised to hear that when abroad my hunt for delicious food does not cease. If anything, it grows, especially when in somewhere like Menorca, where fresh fish is in abundance and the fruit and veg are plump, sun ripened, and bursting with flavour. The quality of fresh food is so much higher than our pale and wan tomatoes, for example, that taste of little else than water…
One of the restaurants we go back to, time and again, is Cafe Del Nord. There is so much to love about this place. First off, the views over the bay and towards the Menorcan bobbly hills, and Monte Toro (Menorca’s highest hill, with a huge Jesus statue), is stunning, and it’s a perfect place to watch the sun set.
One of the things this restaurant does better than any other I’ve ever been to, is giving exceptional customer service. (However, I don’t really like the term customer service. It seems clinical and forced; something that HR teams drill into new staff, and spend thousands of pounds giving pointless workshops on…) At Cafe Del Nord, it’s genuine, friendly, welcoming… You feel at home going back there, and that the staff really want you relax, have a good time and enjoy your feast. They are so open in a calm, genuine way, and this cannot be underestimated, especially when you are out with an excitable, adventurous tot… However, kids are not seen as termites abroad as they often are in England. They are welcomed, allowed to run around and are even engaged with (imagine that!). Look at what Emilia got away with.
I was tense, nervous and apologetic about Emilia’s excitement on the first night at Cafe Del Nord this year, but Paco (the Manager) encouraged me to let her race around his restaurant and explore, and his whole team had nothing but smiles for her…
Now to the food! Something that most restaurants in Menorca offer is a Menu del Dia. It’s often really affordable, and at Cafe Del Nord this year it was €14.80 for three courses; amazing. The best thing about it is that it always focusses on food that is fresh and in season, which is the best way to eat. I couldn’t get enough of the prawns. I ordered them each and every time we went out! So sweet, delicate and full of fresh sea flavours. Gorgeous, (if somewhat messy – definitely not first date food).
Also on the Menu Del Dia is the local fish of the day. Whatever fish is in abundance at the time, in this case sole, is grilled to perfection (often with garlic – fantastic) and served with veg and potatoes.
Another local speciality is caldereta de pescados (seafood soup), which is light, but densely flavoured by sea and fish flavours and packed with pieces of fish and shellfish. It’s a great starter. Something to get fully involved with and is again, messy (fun!).
If you are ever in Menorca then I would highly recommend a visit to this beautiful and welcoming restaurant. We’ll certainly be back next year!